Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has become the royal patron of The Silver Line Helpline.

Duchess Camilla

Duchess Camilla

The 70-year-old royal marked the occasion of celebrating her milestone birthday on Monday (17.07.17) by officially become the royal patron of the charity, which aims to eliminate loneliness in older people by offering information, friendship and advice via its 24-hour confidential phone service.

The Silver Line Helpline was set up by Dame Esther Rantzen in November 2013, and the 77-year-old journalist is "thrilled" to have Camilla on board.

Speaking in a press release, she said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have Her Royal Highness's support for our work and we would like to wish her a very happy 70th Birthday. 
"The Duchess has an understanding and empathy for older people who are so often forgotten and undervalued in today's busy world. She cares about them, and values them as we do. It is a real accolade for a young charity which is not yet four years old, and a tribute to the work of our team that we have been recognised in this way.

"We know that we transform the lives of people, many of whom spend their lives in solitary confinement in their homes, never asking for help from anyone else because they have too much pride, and don't want, as they tell us, to become a burden."

Meanwhile, the charity's Chairman Professor Patrick Geoghegan has said the patronage of the Duchess will help to "strengthen" the charity's work by raising awareness for the important cause.

He said: "I have spent my career working to help older people, firstly in the NHS and now as Chair of this crucial new charity. We at The Silver Line believe that there is no 'sell-by date' for older people, we treasure them as a crucial resource of life experience and unique memories.

"The Patronage of The Duchess of Cornwall will strengthen us in our work, and assist us to spread that message, that loneliness is a killer destroying not only quality of life, but mental and physical health. We are determined to work with other charities to fight the nation's epidemic of loneliness blighting the lives of millions of older people."

Since it's launch, the charity has received 1.45 million calls, and answers an estimated 10,000 calls per week.