One of the criticisms that some people use against the Royal Family is that they don’t care about ‘ordinary’ people, but Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, proved the critics wrong last week, when she invited a trio of octogenarians to Clarence House to recognise their bravery in the face of two brutal robberies in one week.
Alice, 83, Mary, 88, and George, 89, are siblings who live together in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, but two weeks ago their house was broken into by armed robbers who stole £1,400 that the trio had set aside from their pensions and savings for animal charities.
Three OAPs visited Clarence House earlier this week, after they suffered two robberies in one week; a policeman wrote to The Duchess of Cornwall, who invited then to tea at her home (pic Daily Mail) pic.twitter.com/ouQkAvouPu
— Victoria Howard (@TheRoyalExpert) January 28, 2018
The first attack was during the day when the trio were expecting a delivery, but when Mary opened the door of the house she had lived in since 1969, a group of masked men barged past her and held the trio hostage as they raided their cupboards and drawers.
Just one week later, the house was robbed again; this time, £89 was all they could take. The sisters tried to fend off the raiders, and have the bruises to prove it.
Mary told reporters from the Daily Mail that: “Our home was our sanctuary, but now we have to push heavy boxes against the door at night in case someone tries to break in.”
When Sergeant Andy Le Geyt, the investigating officer of the case, heard about the sisters’ desire to meet a member of the Royal Family, he wrote a letter to The Duchess of Cornwall as the patron of the Silver Line, a call-in service for lonely older people.
Instead of visiting them in their home, as the sergeant requested, Camilla went one step further and instead invited the brave trio to London, for a tour of Clarence House and afternoon tea with the Duchess.
After the reception, Mary said: “We wanted to meet Camilla because she seemed the most down-to-earth and she didn’t disappoint. She was so gracious.
“She shook our hand and said she was sorry to hear about what we went through and that she was glad that we had not been seriously hurt. She was lovely. She was exactly how we hoped she would be – a very classy lady, with no airs and graces.
“It wasn’t just what she said – I don’t remember much of it as I was so excited – but that she treated us normally. She said she just wanted to do something special for us after what we’ve been through.”
The siblings were also treated to a tour of 10 Downing Street on what was their first visit to central London in 20 years.
Police officers at their local station also held a collection and raised more than £700 to compensate them for their loss.
When Sophie Andrews, CEO of Silver Line, heard about Mary, Alice and George’s bravery, she said: “A lot of people of their generation don’t want to be seen as weak and needy, but we want them to know that there is help and we can be that first port of call.”
You can see more pictures of the event here.