Camilla cuts up food for pensioner in community centre visit to serve lunch

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The Duchess of Cornwall cut up food for a blind pensioner during a visit to a community centre to help prepare and serve lunch.

Camilla was visiting the Mill End Community Centre in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, in her role as patron of the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), one of the largest volunteering organisations in Great Britain.

As she placed a steaming plate of gammon, mash potatoes, carrots and peas in front of Kay Francis, 96, she was asked: “Aren’t you going to cut it up?”

Volunteers tried to step in, but the duchess said: “Of course I will. More than happy to help.”

“Sorry, I can’t see,” replied Kay, oblivious as to who was helping her.

“Not to worry, I don’t think I can see either,” Camilla responded.

The duchess was at the Mill End lunch club which provides hot meals and company for elderly people in the area.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was open five days a week but can now only cater for a smaller number of people four days a week.

Doris Winfield, 86, who invited the duchess, said she was delighted to meet her in person at last, after secretly speaking together since spring by telephone and letter.

The mother-of-three said: “She’s just a lovely, lovely lady. She has taken time out to speak and write to me without anyone knowing about it.

“Lockdown was a very lonely time for people like me, I really missed coming here. I used to come every day and now I only come two.

“Her letters cheered me up no end.”

While serving the lunches, the duchess joked: “I feel like one of those contestants on MasterChef!”

Pointing to the visor she was wearing, she laughed and added: “I can’t see a thing, this is all steaming up!”

Camilla also stayed on to decorate the trifles for pudding with cream, chocolate sprinkles and raspberries, joking: “I’m not very good at this bit.”

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As her visit came to an end, the duchess told the diners: “I’ve tried my hand in the kitchen, not very successfully, but I just wanted to thank all the volunteers, you do the most wonderful job.

“I am very proud to be part of the RVS, I am sure all these ladies here appreciate how much you do.

“I hope everyone will get up and do their bit to volunteer.”