Duchess buys festive gifts on charity visit

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The Duchess of Cornwall has bought two toy boxes as Christmas presents for her grandchildren while visiting a homelessness charity.

During a day of visits in Hampshire, she toured the Emmaus centre in Winchester before visiting the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at Southampton General Hospital and attending the fifth anniversary celebrations of the cruise liner Queen Victoria.

In her role as patron of the Emmaus homelessness charity, Camilla toured its centre in Winchester, which provides living accommodation and a furniture restoration area where the residents can learn new skills.

From the centre’s shop Camilla bought two toy boxes, one pink and one blue, which she said were for her grandchildren.

During the visit she met Terry Waite, who is the UK Emmaus chairman, and was also presented with a tennis table bat in the recreation area. Camilla said: “I love coming to all the Emmauses, you go in and there’s the most wonderful atmosphere, it really is very positive.”

The duchess, in her role as 
the president of the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) went 
on to visit doctors, nurses and 
patients in a dedicated centre 
at the Medical Research 
Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at Southampton General Hospital.

Her mother, Rosalind Shand, died in 1994 at the age of 72 as a result of osteoporosis and her grandmother died from the same condition eight years earlier.

Camilla has been president of the NOS since 2001, having previously been its patron since 1997.

An official portrait of the Duchess, painted by Richard Stone, was unveiled as she visited the Queen Victoria, which was marking its fifth birthday at Southampton cruise liner terminal.

The painting, commissioned by Cunard, is to be displayed in the grand lobby of the Queen Victoria which the Duchess named in December 2007.