HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visits Trinity Hospice Charity Shops in Kensington Church Street, W8

The Duchess of Cornwall visiting Trinity Hospice caused great excitement amongst the staff and volunteers. Clothes for sale were arranged and re-arranged, the floor swept, hoovered and swept again. Now they were ready.

At precisely 6.00 p.m a chauffeur driven car arrived flanked by motorcycles. Accompanied by Protection Officers she entered the Trinity House Book Shop, managed by Paul Claxton. Immediately it became very clear that she has two key skills – within a very short space of time she can put someone at ease and engage in good ‘small talk’. Paul showed her around the shop, decorated with old record covers, old magazine front covers and general ‘past ages’ paraphernalia. The shop has some wonderful first or signed editions and should be the first place for enthusiastic book lovers to visit. If you have children do please come along since it’s a genuinely child friendly book shop selling not only children’s books but also toys – and there’s a squidgy sofa too to make them feel at home.

Camilla surprised everyone by suddenly producing a bag full of books for Paul to sell in the shop, causing interjections from those watching with “Oh I’ve read that”, and “Oh I’ve got that” – no doubt, bearing in mind from whence they came, these books will go for a premium in the shop.

Next stop was the Trinity Hospice Clothing shop – designer clothes, pashmina and cashmere scarves, men’s new shirts and evening dresses can be found here. Debbie Woodall the Manageress showed The Duchess around and introduced her to staff and volunteers. The introductions very quickly became relaxed and informal “And this is so and so, she/he works on a Tuesday” “Ah so you’re a Tuesday girl”. And to the next person, “… and are you a Wednesday person then?” and so on.

Having had a good look round she noticed two celebration mugs marking her marriage to Prince Charles – unusual and rather collectible since two cups had to be issued due to the Pope’s death on the original choice of wedding date. Hence two china mugs for the same occasion, just different dates.

Just as she was leaving she spied some special Trinity Hospice bears. Immediately picking one up she declared she must have five for her grandchildren. Sadly there were only four available, but she gamely declared that one would have to go without. And more gamely, the Lady in Waiting paid for them!

Trinity Hospice is a wonderful charity which gives care to people with advanced illnesses within their own homes or at a hospice. They currently look after about 750,000 people across London. The Duchess of Cornwall is their Patron.

If you would like to support Trinity, please donate your books, records, clothes or toys to the shops in Kensington Church St. To learn more about this charity please see www.trinityhospice.org.uk

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/The Kensington Magazine





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