Camilla chats with pal Joanna Lumley and shares a joke with Dame Zandra Rhodes

‘Ladies and gentleman…if I’m allowed to call you that!’ Camilla takes a poke at woke brigade in speech at 75th birthday celebration at The Oldie Luncheon attended by Joanna Lumley and Dame Zandra Rhodes

  • Duchess of Cornwall hosted The Oldie Luncheon in London to mark birthday
  • Camilla will be celebrating her 75th this weekend on Sunday 17 July 
  • Royal was snapped chatting with her friend Joanna Lumley at the event today
  • Meanwhile she also shared a joke with Princess Diana’s dresser Zandra Rhodes
  • Others attending included Sir Trevor McDonald and author Jilly Cooper

The Duchess of Cornwall took an affectionate poke at woke in a speech yesterday when she joked to assembled guests: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, if I am allowed to call you that.’

Camilla, 74, appeared to be making a light-hearted reference to the national debate over whether people should be addressed by ‘their pronouns’ – such as she/her he/him and they/them – as part of the gender identity debate.

Her reference at a lunch to celebrate her 75th birthday thrown by The Oldie magazine prompted amused laughter among her audience.

Clarence House said it was up to others to interpret her remark but aides suggested it was in keeping with the ‘irreverent’ spirit of the lunch, hosted by her friend presenter and author, Gyles Brandreth.

The Duchess of Cornwall took an affectionate poke at woke in a speech yesterday when she joked to assembled guests: 'Ladies and gentlemen, if I am allowed to call you that'

The Duchess of Cornwall took an affectionate poke at woke in a speech yesterday when she joked to assembled guests: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, if I am allowed to call you that’

The annual event at the National Liberal Club brought together 120 national ‘treasures’ including Dame Joanna Lumley, Lord Lloyd Webber, actors Jeremy Irons and Nigel Havers.

Meanwhile others in attendance included model Twiggy, Felicity Kendal, Sir Trevor McDonald and Lucia Santa Cruz, the Chilean historian who introduced Prince Charles to Camilla back in 1971.

In a speech the duchess touchingly vowed to follow Prince Philip’s example in her future approach to royal duties.

The future Queen Consort said: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh’s philosophy was clear: ‘Look up and look out, say less, do more – and get on with the job’ – and that is just what I intend to do.

The Duchess was presented with a two-tier cake decorated for her upcoming birthday at the event

The Duchess was presented with a two-tier cake decorated for her upcoming birthday at the event 

Princess Diana's dresser Dame Zandra Rhodes appeared to share a joke with the Duchess during the event

Princess Diana’s dresser Dame Zandra Rhodes appeared to share a joke with the Duchess during the event 

The annual event at the National Liberal Club brought together 120 national 'treasures' including Dame Joanna Lumley, Lord Lloyd Webber, actors Jeremy Irons and Nigel Havers

The annual event at the National Liberal Club brought together 120 national ‘treasures’ including Dame Joanna Lumley, Lord Lloyd Webber, actors Jeremy Irons and Nigel Havers

‘You might not believe it, but I have actually been trying to keep quiet about reaching three quarters of a century – and, as you see, have failed dismally.’

Referring to her year of birth she said: ‘I know that some of you were around in 1947 – by the way, a vintage year for claret. 

It was also the year when the first of the Ealing Comedies was released, the school leaving age was raised to 15, Gardeners’ Question Time was first broadcast, the University of Cambridge admitted women to full membership and soft loo paper went on sale for the first time, in Harrods – much to the nation’s relief.

‘It was also in 1947 that the then-Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten – two of the most remarkable people in our country’s history

Her reference at a lunch to celebrate her 75th birthday thrown by The Oldie magazine prompted amused laughter among her audience

Her reference at a lunch to celebrate her 75th birthday thrown by The Oldie magazine prompted amused laughter among her audience

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was among those who gave a speech during The Oldie Luncheon

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was among those who gave a speech during The Oldie Luncheon

She added: ‘Both he and Her Majesty have always been the very touchstone of what it truly means to ‘get on with the job’, and an inspiration to each one of us here to do the same, whatever our age.’

