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Camilla highlights cause close to her heart

07 november 2012, 17:06
0
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. ©AFP
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. ©AFP
Prince Charles's wife Camilla spoke Wednesday of her mother's death from osteoporosis as she used the royal couple's Australian tour to highlight a cause close to her heart, AFP reports.

The Duchess of Cornwall said she was determined to bring attention to the crippling bone disease during her first trip Down Under, part of a tour by royals to Commonwealth countries to mark Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee.

"I watched my mother die in agony from this disease," said the duchess, who is president of Britain's National Osteoporosis Society, during a stop at an Osteoporosis Australia function in Melbourne.

"I was determined, when I came to Australia, that I was going to get an osteoporosis reception and I have."

Camilla has previously spoken about her horror "as my mother shrunk in front of our eyes".

Beryl Logie, president of the Melbourne osteoporosis support group, told reporters she spoke to the duchess about losing her own mother to the condition.

"I said we have a lot in common. I know what it's like to watch your mother suffer from fractures and you can't do a thing about it," she said.

"She was very understanding."

While Camilla battled to keep her emotions in check, Charles spoke at a housing symposium to champion design and sustainability before the relaxed couple left for Adelaide to visit a winery.

At the Penfolds vineyard, they sipped a glass of 1962 Coonawarra Cabernet Kalimna Shiraz while sampling a selection of South Australian food, with Charles reportedly describing the risotto as "frightfully" good.

Winemaker Peter Gago told reporters the royal drop was from a batch of only 425 cases, with just a handful of bottles still in existence, and he was surprised they actually drank it rather than simply smelling and sipping.

Charles and Camilla began the Australian leg of their tour in the remote Outback town of Longreach on Monday, following a successful visit to Papua New Guinea.

They are due to take in Hobart, Sydney and Canberra before leaving for New Zealand on Saturday.

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