A charity founder from Cornwall said she felt ‘humbled’ to be in the Coronation Champions line-up yesterday to meet King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Jeannette Preston, 74 who lives in Falmouth met the King and Queen in St Ives on Thursday (July 13.) The Royals were in Cornwall to visit the Tate Museum, which celebrated its 30th anniversary and to tour the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

In June, Jeannette was given the King’s Award for Voluntary Service as a Coronation Champion, which recognised the work she has done as part of her charity ‘Pants Cancer’.

After being diagnosed with endometrial (womb) cancer in 2007, Jeannette underwent a total hysterectomy and treatment. After her treatment, Jeannette started tracking down other sufferers online, where she found that many women think that once a smear test is over, they are clear in the ‘pants department’. However, she found that not many people were willing to talk about the disease.

Falmouth Packet: Jeannette and Roger talk with His Majesty King Charles III Jeannette and Roger talk with His Majesty King Charles III (Image: Cornwall Lieutenancy Office)

She then decided to do something about it and started handing out leaflets about womb cancer, and eventually, she opened her first shop in Falmouth Killigrew Street, in 2009 where people spoke with her about their types of cancers. Jeannette said: “It was a real pleasure to start talking about people’s types of cancers and feel as if people can be open about it.”


Jeannette went on to open a second shop in Falmouth, based on Ponsharden, opposite Sainsbury’s – as well as a rehabilitation centre in Penryn which helps around 50 people a week recovering from cancer. The centre is run by Steve Winnan, who met Jeannette after he was recommended to her for some personal training after her cancer treatment.

Jeannette told the Packet, that meeting the King and Queen had been the ‘icing on the cake’ and that it was such a ‘lovely experience’. She said: “It was wonderful, the whole day was lovely.

“Before the Royals arrived, I talked to everyone about why they had received their award. I felt so humbled to be one of those people in the lineup.

Falmouth Packet: The couple spoke with the Royals about charity 'Pants Cancer' The couple spoke with the Royals about charity 'Pants Cancer' (Image: Cornwall Lieutenancy Office)

“When the King and Queen arrived, they walked around St Ives and talked to everyone. I spoke to the King first, and he was just charming and interested in the charity. He took time to listen.

“Then the Queen came along, and again was really interested and spent a bit of time talking about what I do.

“They were both so charming and interested in what I had to say.

“It was wonderful, and the icing on the cake.”

Jeannette also shared her appreciation for her husband Roger for all his support. She said: “Roger is 79 and is still working, I don’t think I could do all of this without his support.”