Opera singer Sir Willard White, 75, led guests in a rendition of Happy Birthday before a surprise for Camilla: her son, Tom Parker Bowles and his daughter, Lola, 15, Camilla’s eldest grandchild, wheeled in an Earl Grey tea and dark chocolate truffle birthday cake that was taken later to be shared with Chelsea Pensioners.

The royal was snapped speaking to good friend Joanna at the luncheon, before she was seen sharing a joke with  Princess Diana’s dresser Dame Zandra Rhodes.

Others in attendance at the event included broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald and author Jilly Cooper.

Others in attendance at the event included actress Felicity Kendal and Chelsea pensioner Roy Palmer

Others in attendance at the event included actress Felicity Kendal and Chelsea pensioner Roy Palmer

The joyful group were in high spirits at the celebratory event at National Liberal Club in London

The joyful group were in high spirits at the celebratory event at National Liberal Club in London 

Camilla could be seen sharing a few words with broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald during the event this afternoon

Camilla could be seen sharing a few words with broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald during the event this afternoon 

Meanwhile the 74-year-old, who will celebrate her milestone birthday on Sunday, also chatted with actress Penelope Keith

Meanwhile the 74-year-old, who will celebrate her milestone birthday on Sunday, also chatted with actress Penelope Keith 

The Duchess opted for a vibrant blue floral dress for her outing in London this afternoon with friends

The Duchess opted for a vibrant blue floral dress for her outing in London this afternoon with friends 

Gyles Brandreth, Roger McGough, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall chatted with Joanna Lumley during The Oldie Luncheon

Gyles Brandreth, Roger McGough, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall chatted with Joanna Lumley during The Oldie Luncheon

The royal appeared in high spirits ahead of her milestone birthday this weekend (pictured, with Giles and Joanna)

The royal appeared in high spirits ahead of her milestone birthday this weekend (pictured, with Giles and Joanna) 

The cake was decorated with symbols of Camilla’s life, including her coat of arms, her Jack Russells, Bluebell and Beth, her racing colours, and her beloved books.

It comes ahead of an ITV documentary airing in which the Duchess opens up about her childhood and gives royals fans a glimpse of the Hampshire manor where her grandparents once lived.

The Duchess of Cornwall visits Hall Place for Camilla’s Country Life, a one-off programme, set to air tomorrow, which followed the royal as she undertook her role as Guest Editor of Country Life magazine.

The hour-long insight, made by Spun Gold TV and award-winning director Michael Waldman, also sees the Duchess revealing she buried her sister’s teddy bear in the garden as a child and only admitted to the misdemeanour decades later.

Meanwhile author Jilly Cooper shared an affectionate greeting with the Duchess this afternoon

Meanwhile author Jilly Cooper shared an affectionate greeting with the Duchess this afternoon 

Camilla also exchanged a few words with Princess Diana's dresser Dame Zandra at the luncheon today

Camilla also exchanged a few words with Princess Diana’s dresser Dame Zandra at the luncheon today 

Elsewhere, it shows Camilla attending the Royal Cornwall Show this year, where she was invited to taste a range of products including cider and vodka – before joking: ‘I’m still standing… they didn’t fell me!’

The Duchess is the cover star of the Country Life magazine after asking a photographer she knows well to take the image – the Duchess of Cambridge.

Camilla commissioned Kate after she was asked to guest edit the latest edition of the publication to mark her 75th birthday later this month as well as the magazine’s 125th anniversary.

The documentary about her guest role is set to give a unique insight into the future Queen Consort, as she immerses herself in her personal passions and engages with some of those closest to her.

Viewers will see the Duchess visit Hall Place, previously the Hampshire home of her grandparents and the focus of the architecture feature in Camilla’s guest edit of Country Life magazine, with her sister Annabel Elliot.

Elsewhere in the programme, the Duchess is seen visiting the Royal Cornwall Show and spots a rose named after her: ‘It’s very disease-resistant. I can recommend it.’ 

After being invited to taste a range of products including cider and vodka at the show, the royal jokes: ‘I’m still standing… they didn’t fell me!’

The documentary follows Camilla as she plans and oversees a special edition of Country Life during the magazine’s 125th anniversary year, alongside performing her regular royal duties and engagements.

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