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Duchess Camilla's sweet exchange with Geri Horner about Prince Charles revealed

Friendship never ends

The Duchess of Cornwall hit it off with former Spice Girl, Geri Horner, as she hosted a reception for winners of the Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition 2021 at St James's Palace on Thursday.

When Geri, who is a Royal Commonwealth Society ambassador, very sweetly asked after the Prince of Wales, the Duchess told her he was "fine", if a "complete workaholic".

When the singer, 49, told Camilla, 74, about a book she had read which claimed working is the key to a long life, the Duchess agreed, "Don't retire!" before joking: "That's not my problem."

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WATCH: Duchess Camilla's sweet exchange with Geri Horner

Geri famously made headlines when she defied royal protocol to kiss Prince Charles on the cheek during a charity gala in 1997. The royal and the Spice Girl were reunited in February 2019 at the Prince's Trust Invest in Futures reception, where Geri said of the future King: "He's part of our heritage and the landscape of the Spice Girls. We consider him as a Spice Boy."

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Camilla and Geri during their catch-up

The Duchess of Cornwall, who is vice-patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society, paid tribute to the "unity, purpose and friendship" of the Commonwealth, saying those who belong to it are "incredibly privileged".

During a speech at the prize-giving ceremony, Camilla said the 2.4 billion members of the Commonwealth "beautify life for one another".

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The Duchess with the winners and runners-up

The winners of the essay competition were Kayla Bosire, aged 16 from Nairobi, Kenya who flew to London to be presented with her award, and 13-year-old Ethan Charles Mufuma, who had a Zoom call with the Duchess from the British High Commission in Uganda.

Runners-up, who also visited St James's Palace, were Aditi Nair aged 15 from New Delhi, India, and Raisa Gulati aged 14 from Amritsar, India.

Judges included bestselling author Dame Susan Hill, author Hiya Chowdhury, head of research for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Dr Paul Edmondson, poet, painter and writer Sia Figiel, theatre maker Femi Elufowoju Jr, and Emeritus Professor Satendra Nandan from Fiji.

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