The Duchess of Cornwall attended more literary engagements on Wednesday, celebrating poetry.
First, Camilla attended a reception and poetry reading for the Poetry Together initiative, which brings together schools and care homes and encourages students and residents to choose a poem, memorise it, and perform it together at an event in October around the time of National Poetry Day, which is 3 October.
Poetry Together was founded by UK broadcaster and author Gyles Brandreth and Dukes Education under the premise that “shows learning poetry by heart has wonderful effects on the brain for people of all ages,” according to the Clarence House media release.
On Wednesday, Brandreth hosted a tea party at Eaton Square Upper School for groups to recite and perform their chosen poems for Camilla. She was encouraged by Brandreth to recite her own poem, and she dutifully stood and began reciting “Matilda Who told Lies, And Was Burned To Death.”
Brandreth told the audience that he’d goaded the Duchess into participating, saying, “She and I are of the same vintage, we are, as it were, over pensionable age now, I said I think you ought to have a go.
“She said, ‘for goodness sake please no.’”
Brandreth then said, “If the seven-year-olds can do it, the 70-year-olds can do it.”
He also revealed in an interview with the Evening Express that it had been Camilla’s idea for Poetry Together when she asked if he could find a link between poetry and memory retention.
“She was at the beginning of the venture. If it wasn’t for my meeting this would not have happened. Frankly, without her, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Later, Her Royal Highness attended a reception at Clarence House for the 20th anniversary of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate.
The Waterstones Children’s Laureate is awarded every two years to an “outstanding author or illustrator of children’s books,” per the Laureate’s website, and was presented to Cressida Cowell, the author and illustrator behind the How to Train Your Dragon series.