It’s not often we see the Duchess of Cornwall out and about, much less at a seniors’ event! But the Royal didn’t miss the opportunity overnight to survey the wares of her peers at GrandFest in London.
Perhaps one of her more quirky interactions with commoners yet was a woman who spins her dog’s hair into wool. Camilla barely blinked an eyelid as she looked over Elizabeth Lee’s work. The 75-year-old explained her new-found hobby of spinning yarn out of hair she brushes from her white Samoyed, Zoe, reports the Telegraph.
Mrs Lee told Camilla that she got the idea because the dog’s hair is beautifully soft and “it’s a shame to waste it”.
The Duchess kindly responded, “It must be very therapeutic. I think I would get myself tied up in knots!”
“It takes about three hours to spin 1 ounce of wool”, said Mrs Lee.
“You must be very patient”, said the Duchess.
Camilla attended the launch of the festival as the President of the Royal Voluntary Service and met about 6 of those who will be showing the younger generation their skills.
As President, The Duchess of Cornwall, together with the Prince of Wales, champions older people who give their time to improve the lives of those around them.
The Duchess was also introduced to the former ballet dancer Wayne Sleep, 68, who became an ambassador for RVS because his mother Joan was a uniformed volunteer for the Women’s Voluntary Service.
He said: “I can remember my mother doing demonstrations of how to protect yourself against nuclear fallout in the event of a nuclear attack. I doubt it would have been at all effective, but it put people’s minds at rest because something was being done and the WVS were doing it.
“My mother would have loved this event because volunteering played such an important part in her life.”
Mr Sleep, who will be performing a tap dancing routine at GrandFest, said the Duchess asked about his BBC series The Real Marigold Hotel.
“She loves India and asked me if I was going back,” he said.
Camilla also met bakers who had started the hobby later in life. “There’s hope for all of us!” remarked the Duchess.
She was highly complimentary of the crafts on display, commenting on a knitted child’s cardigan saying it was so sweet and lamenting that “it’s something I always wished I could do”.
GrandFest is a one day festival, to be held in Spitalfields (East London) on June 5, that celebrates the craft skills of the older generation. 12 ‘GrandMakers’ will demonstrate their talents to a younger generation in the hope that will continue their skills, reports the Daily Mail.
David McCullough, CEO of the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We just want to demonstrate that our older generation is full of wonderful, transferable skills”.