Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 72, reveals impressive fitness regime that includes ballet and Pilates

The Duchess of Cornwall has revealed her lockdown exercise routine – and it includes pilates and online ballet classes.

Camilla, 72, became vice-patron of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) on Wednesday, and marked the occasion with a Zoom call with the academy’s president Dame Darcey Bussell and broadcaster Angela Rippon CBE.

During the call, the duchess revealed her own secrets to keeping in shape during lockdown, which includes the Silver Swans online ballet classes offered by RAD.

Silver Swans classes are specifically designed for over-55s, and have been adapted to be safe for older people.

Camilla visited RAD in 2018, where she met a group of Silver Swans, and observed a class in action with Rippon, the initiative’s ambassador.

She’s since visited more classes in New Zealand last year, and attended a few herself.

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CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 22:  Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall poses with the "Silver Swans" dancers as she attends an Active Elderly engagement at the Salvation Army Centre on November 22, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are on an 8-day tour of New Zealand. It is their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with Silver Swans dancers in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Getty Images)

As part of the video conversation, Camilla said: “I had certainly never done ballet before, and it doesn’t matter whether you have done ballet or not, it’s something that will make you feel better.

“It gives you a certain amount of confidence in yourself, it’s just a bit of discipline, which I think we all need in our lives.”

The classes are now running online as the world adapts to the coronavirus outbreak, and RAD has launched free lessons that are added every Wednesday.

During the call, the duchess, who is currently living in Birkhall with her husband Prince Charles, spoke about their life in lockdown.

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Dubbing Charles a “workaholic”, she said that during lockdown she and the prince were keen to keep encouraging their charities.

Speaking about her daily exercise, she said: “We have all got to keep active because if we don’t we will seize up, we won’t be able to get out of bed.

“It doesn’t matter if it is 10 minutes or 20 minutes, it just starts off the day.

“I do a combination of a bit of Silver Swans, a bit of pilates and a lot of walking, which I love.”

BATH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31:  Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall and Patron of St. John's Hospital, poses with members of the "Silver Swans" dance class as she visits the charity's almshouses and officially opens the newly refurbished Rosenberg House during a visit to Bath on January 31, 2017 in Bath, England. Her Royal Highness will meet local organisations supported by St John's as well as community groups who use the facilities and attend a reception for residents and supporters.  (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Camilla, with members of the "Silver Swans" dance class in Bath. (Getty Images)

The duchess also spoke about a lesson she had with some “ancient friends” saying: “We sort of clatter around together, and it makes all the difference.”

She admitted she had thought she would find herself laughing at her friends during the class, but it was so hard to concentrate on what she had to do, she didn’t notice what anyone else was up to.

Camilla went on to discuss her new role as RAD vice-patron, saying: “It’s a real honour for me to be asked. My visit there was so memorable, first of all because of the Silver Swans, but actually meeting everybody.

“It had a wonderful feeling of comradeship and also, it’s such a happy place. I think dancing makes you happy.”

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Her Majesty The Queen has been Patron of the Academy since 1953.

The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, as Charles and Camilla are known when they’re in Scotland, have been working throughout the pandemic, switching meetings and engagements to calls and video chats.

Charles was the first royal to open one of the NHS Nightingale field hospitals virtually, and Camilla has also opened one with a video message.

She’s also offered her support to charities who look after isolated older people, and made calls to some herself, to offer contact.

Camilla has spoken about missing hugging her grandchildren while she has to isolate from them.

Charles, 71, was diagnosed with COVID-19, but Camilla did not pick up the disease from him. They marked their 15th wedding anniversary in lockdown, and have had to celebrate various family members birthdays – including the Queen’s – via video-call.