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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall host a reception for Diamond Champions

29th November 2012

The Prince of Wales talks to Mrs Margaret Eunice Evans from Wales

The Prince of Wales talks to Mrs Margaret Eunice Evans from Wales

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to one of the country's oldest volunteers today recognised with a unique award marking The Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.

Their Royal Highnesses hosted a St James's Palace reception for 80 of the 480 recipients of the award which celebrates the volunteering of the over 60s and is run by older people's charity WRVS in honour of The Queen's 60-year reign.

Diamond Champion ambassadors include Kimberley Walsh who was invited to the event along with other celebrity supporters such as Gloria Hunniford, Phillip Schofield and Felicity Kendal.

One Diamond Champion Margaret Miller, 102, who has been named a Diamond Champion, along with almost 500 others, for her efforts working within her community.

For more than 70 years she has given her time freely to good causes in Glasgow and is still involved in the running of a stroke club in the city.

The Duchess, who with The Prince is Patron of the awards scheme, chatted to all her guests and when she met Mrs Miller, the frail 102-year-old insisted on standing up to greet her.

But The Duchess urged her to sit back down in her wheelchair and pointed to the elderly volunteer's Diamond Champion pin - which the royal had a significant role in helping to design.

Mrs Miller, who began volunteering in 1939 as a civil defence helper with the Women's Voluntary Services, said that The Prince’s involvement with the award was "a wonderful thought from a son for his mother."

She played down her volunteering saying it was simply down to her upbringing: "I was always told to treat people as I would treat myself."

The Duchess was today named as the President of the WRVS - a charity which was first launched as the Women's Voluntary Services in 1938.

David McCullough, Chief Executive of WRVS, said: "We are extremely grateful to The Prince and The Duchess for hosting a reception to recognise WRVS's diamond champions.

“We are also honoured to have The Duchess of Cornwall as our President. The interest she has shown in Diamond Champions and in our volunteers demonstrates her commitment to recognising the vital role volunteers play in society.

"With an ageing population, the work WRVS does to support older people is going to become ever more important and we hope that, with The Duchess's support, we will be able to recruit more volunteers to help older people live independently in their own homes.”