• Cover Story

    Well, it's all been very quiet on the lookey-likey front this side of the water but in America Alison Jackson is making mincemeat out of Donald Trump! Her recent photo shoot for Vanity Fair is a triumph and rumour has it that more fun and games are in the pipeline.

    It appears that Alison has been busy behind the scenes putting together two editions of her book Private and it was good news to discover that one version actually carries my photo along with the other 'Royals'. It's published today so if you want to buy a copy then Amazon is the place to go. Strangely enough I have no idea if I appear inside the book or not so I'm looking forward to getting my pre-ordered copy any day!

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  • There's no place like home!

    I have my family to thank for roping me in to making an appearance at the wonderful Hillcrest Care Home in Northumberland. Having made out that they knew the real Camilla (naughty!) they eventually had to come clean and admit that they only knew HRH's lookalike, namely me.

    Unperturbed by this admission the manager was nevertheless keen for me to go and pay the residents a visit so I turned up in lookey-likey mode as instructed.

    I've always been a bit unsettled by nursing homes for all the obvious reasons and have admired the way that the real Duchess of Cornwall has learned to cope with a sometimes harrowing agenda of meeting folk who are facing enormous difficulties in their lives. She frequently makes visits to hospitals and homes dealing with all manner of difficulties. Each Christmas she invites a group of terminally ill children, accompanied by their parents, to Clarence House where they decorate the Christmas tree. Having worked with terminally ill children I recognise what a hugely emotional task that is. Likewise her work with the victims of rape and domestic abuse which, strangely enough I have also worked with. However, I was fortunate to receive regular training and occasionally emotional support. I wonder, however, if anyone is in the background to support HRH who has clearly been extremely emotional on some of her visits.

    I'm a bit of a softie when it comes to sad stories and I have to confess that I was feeling a bit daunted by my visit as the residents are suffering from various stages of dementia. However, I need not have worried. The lovely manager along with one of the residents showed me around the home and introduced me to everyone (apart from a couple of ladies who were in too deep a sleep and a republican who clearly did NOT want to meet 'The Duchess of Cornwall'!) It was lovely to see so many folk delighted to receive a visit and very moving to learn of their personal life stories. The whole visit was conducted with absolute respect and dignity and it was obvious that the staff were folk who were in the right line of work, all of them caring and compassionate and happy in their jobs.

    I have to confess to getting a bit choked up on a couple of occasions, especially when it came to seeing my own relative. Sadly I can't include photos of other residents for obvious reasons but below are a few memories of the day. I'm sure that the ladies and gentlemen who have made their home at Hillcrest are in very safe and caring hands.

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  • Kernow bys Vyken!

    There's nothing like a good protest, especially when it's outside the Houses of Parliament. The last time I had such an opportunity was in the early 1970s when, as a member of the NUT I joined other students to protest about Mrs Thatcher (the then Minister for Education) removing free milk from our schools. Our cries of "Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher" echoed around Trafalgar Square. I had arrived.

    The opportunity to stage a protest as a fully-fledged adult and to do it outside Westminster was hugely attractive. Even moreso when I discovered that I was going to have to eat vast quantities of clotted cream ice-cream whilst protesting! The job? For Kelly's of Cornwall who are doing an amazing job in promoting the Cornish language whilst also promoting their new Eton Mess ice-cream. Yum!

    Days like this often get off to an early start so having attended to my hair and make-up at the hotel at 6.30am I was ready to start at 8 am while the local commuters walked determinedly to their work-place like ants yet unable to resist a cursory glance as 'Charles and Camilla' posed for photos in the gardens adjacent to the Houses of Parliament. Needless to say a member of the local constabulary had to come and check us out but we soon placated him with an ice-cream cone. ("All in the call of duty!" I assured the nice man!)

    Our role as the Royals was to wave our placard and shout out a few words in Cornish, all of which was to be captured on camera and presented to the newspapers for their use. Easier said than done. Before leaving home I had done my homework, got onto Youtube and investigated how to pronounce a few of the phrases we'd been given. Two hours later I was still unable to remember even one. The Cornish language, I decided, was as much of a mystery as Czech (which I have been trying to master for some twenty years now). My attempts to memorise even the basic greeting of "Myttin da!" (good morning for those of you who are unfamiliar with the language) and "Meur ras" (thank you) failed to get into my short-term memory, never mind the mid-term.

    Fortunately our hosts had kindly provided a crib board for us so we were soon able to protest loudly to camera, waving our placard and shouting out a few words in Cornish. Job done. Now for Trafalgar Square!

    I don't quite know what I expected from our stint in Trafalgar Square. Our job was to encourage the tourists to tweet something in Cornish in return for a free ice-cream. Fine. Fine that is until you discover that the vast majority of the visitors to Trafalgar Square are from every corner of the globe: Argentina, Columbia, Sweden, Japan, India and many other countries besides, the majority of whom had no English. The problem was that my Spanish/Swedish/Japanese are even more non-existant than my Cornish. Trying to explain the concept became increasingly challenging and my charades seemed only to confuse people further. In the end we all decided it was a great deal easier just to give folk a free ice-cream. However, that too presented a problem. No-one could grasp the concept that anyone would be giving away ice-cream. Eventually we got the ball rolling and soon we had a good crowd who joined us in our mini-protest to promote the Cornish language.

