The Duchess of Cornwall became the President of Royal Voluntary Service in December 2012.
The Duchess of Cornwall, together with the Prince of Wales, was Patron of our search for the UK’s Diamond Champions - older people who give their time to improve the lives of those around them – which demonstrates her commitment to recognising the vital role volunteers play in society.
The Presidency came at a pivotal time in Royal Voluntary Service’s history as we celebrated our 75th anniversary in May 2013 and showcased the vital role our charity has played in the lives of many from its launch as the Women’s Voluntary Services in 1938 to the role it plays helping address the needs of the day in local communities and supporting the NHS.
Most recently in March 2021, Royal Voluntary Service’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall, joined a video call to thank four volunteers for their invaluable support throughout the pandemic.
Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness spoke to and thanked two Royal Voluntary Service volunteers and two NHS Volunteer Responders who have been supporting members of their community who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II became Patron of WVS on 22 July 1952 and in 1966, in recognition of the organisation’s work for the people of Great Britain, Her Majesty granted WVS the honour of adding Royal to its title, from then on being known as WRVS until 2013 when the organisation changed it's name once again to Royal Voluntary Service.
Her grandmother Queen Mary was the first Patron, granting her Patronage to WVS only three days after the organisation had been formed by Lady Reading on 20 May 1938 and her mother Queen Elizabeth was President of WVS from December that same year.
As Princess Elizabeth, Her Majesty the Queen visited WVS headquarters in London on several occasions during and after the war and we have always been willing to assist our Patron in whatever way we can. We packed and dispatched food parcels from presents sent as wedding gifts to Her Majesty and HRH Prince Phillip in 1947, helped sort and reply to the Silver Jubilee mail.
Image top: The Duchess of Cornwall visiting Dolau Bran Lunch Club in Llandovey as it celebrated its 40th anniversary in July 2019.
Image 2: Video call to volunteers in March 2021.
Images 3 & 4: Our Patron - Her Majesty The Queen meeting WRVS volunteers at the opening of Queen Elizabeth Close, Norwich, in April 1975. The Close was a housing development for older people built by the WRVS Housing Association.