Royal Ice Cream Date! Camilla and Judi Dench Beat the Heat at Queen Victoria's Holiday Home
Hollywood royalty catches up with real-life royalty!
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Dame Judi Dench — who has portrayed Queen Victoria (twice!) as well as Queen Elizabeth I during her legendary acting career — joined forces Tuesday at Queen Victoria’s former holiday home on the Isle of Wight. Dench, who is patron of the Friends of Osborne House, welcomed the royal to the island after she arrived at the monarch’s private beach.
Osborne House was built between 1845 and 1851 by the architect Thomas Cubitt, Camilla’s great-great grandfather, who also built the main facade of Buckingham Palace in 1847.
Of course, no day at the beach is complete without an ice cream cone. The pair stayed cool as they chatted over a vanilla treat adorned with a candy stick. At one point, the 83-year-old actress even offered a napkin to Camilla, who wore a white dress with a string of pearls for the solo outing, when the dessert began melting onto her chin in the 75-degree heat.
While the ice cream might have been welcome in the warm weather, Camilla admitted that what she really wanted was a swim in the water. “The temptation is great to have a quick dip like the Queen did,” she said.
Dench was set to show Camilla around the Osborne House estate including the newly restored Durbar Room, one of the locations for the film Victoria and Abdul in which the star played Queen Victoria.
The pair looked at framed pictures taken during the making of the movie. “Ah, here you are, Judi,” Camilla said, as the actress reminisced about staying at the North House hotel in Cowes during the filming.
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Camilla also met members of staff and volunteers at the Swiss Cottage as well as volunteers and representatives of the Osborne Horse Trials, which opens to the public on Wednesday.
The duo also rode together in a horse and carriage ride, with Camilla up front and Dench greeting the gathered crowds from the back seat.
At a reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron after the naming ceremony for a new high-speed Red Funnel passenger ferry, Red Jet 7, the Duchess made an impromptu speech.
“I just wish I could stay a bit longer and have a swim in the sea. Sadly that’s not to be,” she said.
“Going to Osborne House is always such a treat as it was built by my great-great grandfather and I feel very fond of the place,” Camilla added. “To come and launch Red Funnel 7 was very exciting, and it worked! Last time I launched a ship in Southampton I pressed the button and nothing happened… so I was very pleased today it ran like clockwork! So, thank you all very much and I very much hope I shall be back soon, hopefully on a holiday.”
Dench and Camilla have met on several occasions before, including an event marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016 as well as the world premiere of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2015.
“I hope they enjoy it and have an evening off,” Dench said of their guests of honor, Camilla and her husband Prince Charles, at the movie premiere.
Dench was first recognized by the Queen with the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire distinction way back in 1970 and was later made a Dame Commander in 1988.