The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Royal Academy of Dance

The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Royal Academy of Dance today and met older people taking part in a Silver Swans ballet class. 

The classes, specifically designed for older learners, are aimed at improving mobility, posture, co-ordination and energy levels and are led by teachers who have been trained to safely adapt ballet techniques for over 55s. The Duchess was shown a ‘tendu’ move by broadcaster Angela Rippon and singer and actress Elaine Paige. The tendu is the action of stretching your leg and foot out from one position to another, while keeping it on the floor.

Angela Rippon said: "It was wonderful to meet HRH The Duchess of Cornwall today and for her to see a Silver Swans class in action.

"Ballet is fabulous exercise for body mind and spirit, particularly as we get older."

The Duchess also watched a Project B class - an initiative which focuses on encouraging boys to take up ballet.

The Royal Academy of Dance was founded in 1920 and received its Royal Charter from King George V in 1936. Her Majesty The Queen is the academy’s Patron.

The Duchess of Cornwall later visited Fine Cell Work's Hub in Vauxhall and met ex-offenders and their mentors to learn about how training in professional creative needlework and craftwork has helped them remain crime-free upon release.

The Duchess of Cornwall talks to former prisoners during a visit to the Fine Cell Works Hub in London
The Duchess talks to former prisoners during a visit to the Fine Cell Works Hub in London

Her Royal Highness helped sew some back-stitches into an almost-finished creation of her blue monogram - a letter C under a crown - crafted by one of the ex-prisoners.

The Duchess joked: "This could be my finest hour in stitching... I'm glad I've got my specs on."