70 books for 70 schools: Camilla’s literary-themed birthday celebrations

A garden party was hosted by The Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House yesterday, attended by schoolchildren and famous children’s authors to celebrate a scheme called ‘Duchess Bookshelves’.

The Duchess of Cornwall met with authors and schoolchildren to celebrate the nation’s favourite children’s books – and her 70th birthday (Clarence House)

As a keen reader and patron of the Literacy Trust, Camilla is an avid supporter of encouraging children to enjoy the hobby too, and this event was intended to do just that.

Schoolchildren all over the UK were invited to select their favourite books, before a shortlist of 70 novels was drawn up to represent the nation’s favourite children’s books; a collection of these books will then be presented to 70 schools in the UK.

Camilla hosted a garden party at Clarence House (Clarence House)

The Literacy Trust chose the number 70 as this month their patron will celebrate her 70th birthday on the 17th July. The shortlist includes classic books by authors such as Roald Dahl, JK Rowling and EB White.

Two primary schools were invited to Clarence House for the garden party, as well as several famous authors, including Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman and current Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child. The guests arrived at Clarence House in a vintage bus with conductor David Walliams, whose books also featured on the list.

The event was a classic tea party, with biscuits decorated with book covers such as JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The Duchess of Cornwall was also presented with her own personal collection of the 70 books for her five grandchildren, although the hands-on grandmother admitted that she knows ‘most of the books backwards’ because she has read them so often!

Camilla was obviously at ease with the schoolchildren, discussing their favourite books and making them feel welcome to the home she shares with Prince Charles.

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