Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh, Global Ambassador for the IAPB

Her Royal Highness (HRH), The Duchess of Edinburgh is a member of the UK Royal Family and Global Ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

Her Royal Highness splits her time between her work in support of The King and visits to a large number of her own charities and organisations. She has a wide range of interests which include supporting people with disabilities, the prevention of blindness in developing countries, agriculture and fashion.

In her role as Ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Her Royal Highness visited our work in India in 2013, to experience an Orbis Flying Eye Hospital programme and learn about the sight saving services being provided to the local community in Kolkata. From there, she departed the country with our unique aircraft as our special guest and travelled to Qatar to relay what she had seen.

Her Royal Highness


As Glob­al Ambas­sador for the Inter­na­tion­al Agency for the Pre­ven­tion of Blind­ness, I am keen­ly aware of the vast num­bers of blind and visu­al­ly impaired peo­ple across the world whose lives might be very dif­fer­ent if they could access treat­ment. Chil­dren are miss­ing out on oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn, to play, to have big dreams and achieve them, sim­ply because they don’t have access to a pair of glass­es or rou­tine surgery.

In October 2023, Her Royal Highness visited Ethiopia to celebrate our work, and reaffirm the call to eliminate trachoma for all by 2030.

As part of the visit, Her Royal Highness took part in a historic trachoma elimination conference in Addis Ababa. The event bought together over 40 organisations and more than 100 participants who discussed challenges, successes and future plans to eliminate trachoma.

The Duchess witnessed for herself the vital work being undertaken to eliminate trachoma by visiting services protecting the vision of children and adults in Hawassa, Ethiopia.

Her Royal Highness also visited a local school to see how children are screened by teachers for a range of eye conditions.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh met with Dr Alemayehu Sisay, Country Director of Orbis Ethiopia.

Rebecca Cronin


We have been very priv­i­leged to wel­come Her Roy­al High­ness, The Duchess of Edin­burgh, to sev­er­al of our sight sav­ing pro­grammes. Whilst there, HRH has met patients, fam­i­lies, hos­pi­tal staff and our med­ical vol­un­teers, both with­in local hos­pi­tals and on board our Fly­ing Eye Hos­pi­tal. The depth of her knowl­edge of eye con­di­tions, her inter­est in the area and the time she takes when speak­ing to every­one she meets is inspir­ing. Over the years, the sup­port Her Roy­al High­ness has giv­en to eye care char­i­ties has enabled us to attract more sup­port, and there­fore expand our work in coun­tries where eye care ser­vices are scarce. The Duchess cap­tures the hearts and minds of every­one she meets and we’re grate­ful for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with her.
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