The Duchess has always been supportive of encouraging reading and writing in young children, and last year hosted a writing competition run by the BBC. This year she was been working with a project run by the National Literacy Trust, and in honour of her seventieth birthday later this month. The project has seen seventy books selected as the most popular books chosen by primary school children across the country. These seventy books complete with the Duchess’s bookshelves will be given to seventy selected primary schools across the country.
This Tuesday, Camilla welcomed a party of schoolchildren to Clarence House. Partly to launch the project, now the seventy books have been selected; and partly as an early birthday party. The children were brought to Clarence House in an iconic red bus driven by the comedian, Britain’s Got Talent judge, and children’s author David Walliams. David was probably quite please his own talent had been recognised – two of his books, Gangsta Granny and The Boy in the Dress were included in the seventy! A set of the books was also presented to the Duchess, who assured those gathered that the bookcase would be placed in a central place so that all five of her grandchildren could borrow them without fighting over them.
There is a wide selection of books on the list, which includes non-fiction books on coding and the solar-system together with fiction books that have been classics for children throughout the generations. These include classics by Road Dahl and Michael Bond who sadly died earlier this month, and more modern books like the first of the Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling, the books by David Walliams and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.
The Duchess loves reading and sharing children’s books, and is the patron of several organisations which promote and support literacy, including the National Literacy Trust, Beanstalk, BookTrust, First Story, Roald Dahl and the Wicked Young Writer Awards. She is also the Royal Patron of the National Literacy Trust who are behind this project.