Her Majesty is passionate about supporting older people in the community.
In 2019, The Queen (when she was The Duchess of Cornwall) wrote an article for The Telegraph on loneliness at Christmas. Her Majesty wrote:
Most of us know what it is like to be lonely at some time or another, but for more and more elderly people loneliness is their daily routine. All too easily, the stoic older generation can become isolated through bereavement, illness, disability, or simply because they live far from their relatives. In today’s busy world, they do not want to be a burden to their friends and families, but days without any human contact can seem endless.
As The Duchess of Cornwall, she became Patron of The Silver Line, a free confidential helpline set up by Dame Esther Rantzen for older people experiencing loneliness.
In 2018, The Queen attended the annual ICAP Charity Day in support of The Silver Line. During the visit, Her Majesty made a phone call to 87-year-old Margaret Laverick from Melrose, Scotland. Mrs Laverick is a regular client of The Silver Line and has struck up a friendship with Dame Esther since using the service.
Her Majesty also became President of the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), who ran the Coronation Champions Awards in 2023 to celebrate the work of extraordinary volunteers across the UK.
At the start of Volunteers’ Week in 2020, The Queen (then The Duchess of Cornwall) said:
This year in particular, we owe a great debt of thanks to all our wonderful volunteers, who have stepped forward in astonishing numbers, pulling together to support those affected by COVID-19. As the very proud President of the Royal Voluntary Service, I should like to say that you truly are the backbone of our country. To each and every volunteer – thank you from the bottom of my heart.
In 2021, The Queen (as Duchess of Cornwall) joined The late Queen Elizabeth II on a video call to thank RVS volunteers for their hard work, one year on since the launch of the NHS Volunteer Responders Scheme.
The then Duchess herself got involved with the programme by undertaking a ‘check-in and chat’ over the phone with Doris, 85, who has spent the last two weeks self-isolating.
As Vice Patron of the Royal Academy of Dance, Her Majesty supports the Silver Swans programme which encourages older learners of all abilities to learn ballet.
In 2022, Her Majesty formally opened the new state-of-the-art Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) global headquarters. During the visit, The then Duchess was introduced to RAD students training to become dance teachers, before watching a Silver Swans ballet class for learners aged over 55.
A Silver Swan herself, The Queen joined Angela Rippon and Darcey Bussell in conversation to discuss the benefits of dance at an older age, during the pandemic.
In 2017, The Queen, when she was The Duchess of Cornwall, hosted a tea party attended by the Royal Osteoporosis Society and representatives of Strictly Come Dancing at Buckingham Palace. The dance aimed to highlight the benefits of older people staying active.