The Duchess of Cornwall at the National Gallery


The Duchess of Cornwall today carried out engagements in London, visiting the National Gallery and Boots’ Piccadilly Store to hear about their support for victims of domestic violence.

At the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, The Duchess met staff involved in its Covid-19 response and reopening process.

After 111 days with its doors closed, the gallery started welcoming visitors again on 8th July – the first major national art museum to reopen in the UK following lockdown.

Her Royal Highness told staff: “You’re the first gallery to open.

“I think it’s brilliant. Hopefully it’s going to inspire a lot of others to follow you on.”

The Duchess toured parts of the gallery, including the newly renovated Room 32, and saw the restored Anthony van Dyck painting, Equestrian Portrait of Charles I.

At Boots’ Piccadilly Store, The Duchess heard about the company’s support of the charity Hestia’s Safe Spaces programme for victims of domestic violence.

Beginning in May, Boots UK announced that it was working in partnership with the charity Hestia and its ‘UK SAYS NO MORE’ campaign to offer victims of domestic abuse access to safe spaces in Boots pharmacy consultation rooms across its 2,400 stores.

The Duchess of cornwall looks at washbags at Boots
The Duchess of Cornwall looks at Wash Bags during a visit to Boots

Once inside the consultation room, victims can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice, including information on Hestia’s Bright Sky app, which saw an increase of 47% in downloads during lockdown. 

In the first week of the spaces being available, it is estimated over 100 people accessed them.

During the visit, Her Royal Highness received an update on the Wash Bag Project, a scheme launched by The Duchess in 2017.

The scheme donates a wash bag of toiletries to Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) clients, providing them with some comfort at a difficult time.