News, Culture & Society

Duchess of Cornwall shares revealing ‘shelfie’ photograph showing her study as she works from home 

The Duchess of Cornwall this morning came out of a two-week self-isolation after Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus.

The royal couple have spent the last fortnight at their Birkhall residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, living in separate parts of the three-century-old property.

The couple were reunited today just three days before their 15th wedding anniversary, this coming Thursday. 

The pair were separated as a precaution when Clarence House confirmed the Prince of Wales had tested positive for coronavirus on 26 March.

He has since then spent seven days self-isolating in Scotland with ‘mild symptoms’. 

Charles, who finished his isolation a week ago, described being without family contact as ‘strange, frustrating and often distressing’.

The Duchess of Cornwall tested negative for the virus and is said to have displayed no signs of the infection.

Camilla has been keeping herself busy during the past 14 days by working from home, like so many, and catching up with family via video. 

The Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English warmly welcomes the Duchess of Cornwall back into society with the following words.

Camilla and Charles have been apart for 14 days while they self-isolated after the Prince of Wales tested positive for coronavirus

Camilla and Charles have been apart for 14 days while they self-isolated after the Prince of Wales tested positive for coronavirus

It is a delightfully chaotic room, crammed with letters, books, ­photographs and nick-nacks.

Look closely at the left-hand side and you can even see one of those plastic contraptions that dog owners use to throw balls propped up against the wall (Camilla has two rescue Jack Russells, Beth and Bluebell).

It all leaves the viewer feeling comforted by the fact that the Duchess of Cornwall’s working from home set-up at Birkhall in Aberdeenshire isn’t so very different from our disorganised own.

On her slightly battered desk is a jumble of papers, letters, biros and fountain pens. There’s even a card with the price tag attached– just £3! – made by a company amusingly called ‘Queen Bee’.

There are also a few more formal items, such as an inkwell, a blotter and a tartan stamp, along with a vase of spring flowers. But the overall effect is a charming form of organised chaos.

That’s emphasised by the jumble of boxes, bubble wrap, shopping bags and baskets, some still with price tags on them, that litter the floor behind her. On the bookshelf is a smorgasbord of reading material. There are books by crime and thriller writer Peter James and H is for Hawk, an award-winning memoir by Helen Macdonald about the year she spent training a northern goshawk.

JK Rowling is known to be a favourite of the duchess: there are several Harry Potters. Camilla previously told the Daily Mail how her grandchildren love Charles to read from them at night and revealed how he even does ‘all the funny voices’.

She also has Rowling’s adult novel, The Casual Vacancy. There’s also a copy of The Riviera Set by Mary S Lovell, which follows the lives and loves of American actor Maxine Elliott who infiltrated the British upper classes and hung out with the likes of Noel Coward and Winston Churchill. It is also possible to spot J by Howard Jacobson, a Booker-listed dystopian novel. Daily Mail writer Robert Hardman’s celebrated biography of the monarch, Our Queen, also makes an appearance.

Before all this - Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, together at Sandringham

Before all this – Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, together at Sandringham

The bookshelves are also covered with family pictures. A photograph of her daughter Laura Lopes and son-in-law Harry, along with her grand-daughter Eliza when she was a bridesmaid for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can be seen as well as one of the duchess with her arms around all of her five grandchildren.

There’s also a picture of her son Tom, cuddling grandson Freddy, and another showing three of her grandchildren dressed as guardsmen.

Horses and dogs feature frequently: There are several pictures of her Jack Russells –she has owned at least five.

One blurry picture appears to be of the Queen surrounded by her closest family members, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

There are also several showing what are believed to be her parents Bruce and Rosalind, including shots taken at what appear to be country shoots.

Duchess salutes ‘wonderful’ volunteers

By Rebecca English, Royal Editor 

The Duchess of Cornwall has hailed Britain’s ‘wonderful’ army of volunteers as they march into action from today.

Camilla, 72, praised the 750,000 members of the public who have already reported for duty to help the NHS through the crisis, saying: ‘I salute each one of you – and thank you with all my heart.’

She added that Health Service staff would be encouraged and supported by ‘the presence of so many wonderful volunteers’. The duchess was speaking as she returned to work after two weeks of self-isolation following her husband Prince Charles’s positive test for Covid-19.

The duchess is patron of the Royal Voluntary Service, which is managing the nation’s call to arms. She also surprised a pensioner in self-isolation, phoning Doris Winfield, 85, of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, to ask how she was coping without her family and friends. The 85-year-old said she regularly speaks to her three daughters but lives alone and misses her friends and social life.

Mrs Winfield said: ‘Having a chat with the duchess meant the world to me. It’s really cheered me up.’

In the 20-minute call made from her Scottish retreat at Birkhall, Camilla admitted the most difficult thing was not being able to hug her five grandchildren. The duchess has spent the last two weeks on her own after Charles, 71, was diagnosed with the virus. She tested negative but followed official advice about isolating.

Yesterday she was reunited with him at Birkhall where they will remain until the crisis is over. The army of NHS Volunteer Responders will help with tasks such as collecting medicines from chemists, driving patients to appointments and calling to check on those isolating at home.