‘Shrinking before our eyes’: Camilla opens up about mother’s battle with osteoporosis

Oct 26, 2021
Camilla reveals her mother's battle with osteoporosis. Source: Getty Images.

Camilla Parker Bowles has opened up on camera about her mother’s battle with osteoporosis in hopes of raising awareness of the debilitating disease for younger generations.

The Duchess of Cornwall spoke with Gloria Hunniford for BBC One’s Morning Live Show detailing her mother’s struggle with the disease and witnessing her daily pain. The special feature interview was to mark World Osteoporosis Day.

“We just watched her shrinking before our eyes,” she said.

“It was terrible because we didn’t know anything about it, so at some point we thought: ‘Well, is she making a great fuss about all this?

“Occasionally when she moved or you touched her, she literally screamed and I remember when a friend of hers came in one day just to give her a hug, her rib broke. It was as bad as that.”


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Camilla stressed the importance of early intervention and warned young people they arent “immortal” and that she uses her mother’s story as a warning to her children and grandchildren.

“I would show them pictures of my mother, before and after she got osteoporosis,” she said.

“I would make them look at photographs and say, ‘Look, if you don’t take care, that’s what will happen to you’.

“I’d love to see more young people understand it, not just thinking, you know, ‘Poor old bats, we’re going to get old and that’s what’s going to happen to us.’ But actually understanding what actually happens and how they can prevent it.”

Camilla first became a supporter of the Royal Osteoporosis Society in 1994, following her mother’s death from osteoporosis, she went on to become President of the charity in October 2001. Since joining the charity she has taken an active role in raising awareness of the society’s work, by opening new care facilities and meeting people affected by the condition.

The Duchess spoke at a Clarence House event in 2016 regarding her motivation for her royal work with the charity.

“I became involved in it 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,” she said.

“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 had encountered.”


IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.


Have you or a family member struggled with osteoporosis?

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