Three queens, a princess and two first ladies meet at Buckingham Palace to campaign against gender violence

Queen Consort Camilla hosted her first official reception, which was attended by over 300 guests, to raise awareness about a UN initiative to protect women and girls

From left to right, Countess of Wessex, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Camilla, Queen Rania of Jordan, Princess Mary of Denmark, First Lady of Sierra Leone Maada Bio and First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, at Buckingham Palace on November 29.
From left to right, Countess of Wessex, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Camilla, Queen Rania of Jordan, Princess Mary of Denmark, First Lady of Sierra Leone Maada Bio and First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, at Buckingham Palace on November 29.POOL (REUTERS)

For the first time since her proclamation as Queen Consort in September, Camilla hosted an official reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. The event was attended by other members of world royalty such as Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Rania of Jordan, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Countess Sophia of Wessex. The reception aimed to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, and was part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign organized annually by the United Nations.

Some of Camilla’s guests have been involved for years in the battle to eradicate violence against women. Mary of Denmark, who is married to Crown Prince Frederik, has been working for years to promote equal rights for girls and women around the world; Queen Rania of Jordan is a leading reference in the battle for female empowerment in the Arab world. Sophia, Countess of Wessex, who is married to Prince Edward (Elizabeth II’s youngest son) does work to prevent sexual violence in war-torn countries.

Queen Consort Camilla with the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska at Buckingham Palace on November 29, 2022.
Queen Consort Camilla with the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska at Buckingham Palace on November 29, 2022.IAN JONES/BUCKINGHAM PALACE (via REUTERS)

Around 300 people attended the reception at the palace, most notably the first ladies of Sierra Leone, Maada Bio, and of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, who shared her personal experience about the ongoing war in her country. There were also familiar faces that included former Spice Girl Mel B, the British actress Hayley Atwell and the journalist Fiona Bruce, as well as politicians, ambassadors, survivors and their family members, as well as representatives of charities that Camilla collaborates with, such as SafeLives, Women’s Aid and Refuge.

“Throughout the world, individuals and organizations are coming together to call for the prevention and the elimination of violence against women and girls. Why? Because, over a period of 16 days worldwide, more than 2,000 women will be killed by a partner or a member of their own family,” said Camilla in a speech that was shared on Twitter by Daily Mail reporter Rebecca English. “We are uniting today to confront, rightly, what has been called a global pandemic of violence against women.”

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