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Duchess of Cornwall reveals hidden skill in the kitchen as she gets stuck in with a lunch club

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President, Royal Voluntary Service, serves up a trifle dessert as she works in the kitchen during a visit to the Royal Voluntary Service Mill End lunch club in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire on October 8, 2020, to meet volunteers who have overcome recent challenges posed by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to reinstate the much-needed lunch sessions. (Photo by Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
No mere trifle: The Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President of the Royal Voluntary Service serves up a trifle dessert. (AFP)

The Duchess of Corrnwall has revealed a secret skill as she helped serve up lunch for pensioners at a club in Hertfordshire.

Camilla, 73, has previously talked down her cooking talents, but appeared to be pretty comfortable when it came to desserts.

As she got stuck in in the kitchen alongside volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service, she proved a dab hand at piping cream on top of the individual trifles.

She was at the club in Rickmansworth at the invitation of her pen pal Doris Winfield, who she has been writing to throughout the pandemic.

The duchess and Winfield met in person for the first time, having struck up a friendship when the royal helped with the ‘check in and chat’ programme started by the RVS.

She told her friend: “You said to me to pop in if I was ever passing, so I have!”

RICKMANSWORTH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President of the Royal Voluntary Service, works in the kitchen, piping cream onto a trifle dessert, during a visit to The Royal Voluntary Service Lunch Club on October 8, 2020 in Rickmansworth, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Camilla worked on the desserts, piping the cream onto the trifles. (Getty Images)
RICKMANSWORTH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President of the Royal Voluntary Service, works in the kitchen, placing raspberries on a trifle dessert, during a visit to The Royal Voluntary Service Lunch Club on October 8, 2020 in Rickmansworth, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Camilla tops the trifles off with raspberries during a visit to The Royal Voluntary Service Lunch Club. (Getty Images)
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President, Royal Voluntary Service, wears a facemask and faceshield as she serves lunch during her visit to the Royal Voluntary Service Mill End lunch club in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire on October 8, 2020, to meet volunteers who have overcome recent challenges posed by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to reinstate the much-needed lunch sessions. (Photo by Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Camilla helped cut up one diner's dinner. (AFP)

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Winfield, a mother-of-three said: “She’s just a lovely, lovely lady. She has taken time out to speak and write to me without anyone knowing about it.

“Lockdown was a very lonely time for people like me, I really missed coming here. I used to come every day and now I only come two [days a week].

“Her letters cheered me up no end.”

Camilla was also pictured helping to cut up lunch for one woman, who is blind. According to the Daily Mail, Camilla popped the dinner down in front of Kay Francis, who then asked: “Aren’t you going to cut it up?”

The duchess turned back and said: “Of course I will. More than happy to help.”

Francis, 96, was oblivious to the royal hands helping her with her lunch, and said: “Sorry, I can’t see.”

“Not to worry, I don’t think I can see either,” Camilla replied.

Back in the kitchen, Camilla expertly piped trifles before topping them with raspberries and dishing them up, joking: “I feel like one of those contestants on MasterChef!”

Camilla is the president of the Royal Voluntary Service, and told the volunteers she was “proud” to be part of the RVS after helping out with the lunch club.

Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President, Royal Voluntary Service, wears a facemask as she meets Doris Winfield, 86, during her visit to the Royal Voluntary Service Mill End lunch club in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire on October 8, 2020, to meet volunteers who have overcome recent challenges posed by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to reinstate the much-needed lunch sessions. (Photo by Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cornwall meets Doris Winfield, 86, her pen pal through the pandemic. (AFP)
RICKMANSWORTH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall departs after visiting The Royal Voluntary Service Lunch Club on October 08, 2020 in Rickmansworth, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
The duchess wore a Fiona Clare dress and a Burberry coat. (WireImage)
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President, Royal Voluntary Service, gestures during a visit to the Royal Voluntary Service Mill End lunch club in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire on October 8, 2020, to meet volunteers who have overcome recent challenges posed by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to reinstate the much-needed lunch sessions. (Photo by Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
She met volunteers and people who benefit from the lunch club. (AFP)

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The club had to close during the lockdown but has managed to reopen to give isolated elderly people a much needed social lifeline.

Elaine Hewitt, one of the volunteers tweeted: “I’m a volunteer at that lunch club and was there today. HRH was great with all the diners and volunteers, she really got stuck in! We had to close down during lockdown and some of our elderly diners were isolated and lonely. The Duchess’ visit gave everybody a real lift.”

Camilla’s son Tom Parker-Bowles, has forged a career in the culinary world, but revealed during an interview on Radio 5Live that he and he mother argue about food.

Talking about cooking in his mother’s kitchen he said: “We argue in the kitchen, she would say I was doing something wrong, I would moan her knives are blunt or [there’s] not enough light, so it’s best if we keep separate.”

Camilla said: “Tom is a very good cook, and he is dead right, he loves everything very, very hot, he adores chillies, I’m afraid to say I don’t.

“He complains about my kitchen, he says I’ve haven’t got the modern stuff, everything’s wrong, my knives are blunt.”

RICKMANSWORTH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President of the Royal Voluntary Service, wears a face shield as she helps serving meals during a visit to The Royal Voluntary Service Lunch Club on October 8, 2020 in Rickmansworth, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Camilla had a visor and a mask on at certain points in the day. (Getty Images)
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in her role as President, Royal Voluntary Service, wears a facemask and faceshield as she serves lunch to Doris Winfield, 86, during her visit to the Royal Voluntary Service Mill End lunch club in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire on October 8, 2020, to meet volunteers who have overcome recent challenges posed by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to reinstate the much-needed lunch sessions. (Photo by Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
She wore the mask and shield when she was serving up the food. (AFP)

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Camilla wore a Fiona Clare dress and a Burberry trench coat for the visit, and kept a blue face covering on when she was inside.

She also added a plastic face visor when she was serving food.

Camilla’s husband, Prince Charles, tested positive for COVID-19 back in March, but Camilla’s test came back negative.

Watch: Camilla meets patients and staff on St Bart’s visit