LONDON (AP) — Britain's Queen Camilla, not always known for having an easy time with reporters, stepped into the lion's den on Monday, praising the role of journalists in society as she delivered the keynote address at the Foreign Press Association's annual awards ceremony in London.
She shouldn't have worried much. King Charles III's consort was mobbed as she arrived for the event. London-based foreign correspondents surrounded her as she mingled with the finalists. With cellphones raised over their heads, glasses of Campari swishing, they jostled for a better view and a chance for a chat.
Camilla, who was criticized by Britain’s tabloids during the breakdown of Charles' first marriage, praised the work of foreign correspondents, particularly in the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.
She won laughter and appreciation when she took a self-deprecating swipe at herself.
“There are journalists in my family, and I have even been the subject of one or two stories myself over the years,'' she said. ”I have also had the opportunity to visit a significant number of newsrooms and have seen how tough your work is. Particularly, if I dare say so, for women, who, despite the many hurdles they have faced, have been among the bravest reporters of all.''
The FPA is the oldest and largest association of foreign correspondents in the world. It was founded in 1888 by foreign journalists who came to London to cover the case of Jack the Ripper.
Camilla was made an honorary member of the association, following in the footsteps of the king.
“There are not many associations who can show off that they have two crowned kings and queens as their honorary members,” FPA director Deborah Bonetti said as she presented the honor.