Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has today attended a Commonwealth Day Big Lunch at Barn Croft Primary School in Walthamstow, East London.
Following on from yesterday’s Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey, and ahead of her visit with husband Prince Charles to open the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month, Camilla joined pupils as they baked breads, with recipes from across the Commonwealth, in readiness for Big Lunch.
The Big Lunch is organised by the Eden Project and was originally launched in 2012, as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations; Camilla was their patron The initiative encourages communities to have lunch together in the spirit of friendship and fun. Last year nine million people attended Big Lunches.
Barn Croft – a mini Commonwealth in its own right, Barn Croft has 25 different languages spoken across its community – welcomed the Duchess to their school by waving flags from the 53 Commonwealth nations, before she put on an apron and joined them in the school kitchens to help them bake the breads.
The Duchess helped them to bake Australian Olive Damper Bread and Indian Naan bread; her son, Tom, has said in the past that she is a ‘very good English cook’, so we imagine the bread was good!
Camilla then gave the school a rather large cake.
The Duchess said the Big Lunch can help “lonely people who probably never see anybody from day to day” to find friends.
After the baking session Camilla listened to the pupils reciting poems about the Commonwealth. Afterwards she said: “Thank you to all of you for having me here today.
“I’m very proud to be part of The Big Lunch. It’s a wonderful way to get people together.”
On Monday the Royal family attended a service to mark Commonwealth Day, during which The Queen praised the ‘Commonwealth connection’ which makes diversity ‘a cause for celebration’.
The Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, said: “Through exchanging ideas, and seeing life from other perspectives, we grow in understanding and work more collaboratively towards a common future.
“There is a very special value in the insights we gain through the Commonwealth connection; shared inheritances help us overcome difference so that diversity is a cause for celebration rather than division.”