Newly uncovered documents give fresh insight into Queen Camillas longtime campaign against domestic violence

The handwritten report, filed as part of divorce papers in 1919, was explicit. On August 17, 1916, “Philip Morton Shand violently assaulted [his wife, Edith,] by dragging her by her arms out of bed in her night-dress, bruising her breast and knees and knocking her head, as a result of which [she] fainted,” the document reads, noting that Edith was four months pregnant. 

More than 100 years later, her granddaughter Queen Camilla has made it her mission to fight for victims of abuse. “I think we all know somebody who it’s happened to,” Camilla, whose father, Bruce, was the product of Philip and Edith’s brief, unhappy marriage, has said. “There’s such a taboo. It becomes a sort of terrible hidden secret.”

Last year, Camilla gave an impassioned speech to shed light on the subject. “We are uniting today to confront what has rightly been called a global pandemic of violence against women,” the queen, 76, told the crowd at a Buckingham Palace reception during the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. “Up to one in three women — one in three — across the globe, will endure domestic violence in the course of their lifetime. Behind every one of these statistics lie individual stories of human suffering and heartbreak …. With determination and courage, we will see the end of these heinous crimes forever.”

Her dedication is nothing new.

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at