Why Camilla Parker Bowles Is Speaking Out About Her Late Mother's Debilitating Diagnosis

Camilla Parker Bowles' mother, the Honourable Rosalind Shand, and maternal grandmother, Sonia Keppel, both suffered from osteoporosis, a topic the Duchess of Cornwall recently discussed with BBC. Shand died at the age of 72 in 1994, and Keppel, at the age of 86 in 1986.

"My mother, I think, went to see everybody you could possibly think of, and they all said the same thing: 'Sorry, you're old.' We just watched her shrinking before our eyes," Bowles said, as reported by The Daily Mail. "Occasionally, when she moved or you touched her, she literally screamed. I remember when a friend of hers came in one day just to give her a hug, her rib broke. It was as bad as that."

Osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones, affects around 200 million people around the world, and women are four times more likely to have it (via Cleveland Clinic). Each year, World Osteoporosis Day is observed on October 20.

'I'd love to see more young people understanding about it,' Camilla Parker Bowles told BBC

In honor of World Osteoporosis Day, Camilla Parker Bowles, who has been the president of the Royal Osteoporosis Society since 2001, sat down with BBC. In particular, the Duchess shared that she wants more youth to be educated on the disease (via The Daily Mail).

"I'd love to see more young people understanding about it, not just thinking, you know, 'Poor old bats, we're going to get old, and that's what's going to happen to us.' But actually understanding what actually happens and how they can prevent it."

To encourage this, Bowles says she has shown photos of her mother before and after she got osteoporosis, and she also says that "a lot of exercise" can help. "You have to prevent it by taking a look at yourself and saying, 'Look, I don't want to have this disease.'"

Bowles' full osteoporosis interview with BBC Morning Live aired on Monday morning.