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The Duchess of Cornwall pays an 'uplifting' visit to London hospice

Emily Nash
Emily Nash - London
Royal EditorLondon
February 10, 2016
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Her husband may be one of Britain's most successful living artists, but the Duchess of Cornwall does not enjoy painting alongside him. Camilla, 68, admitted she is left wanting to throw her "toys from the pram" whenever she joins the Prince of Wales for an art session.

Charles has sold more than £6m worth of prints of his own watercolour works over the past 25 years, making him one of the country's best-selling painters. But his wife revealed she does not share his talent during a visit to the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London.

She told retired doctor Peter Copeman, who was enjoying an art therapy class: "He's so good I get frustrated and give up," adding that sitting next to the heir to the throne as they both painted left her wanting to "tip out my toys from the pram."

"I wish I had more time, I do it very badly," she added.

camilla1 © Photo: PA

The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London

Peter, an outpatient at the centre, had the Duchess in stitches as he talked her through his own depiction of an Italian landscape. "If you're seeing a figure coming around the corner there, she's got my gin and tonic," he said.

Charles is well known for his work as a watercolourist but his wife has also tried her hand at painting and received private tutoring from an artist many years ago.

Camilla took over as patron of the Royal Trinity Hospice from the Queen Mother, and was visiting on Wednesday to mark its 125th anniversary. The hospice cares for around 1,500 patients a year and has a 28-bed inpatient care unit as well as outpatient services.

camilla2 © Photo: PA

Camilla met patients who were taking part in therapy, exercise and reflexology sessions

The royal was shown rooms where outpatients were taking part in complementary therapy, exercise and reflexology sessions.

She also met Paulette Gregory-McQueen, 50, who was enjoying a reflexology treatment and was struggling to stay awake.

Paulette, who has a rare form of cancer called Thymoma, said: "I finished chemotherapy in October and I started this a month ago. My circulation is really poor and I have lots of pain through my nerves so this has been a Godsend to me."

"I've had it done and it's wonderful. It completely relaxes you," replied Camilla.

camilla3 © Photo: PA

"This all smells delicious. Any chance of joining in here?" said the royal, as she sampled different essential oils 

The Duchess then joined a wellbeing class for outpatients, who were sampling different essential oils to use for hand massages. She told them she had enjoyed similar treatments in India, adding: "This all smells delicious. Any chance of joining in here? I think I might stay here for a bit."

Before leaving, Camilla praised the hospice's efforts, saying: "Every time I come here I see something new. It seems to go from strength to strength. It's a pretty special place. You don't think of hospices as being uplifting, but you come here and you go out feeling better."

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