Charles and I are like ships passing in the night

As well as the Royal children in the public eye she has five grandchildren from her previous marriage, aged 12 to 14.

“We learn from very young people and they learn from us too. That’s the way it’s always been. You know the nice thing about being a grandmother is that you can spoil them occasionally, give them more of the things that their parents forbid them to have,” she said. “The girls are beginning to get into clothes and make-up and, you know, it’s rather frightening when you see them, coming out with pierced ears and a lot of new make-up and funny colored hair and stuff.”

She indicated she would carry on her work “as much as she can” once she becomes Queen Consort on Prince Charles’s accession to the throne.

“You can’t desert things that you’re in the middle of,” she said. “There’s a lot of things to be done still.”

The Duchess emphasized that a central part of that is her work with survivors of domestic violence.

“I think we all know somebody who it’s happened to. I was hearing it too often, from friends who knew friends, and I thought maybe I ought to look into it to see if there was somewhere for me to help,” she said. There’s been such a taboo. People can still love the people that abuse them, and feel such guilt and such shame that they think it’s their fault, so they bury it. It becomes a sort of terrible hidden secret.”

Asked whether she considers herself a feminist in today’s world she gave an emphatic answer.

“I meet so many women who I find totally inspirational. Those are the stories I love hearing. People who started with no confidence and they go on to make a mark in the world and fly the flag for women,” she said.

The July issue of British Vogue is available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday 21st June.

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