The Duchess of Cornwall marked Armed Forces Day on Saturday by taking on an incredible new role – the Vice Patronage of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which the Queen has been patron of since 1953, is the Army’s national charity, formed in 1944 to provide a lifetime of support to soldiers, veterans and their families when they are in need.
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The Duchess has been made patron of ABF The Soldiers' Charity
Speaking of her new appointment, Camilla said: "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those in the Armed Forces, who steadfastly serve our country. "I am therefore delighted to become Vice Patron of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, an organisation of which Her Majesty is Patron, which does such wonderful work to support soldiers, veterans and their immediate families."
In the past year, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity have helped 70,000 members of the Army family in 68 countries across the globe and funded 92 other charities and organisations to deliver specialist services. While there is a British Army, there will be The Soldiers’ Charity.
Camilla has a close association with the military. Her father Major Bruce Shand was in the 12th Royal Lancers. She holds nine military appointments, including being The Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion the Rifles, and Commodore in Chief of the Navy Chaplaincy Service. The 72-year-old also holds four military patronages including being patron of the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory and the War Memorials Trust.
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Camilla has a close association with the military
The Duchess has also become patron of domestic abuse charity SafeLives. Camilla has met with survivors, frontline staff and professionals that work in partnership with SafeLives on many occasions over the past four years.
Speaking during WOW (Women of the World) online festival, Camilla said: "It’s not a nice subject to talk about and I think that’s been one of its problems. It’s been a taboo subject for so long that people just haven’t talked about it.
"As I’ve said before, silence is corrosive because it leaves the victims feeling both shame and blame. I wanted to lift the shroud of this silence, and get more women, children and men to talk about their experiences. And it is happening in a slow way, but it is such a traumatic experience that I think it becomes sort of locked into a compartment inside them, and it’s very difficult to find the key to unlocking."
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