THE Duchess of Cornwall spoke about her role as a grandmother when she met a group of young parents in Wirral.
The Royal visitor spent more than an hour this afternoon (Wednesday) talking to young mums, young dads and young mums to be groups during a visit to the Teenage Pregnancy Peer Mentoring Programme at Tranmere Community Project, based at Tranmere Methodist Church.
Camilla was accompanied by Birkenhead MP Frank Field, a strong supporter of the programme.
Later she visited Wirral Credit Union's New Ferry office, where staff said they were "bowled over" by how down to earth the Duchess was and her interest in their work.
At Tranmere Community Project, members of its young mums group told Camilla about a talk they have developed and taken into schools in a bid to discourage teenagers from becoming parents before they turn 18.
They told her some youngsters did not understand how difficult parenthood was or the emotional and financial struggles they would face.
The Duchess said: "I’ve got grandchildren who I’ve just been looking after so I know exactly what it’s like.
"They really do need to hear from somebody who has been through that experience don’t they?"
Young mums shared their own stories and told the Duchess how they hoped to help others.
Harriet Wignall Parry, 24 from Tranmere, joined the young mums group when she was pregnant with daughter Carmella, now four.
She now works at Tranmere Community Project as teenage pregnancy peer mentor facilitator.
Harriet, who is also mum to three-year-old Paddy, told the News: "The Duchess was really nice and she wanted to know about everybody in the group.
"I'm so passionate about it because I've come through it. I got a lot of support here, both emotionally and help with practical things - like where to go and who to see.
"Through talking with some of the other mums it came up that we love our children but we all wished we'd waited until we'd done a bit more in life.
"We thought it would be a good idea for young mums to go into schools and tell teenagers what it's like to be a young parent and to encourage them to wait until they achieve their hopes and dreams.
"We've been in contact with seven schools and we've delivered four talks so far."
Mr Field said: "It's a terrific project to take into schools and a marvellous message.
"You heard the mums themselves - it's the most wonderful thing in the world - but I wish we could have done it 20 years ago.
"They've done everything else to reduce teenage pregnancy and it's failed. It would be brilliant if every school could have this talk."
During the Duchess’s visit to Wirral Credit Union she presented a birthday card to Bo Tsang - who founded the financial cooperative in 1992 - to mark its 20th birthday.
Mr Tsang, who had set up successful credit unions in Liverpool before coming to Wirral, said they had loaned more than £35million over the last two decades, with loans ranging from £50 to £21,000 in the last year.
New Ferry branch manager Steve Kendrick said he was impressed at the Duchess's knowledge of their work and interest in dealing with financial exclusion. He said: "She said she plans to go to more credit unions because of their importance to their communities. It was a great seal of approval for us, and great publicity for credit unions."
The Duchess was presented with flowers from local school children Kaitlin Johnson, 10 and her sister Lauri, six, and Bethany Cumine, aged seven.