Camilla greets horses and sees cancer support charity in Aberdeen

The Duchess of Rothesay, as Camilla is known when in Scotland, carried out a day of engagements in Aberdeen today, visiting three charitable organisations.

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Her first stop was at HorseBack UK to undertake a tour of the centre and meet with the centre’s clients, staff and horses. The organisation was founded in 2009 and helps military personnel with mental and physical rehabilitation through horsemanship and outdoor activities, as well as children struggling in school.

During the visit, the Duchess met Pinky and Patrick, which are miniature horses, Brook, an ex race horse and patted River, who was fathered by a stallion at Balmoral.

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Talking to veterans, mentors and children, Camilla said: “I’ve heard so much about HorseBack UK from so many people and organisations, some of which I work with in the south.

“I’m so impressed with all that you do here. Everybody working together as a team, and you get no better team than people working together with horses. I hope a lot more people will be able to benefit from this wonderful charity.”

About the visit Jock Hutchison, founder of the charity said: “I think we were on to a winner – for anybody that likes horses this is not a bad environment to bring them into.

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“I was very impressed with her knowledge of horses. I think for any charity to get the support of royalty is a major boost because we are very determined for more people to know what we do and to help more people. So it’s a huge boost for us and we’re very grateful to Her Royal Highness for visiting.”

To mark the organisation’s 10 year anniversary, The Duchess of Rothesay cut a fruit-topped Victoria sponge cake. It was Camilla’s first visit to the charity and before leaving she said: “Now I know where you are, I’ll be back.”

Camilla also visited Maggie’s Aberdeen to meet with staff and visitors supported by the cancer centre. The charity offers free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer, as well as their families and friends.

During the visit, Camilla met Gillian Hadden, who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and her sons Kieren and Josh. Gillian said: “I know how important the support Maggie’s offers to people with cancer is, as I have been there myself and I think it is lovely that Her Royal Highness has returned to see our Aberdeen centre again.”

The Duchess of Cornwall visited the centre for the last time in 2013, as she opened the facility accompanied by Queen Sonja of Norway.

Camilla’s last engagement of the day was at Aberdeen Journals. The Duchess toured their new offices and presented an award to the winner of the Aberdeen Journals’ junior journalist competition. The children’s task was to design a newspaper front page about a topic close to their hearts.

Ava Duncan and Finlay Mannion were presented with a trophy and teddy bears by the Royal, who was impressed by their story about plastic pollution.

Ava said: “It was very exciting and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Camilla said she liked our topic about plastic as it’s a very major issue.”

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