The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken openly about the devastating loss of her mother, and the crippling disease that she suffered from. Speaking at an event for the National Osteoporosis Society, of which she is president, the royal revealed how her mother's death pushed her to raise awareness about the debilitating disease.
“I became involved [with this charity] in 1994 after watching my mother stoically suffering the appalling pain and ignominy of this devastating disease, which in the end resulted in her early death at the age of 72.
Camilla was the guest of honor at the National Osteoporosis Society reception Photo: Getty Images
“I was determined, for my mama's sake, to find out more and to find a way of helping others avoid the same excruciating pain and disregard that she, and many of her generation encountered,” she continued.
To finish, Camilla concluded by saying, “We still have a long way to go. It is estimated that about three million people in the UK have osteoporosis. One out of two women over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of it and I'm sorry to say that men don't get away with it either. One out of five of them will suffer a fracture too.
“I can only hope and pray that, with your help, the next thirty years will find a cure for osteoporosis, so that future generations will be spared its ravages.”
The 68-year-old was supported at the event by her close family and friends including her son Tom Parker Bowles, daughter Laura Lopes, sister Annabel Elliott and Prince Charles's cousin Lady Sarah Chatto.
Also in attendance at the event was Downton Abbey creator Sir Julian Fellowes, a long-time supporter of NOS. “As you become older you become more aware of the illnesses that strike older people,” he said.
“The Duchess particularly has been fantastically helpful – the amount of publicity and interest she can generate has been really wonderful.”
By Emily Nash