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Duchess of Cornwall says she's 'very, very honoured' about future Queen Consort title

The Queen expressed her wishes for her daughter-in-law in a statement

The Duchess of Cornwall has said she is "very honoured and very touched" about her new future royal title.

It marks the first time Camilla, 74, has spoken publicly about the Queen's wish for her to be known as Queen Consort when the Prince of Wales becomes King. 

READ: Prince Charles tests positive for COVID-19 for a second time

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WATCH: Hear Duchess Camilla's reaction about future Queen Consort title

A diner asked the Duchess about the monarch's statement as she officially opened UKHarvest's 'Nourish Hub' in west London on Thursday. The community kitchen has been designed to combat social isolation and loneliness.

The local man, who gave his name as DJ, 49, added: "How do you feel? Because people want to know."

Camilla told him: "I feel very honoured, very honoured and very touched."

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The Duchess officially opened UKHarvest's Nourish Hub in west London

On the eve of her Platinum Jubilee on Saturday, the Queen released a deeply personal statement, expressing her wishes for the monarchy in future.

"I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me," she said. "And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service."

Prince Charles reacted to the news in a personal statement to mark his mother's milestone on Sunday, saying: "We are deeply conscious of the honour represented by my mother's wish. As we have sought together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout."

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The Duchess spoke with staff and clients

Speaking afterwards, DJ said: "I just asked [the Duchess] what everyone wanted to know." He said of the new centre: "This place saved my life. About a year ago I was on the verge of doing something stupid. I am disabled, I’m epileptic and I was struggling.

"Coming here every day has changed my life. It’s given me conversation, people I can really trust. There should be more places like this. It's not just about food."

Touring the site in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, the Duchess met staff, volunteers, clients, trustees and partners before joining a cooking demonstration with recently arrived refugees. In the training kitchen, she joined members of the group Welcome West London, who were learning to cook an Iranian rice dish called Loobia Polo.

The Duchess, who is a keen cook, helped Aiman Al-Ruwishan, 29, from Yemen, to add saffron oil to the pan of steamed rice, which was layered with green beans, tomatoes, quorn mince, cinnamon and turmeric.

"How much should I add?" she asked him. "This adds some taste and it's lovely to get that yellow colour."

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Keen cook Camilla joined a cooking demonstration

Aiman, a trained surgeon, was forced to flee war-torn Yemen nine months ago after his life was threatened by Islamic extremists.

He said: "When I arrived, I had no friends or family here and it was really difficult for me. I found West London Welcome and I started going there, volunteering and meeting new friends and they have become my family."

Nourish Hub also features a working catering kitchen and dining area which offers a "donate as you dine" scheme so visitors can eat healthy nutritious food in return for a small donation.

Using seasonal, rescued produce that would otherwise go to waste, vegan and vegetarian meals are freshly made each morning by a team of chefs.

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Camilla was given a posy of flowers at the Nourish Hub

The Duchess was shown the Hub's electric delivery bike, which has helped to deliver some of the 1500 meals provided to elderly and vulnerable people in the community last month alone.

Inside the main kitchen, she met the Hub's head chef Oli Way and UK Harvest chef Simon Thresher, who were preparing the day's menu with volunteers Kai and Vitus. The team prepares up to 200 meals for diners visiting the hub each day and offer different cultural menus to reflect the local community.

"My goodness that must keep you busy!" said Camilla. "Never a dull moment."

The purpose-built space is run by UK Harvest and has received £2.3 million in funding from Hammersmith and Fulham Council, as well as £1.1million from the Mayor of London's Good Growth Fund to help communities tackle food waste while coming together to eat and learn essential skills for life.

After unveiling a plaque to officially open the Hub, which has been operating since October, Camilla said: "I want to congratulate everyone who has been a part of this. I think you've done a brilliant job. The minute you walk in here there's this lovely, uplifting, cheerful feeling and what you are doing, bringing people together, getting people talking over food.. many congratulations to you all."

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Earlier in the day, the Duchess visited Paddington Haven

The Duchess chatted to regular diners including Faiza Bellili, a community interpreter who volunteers at the Hub and Gianni, 59, who did not want to give his surname.

Italian born Gianni, who presented the Duchess with his own posy of flowers, said afterwards: "I've always been a big fan of Camilla and I wish her all the best because she deserves it. People like her now because she's bringing a lot of attention to people who need it. She cares about people and she is making an impact. I will remember her shaking my hand for the rest of my life."

Aiman, who cooked with Camilla, added: "She was really friendly and when I told her I came from Yemen, she said 'I hope we are treating you well'. That was very kind. She said she likes to cook and I told her it's good for mindfulness and relaxing."

Stephen Cowan leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council, said of the royal visit: "It’s great that the Duchess of Cornwall took the time out to come and support this frontline project. Her shining a spotlight on it is really crucial because it's really important that charities like this can bring issues like this [food poverty, food waste] to the fore. She was charming, she was very interested in how the scheme came about and in how people have benefitted from it."

Nourish Hub is part of UKHarvest, which operates a food rescue and redistribution operation, and they use this edible surplus food throughout their menu. Their efforts have prevented more than 1500 tonnes of food going to waste, provided over 5.5 million meals to vulnerable communities and helped upskill and educate more than12,000 people to fight food waste in the home. UKH expects to deliver at least 5 million meals in 2022.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, around 700,000 UK households used a food bank, while data from the Trust for London found that almost one third (31 per cent) of residents of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham were living in poverty in 2020. 

With additional reporting by HELLO!'s Online Royal Correspondent, Danielle Stacey.

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