Queen suggests pop-up shops in schools could help children suffering domestic abuse

Queen Camilla
The Queen said talking about bad experiences was important for all age groups - Yui Mok/pa

The Queen has suggested young domestic abuse campaigners host pop-up shops in schools nationwide.

Camilla, 76, told four young women working with the SafeLives charity, of which she is patron, that she thought it would be brilliant if they could encourage children to speak about their experiences and promote healthy relationships.

The Queen welcomed the Changemakers, aged 15 to 20, to Buckingham Palace to discuss how to help young people experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse in their lives.

The group enjoyed a one-hour round table discussion in the Music Room on Tuesday, where Changemaker Maya, 20, described how they had been to Parliament to ask Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, about the possibility of adapting the curriculum.

The Queen said: “You’re virtually the same age as my granddaughters and I was talking to one the other day and I was suggesting taking pop-up shops into these schools.

“Say two or three Changemakers, it would be such a good idea because then they could all come and ask questions.

“To get around schools would be a brilliant idea.”

The Queen with young pioneers from SafeLives
The Queen met young Changemakers from SafeLives - Yui Mok/PA

Camilla has five grandchildren; Lola, 16, Frederick, 13, Eliza, 16, and 14-year-old twins Louis and Gus.

She said it was important to be able to spot when somebody was down, but she acknowledged that could be tricky as younger people did not always want to admit it.

“I have found this in talking to older people as well,” she said. “By talking about their experiences it becomes easier.”

She added: “It’s brilliant what you are doing and it’s certainly something you could talk about in schools.

“When you get it into the classes more people can get involved.”

Maya told the Queen that outreach was part of their work.

“Children need to feel less alone and feel stronger,” she said.

“We met Gillian Keegan and discussed ways they are trying to change the curriculum, it’s absolutely vital we can make changes.”

The Queen, then Duchess of Cornwall, became patron of SafeLives in 2020 and has spent years working to highlight the effects of domestic violence and coercive control.

Ellen Miller, the charity’s chief executive who also joined the meeting, said: “Our research shows that children and young people are too often being let down.

“They want more from their relationships and sex education classes, and they are being continually missed by professionals and misunderstood by the adults around them. They rarely see themselves reflected in the domestic abuse services that exist.

“I know after meeting the Changemakers, Her Majesty felt energised and renewed in her commitment to stopping abuse before it starts, before it ruins lives.”