The Duchess of Cornwall made this announcement via her Twitter page which she shares with her husband Prince Charles earlier today. The tweet read: “The Duchess of Cornwall has become Patron of the Mirabel Centre, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Nigeria that provides medical and psychosocial support to survivors of sexual violence.” In a statement by Her Royal Highness, she stated she was “delighted to become Patron of the Mirabel Centre Lagos.”
Camilla continued: “It is truly a trailblazing organisation, supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault as they seek healing and justice.
“Their vital work means that women no longer have to suffer in silence, and I am deeply grateful to all Mirabel’s wonderful staff and volunteers,” she wrote.
With Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall taking on a large number of royal responsibilities recently, body language expert Judi James has spoken to Express.co.uk about the Queen’s relationship with her daughter-in-law.
Prince Charles is the heir to the throne, and it is highly rumoured that Camilla will be made his Queen Consort, as opposed to Princess Consort as was originally planned in 2005 after their wedding.
With Camilla taking on such important responsibilities and highlighting serious issues around the world, it is a huge sign that the Queen trusts Camilla to represent the Royal Family in such a prominent way.
Judi said: “Camilla is increasingly profiled in the role of future Queen and at the cake-cutting ceremony we can see her next to the Queen, between her and Kate.
“The dynamic was interesting at that cake-cutting, though, and might have given some insight into the relationship between the two women.
“As the Queen brandished a large sword rather than a cake knife, Camilla looked increasingly concerned.
“However, she appeared reluctant and nervous about intervening directly, eventually nudging Kate as though suggesting it was more her place to intervene.
“Kate stepped back though, clearly mindful of the fact that the Queen needs no looking after and is allergic to fuss but Camilla still hovered as though, using signs of anxiety but apparently lacking the confidence to take action.
“The Queen tends to be an immaculate body language performer and masker, meaning there are few clues as to her genuine relationship or lack of it with Camilla, but it would be right to assume that Charles sees Camilla as a non-negotiable factor in his life and therefore anyone wanting to sustain a relationship with him is probably bound to take his wife as part of that package,” Judi explained.
“In terms of proximity, Camilla seems to have been slowly elevated to a frequent place at the Queen’s side and although there is little of the kind of signals of any easy-going genuine friendship and support from the Queen when she does, Her Majesty’s smile seems to suggest that Camilla should be seen as an important member of The Firm in her own right.”
Celebrating the news, Mirabel Centre released a statement on its Twitter page welcoming the Duchess as its first Patron.
In the statement, the centre’s founder, Itoro Eze-Anaba said: “It is an honour to welcome Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, as our first Patron.
“We have followed her work with charities working in the SGBV (Sexual and Gender-Based Violence) space, and have seen her commitment to survivor support.”
Optimistic that Camilla’s patronage would bring a positive difference to the centre’s operations, Eze-Anaba revealed the coronavirus pandemic had caused a surge in sexual assault cases, requiring the service of the centre.
“The current COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed the endemic nature of sexual violence.
“We have seen a huge number of children and women coming forward to report cases of sexual assault and rape.
“Our youngest survivor is a three-month-old baby and the oldest, an 80-year-old woman. We are confident that the support of the Duchess will make a difference,” Eze-Anaba said.
Since its inception in July 2013, Mirabel Centre, as Nigeria’s first Sexual Assault Referral Centre, has provided free medical care and psychosocial support for more than 6,000 survivors of rape and sexual violence.