    It was a great day and has been followed up by an inspirational advert for Kelly's: the first advert ever to be braodcast in Cornish and I have to say it's wonderful. You can watch it here (but you might need to stock up on Kelly's dehen rew (ice-cream) before you start watching! Kernow bys vyken! (Cornwall for ever!)

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  • Game over!!

    Confession time. I hate football. I haven't been to a match since Hereford United stuffed Newcastle (my home team) in the early 1970s (made worse by the fact that I'd foolishly said that I'd drink a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale for every goal scored).

    As a result of my never wanting to voluntarily do anything football related (even the theme tune to Match of the Day sends me running) I become increasinlgy irritated when Twitter becomes littered with football related tweets throughout the weekend.

    However, as a result of Leicester's recent achievement (only don't ask me what it is as I don't have any understanding of leagues/associations or divisions or whatever they call them) the one image that kept jumping onto Twitter was that of Jamie Vardy and a guy called Lee Chapman who just happens to bear a striking resemblance to Vardy.

    Where my interest lies has nothing to do with Leicester's success (sorry Nina Stibbe) but with the reaction that the media has had to someone who just happens to look like someone else. Lee Chapman is not a celebrity but the world is responding to him as though he himself had scored the winning goal in whatever that match was. His strange journey to fame, beginning with being invited to join the team on their bus, has recently led to him being mobbed, needing police protection and being featured in a multitude of articles in the press and on social media.

    This brings me to the point that, as a lookalike, even when people know you're not the real deal they behave as though you are. Consequently when 'Posh and Becks' went to Japan, when 'Kate and Wills' went to Australia and when newly discovered 'Kate' (Heidi Agan) went to New York, they were all mobbed and ended up needing protection from the crowds.

    I'm pleased to say that my work has never, as yet, attracted this type of attention. I'm careful where I go and what I choose to do. I get the occasional curtsey from the locals in M&S and many a stare or a request for a photo when I am working but I've never, thank goodness, been mobbed.

    With an open-air job coming up in London next week maybe I should be employing a couple of body-guards? Let's hope not!

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  • A Right Royal Affair!

    And what a knees-up it was!

    To begin at the beginning (and apologies for my late accounting of the Queen's visit but one was exhausted!)

    Our wonderful local airline Aurigny very generously flew both the Queen and Prince Charles to the island on Thursday where they were greeted by beautiful sunshine (and an awful lot of security measures but that's another story!) The Guernsey Press photographer managed to get some good shots of us outside the plane and a great one of the Queen arriving with her duty free purchases!

    Going through security in order to get 'airside' proved interesting, especially when my Prince of Wales feather brooch set the alarms off!

    On Friday morning we were guests on local BBC Radio with the lovely JKT and seemed to keep the listeners amused with stories of our strange lookey-likey lives. You can tune in here if you missed it. (We come in at about 1 hr 38 mins)

    In the evening the Queen and I were picked up by taxi. It was only then that I realised that it would have been sensible to warn the poor driver who he was picking up as he nearly had a coronary in our drive-way! Needless to say we had to have our photos taken in all our glory.

    We arrived at the venue (the wonderful St James', now a concert-hall,) which had been beautifully adorned both inside and out for the evening. We three royals put a smile on a few faces when the guests started to arrive and our local photographer, the amazing Chris George, took oodles of brilliant photos that you can see here. Many of the guests had really gone to town with their dress and there was much red, white and blue in the way of fancy waistcoats and bow-ties. However, my absolute favourite had to be a gentleman who came dressed as a pillar-box who seemed to remain inside it for the entire evening. Quite how he got to eat his meal I'm not sure unless he had it posted through the slot mouthful by mouthful!

    The Queen was asked to sit with the generous sponsors, Investec, and Charles and I were with the lovely Priaulxs and other racing enthusiasts (not to mention Jenson Button's manager: well I had to drop that one in didn't I?)

    Now I have to embarrass myself by confessing that I know not a thing about motor racing. I switched off after James Hunt retired and haven't paid much attention since then. So when Andy asked me, on camera, what I thought of the shiny car parked outside the venue I was a little non-plussed! Well, it was black, and shiny and well, er.......... I actually preferred the red one!

    So, we had a wonderful evening and, what is more important, saw the charity The Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation raise more than £15000 thanks to the very generous prizes that had been donated and the equally generous bids made by the guests. I do hope that I can do more to help such a brilliant cause.

    Below are some of the photos to record the Royal visit. More to follow folks! (Oh, and I forgot to mention giving yet another taxi driver a coronary on the way home!)

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Welcome to the blog for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Lookalike, Jane Mosse. I hope to give you an insight into what life is like when the world thinks you look like someone else!

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