Tackling taboos and bestowing honours royal leading ladies keep calm and carry on as the king and kate recuperate

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The Queen accepts a pretty posy of spring flowers as she visits Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service (above) and is greeted by flagwavi ng school children outside the town’s Deacons jewellers (right).
In London, she meets staff at Refuge’s Gaia Centre (left) as she continues to raise awareness of violence against women and girls

As the King and Princess of Wales recuperate after undergoing surgery, the royal family’s other senior women have been holding the fort.It was business as usual last week for the Queen, the Princess Royal and the Duchess of Edinburgh, who all stepped out on official engagements around the country.And after His Majesty chose to share the news in January that he needed treatment for an enlarged prostate, with the aim of raising awareness of the issue, this time it was his wife and sister-in-law who were breaking taboos.While Camilla, 76, was meeting survivors of domestic violence, Sophie, 59, was having a frank discussion about periods at a girls’ school in London. Meanwhile, Princess Anne, 73, who regularly tops the list of the busiest royals, carried out seven engagements – four of them in one day.The Queen, a long-standing campaigner on domestic violence, spoke about her efforts to shine a spotlight on the issue during a visit to a specialist hub in South London, run by the charity Refuge to support survivors of violence against women and girls.


“I’ve been trying to get out there and talk about it and stop it being a taboo subject, which it has been for years,” Her Majesty said.“I particularly salute all the survivors who are able to get out there, talk to me, talk to everybody and tell other people about what they’ve been through, because they are going to save lives by getting others to come forward.”

Camilla, who was at the Gaia Centre in Lambeth, also recalled how she met the chair of Refuge, Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, eight years ago, after Hetti’s best friend Joanna Simpson was beaten to death by her estranged husband, former British Airways pilot Robert Brown.“It’s only when I sat down and listened to these heartbreaking stories that I realised how terrible it was and how deep it was,” she said.

Sophie is more candid than ever as she takes part in a menstrual health workshop with Professor Dame Lesley Regan (together above right) and pupils (below) at Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich in southeast London


A day earlier, Her Majesty had been in Wiltshire to visit the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service and Deacons jewellers,

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