Today, The Duchess of Cornwall undertook two visits to see the work of charities in Greenwich.

Her Royal Highness first visited Emmaus Greenwich - a homelessness charity with a difference, giving people not just a bed for a night, but a home for as long as they need it, meaningful work and a sense of belonging.

The Duchess has been Patron of Emmaus UK since 2006, and has visited 14 of the 29 UK communities, as well as one in Paris.

During the visit, Her Royal Highness toured the community shop and met companions (formerly homeless people) who work there. She dropped in on one of the workshops where companions where fixing donated items of furniture ready for re-sale.

The Duchess looking around the Emmaus Greenwich shop
The Duchess looking around the Emmaus Greenwich shop 

The visit also coincided with Emmaus Greenwich’s 25th birthday. The community has helped over 750 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion since it opened in 1994, and currently offers a home to 34 companions.

The Duchess told guests during the celebratory reception:

I’m very very proud to have been associated with Emmaus for such a long time now…I’ve visited them all over Britain and wherever I go I come out with the same feeling of being completely uplifted by my visit. They all have the same warm, welcoming atmosphere and that’s what makes Emmaus so unique.

Her Royal Highness unveiled a cake that she had specially made for the 25th birthday by baker Julie Brownlee, decorated with the Emmaus logo and festive holly and berries made of icing.

Before departing, The Duchess wished everyone a very Merry Christmas.


Next Her Royal Highness visited the Fan Museum to see their latest exhibition, as well as partake in a fan making masterclass run by the museum in conjunction with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).

During the class, The Duchess met a group of people taking part in the RVS’ First Time for Everything programme, designed to give older people an opportunity to try a new social activity for free in their local community each month, in a bid to improve quality of life for the older generations.

Fan making masterclass with The Duchess of Cornwall
Fan making masterclass with The Duchess of Cornwall 

The group were learning how to make traditional cockade fans in festive printed-paper.  

RVS is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with nearly 20,000 volunteers a year supporting the NHS and helping people in the community to age well.