The Duchess of Cornwall has revealed she has a passion for creating bouquets as she celebrated the efforts of UK flower farmers.

Camilla spoke about her love of flower arranging in a video message to mark the 10th anniversary conference of Flowers from the Farm, a membership association supporting more than 1,000 independent, artisan flower growers.

In a separate video message the duchess, who is vice-patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society, launched the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2021.

This year’s theme is community and Camilla – who is an avid reader – was joined by some of the 2020 winners and runners-up who recorded words of support from their homes.

The duchess told the Flowers from the Farm conference: “Over the past, challenging year, there have been few things that have had the power to cheer us up as much as our native flowers.

“Even when we were unable to meet, we could send one another bouquets – and, in doing so, celebrate those we love.

“And though we were unable to enjoy many of the arts we could all be inspired by this country’s glorious flowers and try our hands at creating our own arrangements – happily one of my favourite hobbies.”

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition was founded in 1883 by the Royal Commonwealth Society and is one of the world’s oldest international schools writing contests.

The competition gives creative young writers the opportunity to explore contemporary themes through the written word. The junior category is open to entrants aged 13 years and under while for seniors the age range is 14-18.

In her video to launch the competition the duchess said: “This year’s rather brilliant theme is Community in the Commonwealth and I am already looking forward to reading this year’s winning entries and, of course, to meeting the winners and runners-up.

“So please – put on your thinking caps, pick up your pens and join our wonderful community of Commonwealth writers!”