Camilla: I’ve been missing my grandchildren during the lockdown

The Duchess of Cornwall has confessed to missing her grandchildren during the coronavirus lockdown but has been enjoying spending time outside in the garden.

Camilla’s comments came in a call to an elderly user of the Silver Line, a 24-hour helpline for older people feeling lonely or in need of support, which she represents as patron.

Silver Line’s founder Dame Esther Rantzen joined the call and the trio talked about the Second World War, with the duchess praising the wartime generation saying they “have extra strength for the situation we are in now”.

“Just like during the war, this situation brings the best out of people,” she added.

The duchess, who has spent the lockdown with the Prince of Wales in their Scottish home, chatted to a 90-year-old from Hampshire, only identified by her first name Betty, who has spoken to the royal in the past.

Camilla (centre) chats to Silver Line user Betty (left) and the helpline's founder Dame Esther Rantzen.
Camilla (centre) chats to Silver Line user Betty (left) and the helpline’s founder Dame Esther Rantzen (Clarence House)

Camilla, who has five grandchildren and is known by the nickname GaGa, said: “I really miss my grandchildren. That’s the really strange thing about it, not being able to see your grandchildren and giving them a hug.”

Dame Esther and Betty also talked about how they were missing their grandchildren but all three women were enjoying spending time outside in the garden.

After expressing regret that the country is unlikely to have VE Day commemorations in person with the veterans this year, the duchess added: “It’s so important that people share their memories of the war.

“I think that the people who lived through it have extra strength for the situation we are in now. Just like during the war, this situation brings the best out of people.

“You hear such wonderful stories of people helping others. Your generation was always very modest about these things. We will never see the like of your generation again. People were always thinking about others, and about duty and service and respect and manners. Those are the things I associate with your generation, Betty.”

The Duchess of Cornwall with Dame Esther Rantzen (right) during a visit to the Blackpool offices of the Silver Line. Richard Martin-Roberts/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cornwall with Dame Esther Rantzen (Richard Martin-Roberts/PA)

The duchess commented about how her father, who was wounded and taken prisoner while fighting in north Africa during the war, was reticent about talking about his military service.

She said: “My father was a soldier in the war and we could never get him to talk about it.

“But when the grandchildren came along, he started talking about it and we got him to write a small book about it. I think it was a huge load off his mind to be able to tell people about it.”

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