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Duchess of Cornwall backs efforts to stamp out FGM

The Duchess of Cornwall has given her backing to efforts to stamp out female genital mutilation (FGM), according to a leading campaigner.

The Duchess of Cornwall (right) talks with a guest during a reception for the Southbank Centre's Women of the World festival Credit: Press Association

Anti-FGM charity founder Nimco Ali said Camilla gave the "royal seal of approval" during a reception for the Southbank Centre's Women of the World festival, which starts next month.

Actress Natascha McElhone (left) speaks with the Duchess of Cornwall during a reception for the Southbank Centre's Women of the World Credit: Press Association

The co-founder of the Daughters of Eve charity said: "Camilla said she thinks the campaign is terrific and she heard about the stuff we're doing. She said she was impressed with the work and wanted more information about the campaign."

Camilla's support comes after the Equality and Human Rights Commission today wrote to Norman Baker, the minister responsible for the Government's strategy to combat FGM.

In the letter to the minister, the EHRC expressed concern that the £100,000 fund identified for charities to raise awareness about FGM is inadequate.

Read: Government to tackle female genital mutilation

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Queen & Camilla decorate tree with royal baubles

The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall have helped to decorate a Christmas tree with a pair of specially-made royal baubles, to mark the opening of Barnardo's new headquarters.

The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall got in the festive spirit today when they helped decorate a Christmas tree - with a pair of royal baubles.
The Queen and Duchess of Cornwall got in the festive spirit when they helped decorate a Christmas tree. Credit: PA

The Queen's decoration was made of red velvet, covered with gold coloured thread and featured her cypher below a crown and a floral pattern around its edge.

Her daughter-in-law's had a similar design, but was made from blue velvet and featured her cypher surrounded by a ring of white beads.

The specially-made royal trinkets hung on the tree by the Queen and Camilla.
The specially-made royal trinkets hung on the tree by the Queen and Camilla. Credit: PA

The Queen made sure she reached up to find a good spot for her festive decoration on the tree at the leading children's charity's new multi-million pound purpose-built building headquarters in Barkingside, East London.

Siblings Skye, aged eight, and seven-year-old Summer, who are supported by a Barnardo's children's centre in Essex, presented the baubles to the royal pair and also gave them Christmas stockings filled with tree decorations from the Barnardo's shop.

Camilla supports Sri Lanka women and children's groups

The Duchess of Cornwall has spent the final day of the eleven-day royal tour visiting charities that help women and children in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Women in need centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Women in Need centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Credit: PA

Camilla visited the Home Start centre, which was funded by Leeds City Council to help educate and help local mothers and their children, and the Women in Need centre, also in the Capital.

The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Home Start centre, which was funded by Leeds City Council.
The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Home Start centre, which was funded by Leeds City Council. Credit: PA

Charles and Camilla began their trip in India, before visiting Sri Lanka, where the prince yesterday opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which has been overshadowed by accusations that the host nation's regime committed human rights abuses when it ended a civil war.

Read: Camilla: 'Charles the most difficult person to buy for'

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Camilla: 'Charles the most difficult person to buy for'

Prince Charles has been described as the "most difficult person in the world" to buy a present for by his wife the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Prince of Wales celebrates his 65th birthday today and Camilla revealed that Charles's usual reaction to her presents is one of poorly disguised disinterest:

"I spend ages trying to find something that is really wonderful and then (he says) 'Oh, thank you very much".

Prince Charles and Camilla pictured during their tour of India which ends later today. Credit: PA Wire

"It so annoying. So he likes to make a list of things that he wants so you get it exactly right. I find this time of year impossible as it's his birthday and then it's Christmas, so you have got two in a row. Everybody else is easy but he is not."

However, the Duchess of Cornwall believes this year's present will please him: "Well, he collects a lot of things and it is something special - china - that I have found. It's what he really likes. And I know he will be happy with that."

Charles will be spending his birthday in India, before the Royal couple fly to Sri Lanka ahead of the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting tomorrow.

Read: Prince Charles guest edits Country Life to mark birthday

Prince Charles visits Mumbai mosque

The Prince of Wales has visited a unique mosque today that is one of Mumbai's most important religious and tourist attractions.

Prince Charles visited the tomb of Saint Haji in Mumbai. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Charles, who has a deep interest in Islamic art and culture, was given a guided tour of the Haji Ali Mosque, built on a small outcrop a few hundred metres from the Indian shoreline in the city formerly known as Bombay.

The Prince of Wales views restoration work during a tour of the Haji Ali Mosque Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

It is part of a wider complex that contains the resting place of the Muslim saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.

During his visit the Prince was shown ongoing restoration work to conserve the monument that has been damaged over the years by sea water.

Charles and Camilla are currently on day six of their visit to India.

Royals join Bollywood stars at charity dinner

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall joined a host of Bollywood stars at a black tie charity fund raising dinner on the fourth day of their eleven day tour of India and Sri Lanka.

The pair with billionaire Mukesh Ambani (second right), his wife Nita (second left) and Kajol Devgan (left) and husband Ajay (right)
The pair with billionaire Mukesh Ambani (second right), his wife Nita (second left) and Kajol Devgan (left) and husband Ajay (right) Credit: PA

Charles and Camilla rubbed shoulders with famous Indian actor Gulshan Grover, Ajay Devgan - an action hero star of more than 80 Bollywood hits - and his wife Kajol Devgan, one of India's most successful actresses, as well as veteran Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid.

Bollywood film star Ajay Devgan, pictured with his wife Kajol, performed at the event.
Bollywood film star Ajay Devgan, pictured with his wife Kajol, performed at the event. Credit: PA

The dinner was staged by the India Advisory Council of Charles's charity the British Asian Trust (BAT), and was hosted by the world's wealthiest Indian, Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata, whose family trust company owns Jaguar Land Rover and Corus steel.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the black tie fundraiser.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the black tie fundraiser. Credit: PA

The black-tie do promoted the work of the BAT, which was formed in 2007 to help channel donations from UK Asian philanthropists to good causes in the Indian sub-continent.

Read: Delhi slum school bake birthday cake for Charles' 65th

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