Duchess of Cornwall dons black to remember Sir David Amess in Southend

The Duchess of Cornwall cuts a sombre figure in a navy coat and black hat as she joins Prince Charles in making Southend-on-Sea a city in honour of murdered MP Sir David Amess

  • Camilla, 74, accompanied Prince Charles, 73, to Southend-on-Sea today as the Essex coastal town was officially made a city – in honour of town’s murdered MP
  • Bittersweet occasion followed years of campaigning by MP Sir David Amess, who was stabbed to death in October 2021 by a terrorist in Leigh-on-Sea
  • The Duchess of Cornwall wore a smart blue navy coat dress and black suede boots, with a matching wide-brimmed hat and black gloves for the public duty 
  • Prince Charles became the first working royal to condemn Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, saying the values of democracy are ‘under attack’

The Duchess of Cornwall reflected the sombre mood in Southend-on-Sea today, wearing a stylish navy and black ensemble as she helped Prince Charles finally make the Essex town a city – after years of campaigning by murdered MP Sir David Amess.

The royal, 74, who has recently recovered from a second bout of Covid, joined the future king on the official visit to the Essex coastal region, wearing a smart blue navy coat dress, frilled white blouse and black suede knee-high boots for the bittersweet public duty.

Camilla carried a classic Chanel clutch bag in navy and wore a wide-brimmed black velour hat and black gloves for the visit, in which she met the widow of late MP Sir David, who was killed on October 15th last year by a terrorist while he held a clinic for his constituents. 

An emotional Lady Julia Amess received the free man of the city honour on behalf of her late husband. 

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The Duchess of Cornwall, 74, accompanied Prince Charles, 73, to Southend-on-Sea today as the Essex coastal town was officially made a city. The royal chose a stylish navy and black ensemble for the public duty

Camilla chose darker colours – and accessorised with a classic Chanel bag – to mark the bittersweet occasion; Southend was officially granted city status following years of campaigning by local MP Sir David Amess – who was murdered in 2021 by a terrorist

Camilla carried a classic Chanel clutch bag in navy and wore a wide-brimmed black velour hat for the visit

Camilla holds a bouquet of flowers she was handed while chatting to members of the public in Southend on Tuesday 

The Duchess also added vintage jewellery for her visit to the east coast, wearing pearl drop earrings and an oval diamond brooch on her dress coat. 

Camilla appeared to be in good spirits and happy to be carrying out public engagements again following her latest recovery from Covid, which saw her isolating with Prince Charles for a second time.

Today, she took time to chat and shake hands with well-wishers who turned out to greet the couple, accepting bouquets from royal fans. 

On a grey day in the newly crowned seaside city, the royals also spent some time close to the water, posing for photos near the resort’s famous pier during their visit. 

The couple also visited the Western Esplanade, and the official granting of city status was broadcast to local residents on a big screen.  

Charles and Camilla arrive to greet members of the public during their visit to Southend, as hundreds of locals gather to look on

Charles and Camilla unveil a new eco-friendly Pier Train, named after murdered MP David Amess, during their visit to the Pier in Southend on Tuesday 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, leave the Civic Centre during a visit to Southend-on-Sea

Camilla looked chic in a navy pea coat, paired with a black hat, gloves, boots and a dark blue Chanel bag, while Charles donned a navy pinstriped suit paired with a patterned tie and grey shirt 

In a speech just after 11am, the Prince of Wales praised the town – now city – for coming together following the brutal murder of Sir David in the town of Leigh-on-Sea last year.

He told those gathered to witness the granting of the city status: ‘In the aftermath of Sir David’s brutal murder, the people of Southend-on-Sea came together in a remarkable and inspiring way to bring good out of evil.

‘In doing so, they demonstrated a deep truth: that what matters more than any name, whether of a person or a place, is the spirit.’  

Later during his speech, the future King of England became the first royal to condemn the attacks on Russia.

Sir David Amess (pictured), who had served as Conservative MP for Southend West since 1997, was murdered during a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15

An emotional Lady Julia Amess (pictured) received the free man of the city honour on behalf of her late husband

Camilla was all smiles as she clutched her Chanel handbag and shook hands with members of the public upon arriving to Southend on Tuesday 

The Prince said he ‘stands in solidarity’ with the citizens of Ukraine as he lauded Sir David for his dedication to the ‘values which underpin the society we share’.

He said: ‘We can only hope that those who are too often cynically dismissive of those in public life will look at his example of service.

‘No one could have given more for the values which underpin the society we share, values which appear all the more precious, at this present time, when we see more starkly than for many years, the appalling suffering and devastation caused when the path of violence is chosen.

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