Camilla keeps fit with lockdown ballet workout

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The Duchess of Cornwall has guest edited the Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall has been keeping fit during the lockdown with ballet workouts – despite putting her back out with her dance moves.

Camilla revealed her unusual exercise routine when she guest edited the Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live, raising a number of issues from domestic violence to the role of volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the pre-recorded interview, she talked about how she was inspired seeing the “completely brilliant” Silver Swans class for elderly ballet dancers during a visit to the Royal Academy of Dance in 2018 with the initiative’s ambassador Angela Rippon.

She also highlighted how she believes coronavirus has exacerbated the issue of domestic violence, saying: “I think we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg and I think after lockdown the numbers are going to be so horrific.”

Camilla watching Silver Swans dancers during an active elderly engagement at the Salvation Army Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand. Chris Jackson/PA Wire
Camilla watching Silver Swans dancers in Christchurch, New Zealand (Chris Jackson/PA)

Among the guests on the show were actress Dame Judi Dench, who talked about becoming an unlikely social media star following her appearance on the video-sharing site TikTok with her grandson, and Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles, a food writer.

Speaking about her love of ballet, the duchess said: “I gathered together a group of likely candidates in the form of friends, same age as me, and I said ‘look, you know, we’re going to be Silver Swans’, they all howled with laughter and said ‘you must be joking’.

“So I said ‘come on let’s give it a go’, so we all arrived in our black leggings and T-shirts ready for the dance. We did think we’d be getting complete hysterics but we all had to concentrate, we concentrated so hard you don’t dare look to the left or right.”


She quipped: “I did hear the odd crash to my left and right.

Duchess guest edits BBC Radio 5 Live show
Camilla was interviewed by Emma Barnett for her radio show at Clarence House (BBC)

“But then I managed to obviously do something wrong, did something to my back so I’ve laid off it for a bit, but I can’t wait to get back to it again – you feel so well afterwards.”

During a live appearance on the show the duchess said she had now returned to her ballet workout and did it every morning for 20 minutes.


Camilla also discussed her passion for campaigning for the end of domestic violence, and her involvement with the charity SafeLives.

Speaking, in the pre-recorded chat, about how she became involved with the domestic abuse organisation, Camilla recalled hearing a story about a man who used a hammer to kill his wife.

“I don’t think any of us could believe what we were hearing. I could feel the tears starting to drip down my face,” the duchess said.

Camilla joined the three-hour radio show towards the end for a live chat, and said life in lockdown had left her less of a “technophobe” after she had found the internet useful.

And after her husband the Prince of Wales had revealed he lost his sense of taste and smell when he contracted coronavirus, she said his senses “sort of comes and goes a bit”.

The duchess added: “I was hopeless with the internet, I didn’t even like it either. As I said before, I thought ‘what an annoying thing’ you know, it’s doing all these terrible things.

“But the minute I got into lockdown and I’ve lived with the internet. We’ve seen family, we’ve talked, we’ve laughed, we’ve joked, we’ve, you know, we’ve done everything with it.”

Dame Judi, a friend of Camilla’s, joined the show recorded at Clarence House via phone, and said Government aid for the arts will be “spread very thin” but she is grateful for the intervention.

In a lighter moment, she said about her appearance on social media: “I love TikTok stardom, I love it better than anything.”

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