On Wrold Book Day, The Duchess of Cornwall has revealed two of her favourite books in a video call with authors and schoolchildren.
Camilla was joined by authors Tom Flecther, Zanib Milan and Katherine Rundell for the session and was later joined by pupils at Acklam Whin Primary School, part of Oak National Academy.
Described as an ‘avid reader’ Camilla launched her own book club on Instagram called ‘The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room’ in January and is always encouraging people of all ages to read. She is patron if the National Literacy Trust alongside a number of other literacy causes.
Host Zanib Mian asked the Duchess: “What does world book day mean to you?”
The Duchess – wearing one of her Van Cleef & Arpels Lucky animal brooches – replied: “I think it’s lovely that we have a special day to celebrate books. After all we have special days to celebrate everything else and books are very important things in our lives.
“A world without books is completely unimaginable. Because all you kind authors are giving out these books on World Book Day is something very, very special because so many of these children have no books or probably never read a book before.”
Princess Beatrice also revealed her love of books today, saying they helped ‘reassure’ her and escape screens during lockdown.
Camilla continued to stress the importance of reading and the moment you read your first book. “To own your first book is something you’re never going to forget. It’s going to be given a very special place and their first book they read will be there forever. It’s hopefully going to lead them on to read more and more, discovering different authors and different subjects they’d like to read about.
“So I think for many children out there World Book Day means actually the birth of reading and that’s why it’s so important.”
It was only last year Prince Charles’ wife wrote an article for The Sun, in support of their “Books for Schools” campaign.
Zanib Mian as a follow-up comment replied: “And Ma’am I understand you’re going to share an extract from Matilda with us today.”
Jokingly Camilla replied: “I shall stagger through that as best I can with the specs on the end of my nose. One of my favourite books and I’ve read it many a time to my grandchildren.”
We have heard previously that her grandchildren love The Prince of Wales reading to them, as he does ‘all the voices’.
During the chat, Camilla displayed her good sense of humour by poking fun at her age. During the question and answer session, the Royal was asked by a pupil: “What are your favourite children’s books?”
Appearing to make a joke of her age, the 73-year-old Duchess said. “Well I’ve got so many, it’s very difficult – without spending all day talking to you – to just pick out a couple.”
The Duchess went on to discuss two of her favourite books. “But when I was very young, which was about 100 years ago, I was a pony-mad child. I loved ponies, I loved horses, and there was a book called ‘Moorland Mousie’.
? Happy #WorldBookDay! ?
The Duchess has joined @Literacy_Trust and @OakNational Academy to celebrate the wonderful world of books with authors @TomFletcher, @Zendibble and Katherine Rundell, as well as pupils from @AcklamWhin Primary School in Middlesbrough. pic.twitter.com/HnHNHR1HQU
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) March 4, 2021
“It had a strange author, who was called Golden Gorse. it was a really good adventure story of an Exmoor pony. That was one of my favourites.”
A lover of books since a young age, Camilla said she had another favourite book growing up, ‘Swallows and Amazons’ by Arthur Ransome.
She said: “It’s just a really good adventure story, full of a lot of imagination. If you ever get a chance to read it, please try it.”
Last year, Camilla recommended books during lockdown, with the first set of recommendations being released in April and the second in August, which were hugely popular with royal fans and readers alike.
For World Book Day 2019, The Duchess of Cornwall visited schools affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, to celebrate books and reading with the primary school pupils.