The Duchess of Cornwall spoke of her father’s role in sharing “precious news of home” with fellow prisoners of war during the Second World War as she became a patron of the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS).
In a video message, Camilla said she was “very proud” to take on the patronage of the military charity and media organisation.
BFBS distributes entertainment and information services including TV, audio and digital media to UK armed forces around the world.
I know a little of the importance of maintaining the connection between serving personnel and their familyDuchess of Cornwall
Camilla praised the organisation for supporting “our service men and women wherever they may find themselves”, as well as their families, “who face immense challenges”.
She said BFBS’ work “raises morale, forges a sense of community and lessens the distance from loved ones”.
The duchess said: “I know a little of the importance of maintaining the connection between serving personnel and their family because during the Second World War, my father was held as a prisoner of war in Germany.
“Officially, his role was to be the laundry officer. Unofficially, it fell to him and half a dozen others to create and listen to a very basic radio to glean precious news of home and share it with their fellow prisoners.
“Periodic Nazi raids would locate and destroy the carefully-built wireless sets, but they were always replaced as quickly as possible – the men could cope with almost anything as long as they were not deprived of some form of contact with home.”
Behind the scenes at BFBS HQ! 👀 pic.twitter.com/jBpe3Qv8Qg— BFBS Radio (@BFBSRadioHQ) December 6, 2021
Camilla thanked the armed forces for the “unseen sacrifices that you are making for us all”.
Major-General Chris Wilson, chairman of the BFBS board of trustees, said trustees were “absolutely delighted” that Camilla had taken on the patronage.
He said: “We are looking forward to introducing Her Royal Highness to the wide range of welfare and entertainment services we offer the armed forces, their families and veterans – and to our colleagues who are responsible for delivering them.”