Duchess Camilla’s notes to royal fans feature heartfelt photo that reveals her secret passion

Duchess Camilla’s thank you notes reportedly showcase one very special detail

Duchess Camilla of Cornwall , Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles, undertakes her first visit to 5th Battalion The Rifles, following her new appointment as Colonel-in-Chief on May 7, 2021 in Bulford, Wiltshire
(Image credit: Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Duchess Camilla has reportedly sent personal thank you notes to those who congratulated her and Prince Charles on their 16th wedding anniversary and they included a particularly meaningful photo. 

Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles’ 16th wedding anniversary on April 9 was not the joyful occasion we might have expected, but a day of great sadness, as Prince Philip passed away at Windsor Castle. Despite the couple's immense grief at the loss of such a pivotal member of the Royal Family, however, it seems that they still received a number of well-wishes from royal fans this year.

Now it’s been claimed that Duchess Camilla has sent personal thank you notes to all who wrote to them—and they included one very special detail. According to Hello! magazine, the Duchess of Cornwall’s notes featured a picture of her and Prince Charles taken at their Gloucestershire home, Highgrove House, in October 2020 after a particularly exciting arrival. 

It's thought the picture in question could be the wonderful one taken by photographer Izzie Milligan, which was posted by the Clarence House Instagram account last year. It shows the couple alongside beautiful life-size elephant sculptures that had been delivered that week. 

The statues were part of an initiative by Elephant Family, a charity Camilla's late brother Mark Shand founded. After Mark passed away in 2014, Camilla and Prince Charles went on to become Joint Presidents of Elephant Family. According to Hello!, she reflected last year on how much seeing the elephants, which were made by artisans in southern India, would have meant to Mark.

"I think they're so beautiful and my brother, who founded the charity, I think if he saw all these elephants now scattering across the south-west of England, he’d be so proud", she declared. 

"When sadly he died, having raised a lot of money for the charity and my husband and I took it on, I don't think he would have believed how well it could have [gone]."

Duchess Camilla of Cornwall, poses next to models of elephants at the British High Commissioner's residence in New Delhi, India, November 8, 2017

(Image credit: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton via Alamy)

These were just four of 125 elephant sculptures that had been due to migrate through London's Royal Parks over the summer as part of the charity's environmental art campaign, CoExistence. Sadly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these plans were put on hold and instead Camilla asked friends and acquaintances if they could temporarily display some of the elephants. 

One of those who responded was bestselling novelist Jilly Cooper, who provided a temporary home for two elephants in her Gloucestershire garden.  

As reported by ITV.com, Camilla explained at the time that it was an “elephant corridor” across the south-west of England, reminiscent of the one Elephant Family is trying to create to protect elephants in India. 

"Wherever my brother is”, the Duchess said, glancing towards the sky. “I'm sure he will be praying that they'll make a lot of money for the charity.”

Duchess Camilla of Cornwall talks with her brother Mark Shand as he gives her a tour of the Elephant Parade at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea on June 24, 2010 in London, England

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Duchess Camilla’s love of elephants and devotion to continuing her brother Mark’s work is echoed in other areas. In a video clip recently shared by the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room Instagram, she offered royal fans a glimpse at her stylish study during a chat with author Edna O’Brien. 

On the side, a stunning silver-gold elephant ornament can be seen, whilst there appear to be several smaller elephants on the desk in front of the window.

These no doubt remind Duchess Camilla of her brother and their shared love of these wonderful animals.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.