Dancing duchess visits Stepney Jewish centre

Duchess of Cornwall. Pic: Sam Churchill.

Jewish Care’s Brenner Centre in East London celebrated its 80th anniversary in style with a visit from Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The Duchess was visiting the Brenner Centre in Stepney, an area famous for its vibrant Jewish community.

Camilla talked to centre members and went for a spin on the dance floor as a singer performed the traditional Jewish song ‘Hava Nagila’. The guests held hands as she linked arms with 86-year-old Abraham David and they spun around.

Hava Nagila. Pic: Sam Churchill.

David from Shadwell said: “It was a lovely, wonderful experience, I think I’m dreaming.

“She put her hand out to mine and wanted to dance – I couldn’t believe it. I won’t sleep tonight I’m so excited.”

92-year-old Lilian Lebby who’s been visiting the centre since the day it opened, told the Duchess: “This place saves my life – it’s my life line.”

Duchess of Cornwall. Pic: Sam Churchill.

The Duchess unveiled a plaque to mark her visit and told guests: “I sometimes go to places which are a bit sad, but this place is one of the most uplifting centres I’ve ever been to. Meeting all you wonderful, inspirational people has been a real treat.”

Jewish Care’s President Lord Levy thanked the Duchess for coming, saying; “What a fantastic occasion. We are so proud of this centre. For you to be here today is so special. The warmth you have showed to each of our ‘21-year-old’ members here today is tremendous. Thank you on behalf of all of us.”

Camilla was following in the footsteps of other royals who have visited Jewish Care’s Brenner Centre, located at the Stepney Jewish Community Centre at Raine House, including the Queen’s grandmother Queen Mary who opened the service in 1938.

Past royal visits to the Stepney Jewish Community Centre have included Queen Mary and the Queen Mother. Pics: Sam Churchill.

Later the Duchess went on to meet Malmesbury Residents’ Association in Tower Hamlets. The association has been working with Cleanup UK, a charity which works mainly in deprived areas to combat litter problems.  Camilla, who is charity president, hit out at fast food outlets which which do not do enough to clear up litter. She said “We need a lot of young people to get out there on a nice afternoon and pick up litter. We can get them all at it.”

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