Camilla will turn 76 later this year and yet still boasts a glowing complexion and trim figure. While the royal no doubt enjoys a healthy diet catered to by household chefs, her go-to exercise for keeping fit is different to other women in the Royal Family. The Queen Consort regularly takes part in Silver Swan ballet classes, which was also a much-loved pastime of young Princess Diana.
For around five years Queen Camilla has enjoyed weekly ballet classes led by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).
The 75-year-old is said to have taken up the activity around 2018 as a way of keeping fit, and now combines the skilled dancing style with walking and pilates.
In a video call with former Strictly Come Dancing judge, Dame Darcey Bussell and broadcaster Angela Rippon, the Queen Consort revealed that she takes part in the Silver Swans classes with a group of friends.
The unique ballet sessions are designed for older learners to improve mobility, posture, coordination and energy levels.
With online classes available, the Silver Swans ballet sessions were a saving grace for the royal during the pandemic when the nation was on lockdown.
Though she is now well-versed in the graceful dancing style, Camilla’s ballet skills have developed over just a short five-year period.
The royal revealed that she had not tried it before taking a lesson with a RAD instructor in her early 70s. Now as a patron of the academy, she has become a big fan of elegantly choreographed fitness.
Her Majesty is also an admirer of the BBC programme Strictly Come Dancing, and on two occasions has had the opportunity to dance with judge Craig Revel-Horwood and former judge, the late Len Goodman.
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While the Queen Consort has the luxury of enjoying healthy, home-cooked meals three times a day, her love of ballet has no doubt played a part in maintaining her trim figure.
And according to Niki Rein, founder of Barrecore, there are a handful of reasons why other mature women should consider taking it up too.
Speaking to Good Housekeeping, she said: “As women age, they see a decline in bone density-building oestrogen. It’s important to perform resistance exercises that help build bone density, particularly after menopause.
“Ballet-based classes are great, as the body weight is manipulated to create resistance without putting a strain on joints. In fact, the exercise can actually be beneficial for joints – the flexibility involved in ballet mobilises them, creating more freedom and painless movement.”
Despite suggesting that her dancing only improved mildly in the first 18 months of practising ballet, Queen Camilla noted that the benefits go beyond mastering the skill.
Speaking to Darcey Bussell back in 2020, she admitted that it is an ideal way for her to “keep active”.
Camilla said: “If we don’t [keep active] we’ll seize up and won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.”
Silver Swans Licensees are now offering online and in-person classes across the UK and Europe, so anyone can try out the royal’s favourite form of exercise.
Free Silver Swan ballet tutorials are also available on the Royal Academy of Dance website. There are currently nine bitesize clips viewers can follow.
The videos are led by expert practitioner, Sarah Platt, and all that is needed is a bar – or something similar, and an open space to follow the moves.
Each one is tailored to adult beginners who are new to ballet and is a progression from the video before.
By the end of the seven sessions, viewers should know the basic positions and movements required to learn more advanced routines.
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