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HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO

A full-time working member of the Royal Family, The Duchess of Edinburgh splits her time between her work on behalf of The King across the UK and Commonwealth and support for a large number of her own charities and organisations.

The Duchess of Edinburgh is passionate about eliminating avoidable blindness. As Global Ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), The Duchess supports organisations with the right knowledge, experience and funding to make sight a reality for as many people as possible around the world. As Vice Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust from 2012 to 2020, and with the charity Orbis, The Duchess has visited India, Qatar, Malawi and Bangladesh to see projects that are tackling avoidable blindness. In 2022, Her Royal Highness returned to Malawi to celebrate the elimination of blinding Trachoma in the country, and to see the lasting impact of the Trust.

Her Royal Highness has met eye-health professionals working on-the-ground in communities across the Commonwealth, and The Duchess continues to draw attention to the inspiring work being done internationally.  The Duchess of Edinburgh also supports remarkable eye care charities across the UK who work with the blind and partially sighted people to ensure they have every opportunity to lead a full and engaging life.

In its lifetime, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust helped more than 22 million people in Africa and the Pacific receive vital antibiotics to combat trachoma – the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.  It provided sight saving surgery to over 104,000 people suffering with trachoma trichiasis and ensured almost 19,200 people received treatment to prevent the loss of sight due to diabetes.

The Duchess enjoys an active role as an IAPB Global Ambassador, she has hosted an IAPB meeting with Her Majesty The Queen to mark World Sight Day 2020, attended a Vision for the Commonwealth event at St James’ Palace and marked the elimination of Trachoma in the Gambia in Spring 2021.