Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall was made President of the National Osteoporosis Society in October 2001 in recognition of her tireless work for osteoporosis and her support of the charity.
The Duchess of Cornwall first became a supporter of the charity in 1994 when her mother died as a result of osteoporosis and in 1997 became a patron. During the last few years, The Duchess has raised major sums of money for education and research and has raised the profile of osteoporosis dramatically.
Her first public speech was made in 2002 at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, hosted by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) in Lisbon. In this speech, The Duchess explained why fighting osteoporosis is so important to her.
"My family knew nothing about osteoporosis. The local GP was kind and sympathetic but he, like us, was able to do little to alleviate the terrible pain that my mother suffered so stoically.
"We watched in horror as she quite literally shrank before our eyes. She lost about eight inches in height and became so bent that she was unable to digest her food properly, leaving her with no appetite at all. In her latter years, she could not breathe without oxygen or even totter round her beloved garden on her Zimmer frame.
"I believe the quality of her life became so dismal and her suffering so unbearable that she just gave up the fight and lost the will to live. As a result of my mother's death, I became determined to find some way of helping people with osteoporosis from experiencing the same fate and general disregard that she encountered.
"I was lucky enough to discover, on my doorstep, the National Osteoporosis Society, a relatively new and small charity, piloted by the indomitable Linda Edwards."
Her poignant words did much to generate a significant amount of press interest in osteoporosis that year and those in attendance at this event used the occasion to urge policy makers across the globe to make the disease a priority for national health care agendas.
During her time as President, The Duchess has visited numerous hospital units across the UK, opening new facilities and meeting the people affected by the disease.