Duchess Camilla visits school affected by Grenfell Tower fire on World Book Day

On the World Book Day, The Duchess of Cornwall visited Avondale Park School in North Kensington, to celebrate books and reading with the primary school pupils.

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Beginning the visit, Camilla read to the children the opening section of Lauren Child’s book Hubert Horatio: A Very Fishy Tale in the school library. During the reading section, she told the pupils: “I’ve had a lovely time upstairs reading with some of the reading stars and they even made me read a bit of the book myself – very, very impressive.”

“I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I do. I spend a lot time reading now I have grandchildren, probably the same age as some of you here, so I get to know all the books. The best thing you can possibly do is to read – if I could give you any advice I would just say, ‘keep on reading and you’ll go a long way.”

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World Book Day is the registered charity behind the world’s biggest annual celebration of children’s books; it is marked in over 100 countries around the globe and reaches 15 million children and young people in 45,000 schools in the UK and Ireland every year. The organisation is committed to offer every child and young person the opportunity to read and love books and to get more books into the hands of more children and young people.

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The Duchess of Cornwall is a keen reader herself, and supports a number of literacy projects. It is arguably one of her key focusses in her charity work.

At the end of the visit, Camilla attended an assembly to hear how the pupils spent the weeks leading up to World Book Day. The Headteacher of Avondale Park School, Katy Blackler, said that the children were excited and proud to have the future Queen Consort in their school, adding that “It’s lovely that today she’s also promoted reading. I think in our world of lots of computers and iPads and phones it’s quite a challenge sometimes as they can seem more appealing, and what we want is for the children to read.”

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The school was hugely affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Former pupils and some pupils attending the school died in the fire, as well as a member of staff and her family. Many children attending the school were displaced as a result of the fire and had to live in hotels.

According to Miss Blackler, she discussed Grenfell privately with the Duchess during her tour of the school. Camilla last visited in 2010.

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