The Duchess of Cornwall admitted to losing track of time in a video call on Thursday, something a lot of people can relate to as social distancing and self-isolation continue to be the new normal of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a chat with author David Walliams about The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, Camilla discusses writing and reading and how theses are great hobbies to take part in during lockdown.
“I’m good. I’m just keeping myself busy writing,” Walliams said, when Camilla asked how he was doing. “Well it’s never a better time, I think, to be writing or reading than this time. And I find, personally, that when I do creative work, it passes the time beautifully.”
Camilla then asked about Walliams’ son, seven-year-old Alfred, saying, “Has your son inherited your talent for writing?”
Walliams said that his son is always coming up with story ideas, “So he’s really into that and really into stories. He tends to choose other writers rather than me…”
They also discussed the essay competition itself, which is when Camilla slipped and lost track of time.
“I actually launched it in New Zealand this year,” she told Walliams, before correcting herself. “Well, it wasn’t this year. God, I’ve lost track of time. It was last year. The year before I launched it in Ghana and it was very interesting the response I got. The entries doubled.”
She also admitted that she hopes the entries for 2020 are triple or quadruple what they were in 2019.
“You can tell it by poetry, you can write an essay, you can write a story,” she said.
Camilla continued, “We just want lots and lots and lots of these aspiring young writers to enter because, as you said before, some of their stories really are verging on brilliant.”
Walliams said, “They’re brilliant. And I know that this theme is really going to get them going, so I can’t wait to read the entries.”
The 2020 Commonwealth Essay Competition’s theme is Climate Action and the Commonwealth,. The Royal Commonwealth Society said in a statement that the theme was all about “drawing on the increasing youth movement across the Commonwealth and the ongoing climate crisis”. It added ”Young people are called upon to consider their position and power in bringing about change, and how the Commonwealth can be used as a tool for positive action.”
Entries are being accepted until 30 June and the winners of the junior and senior competition will be invited to London for a week of cultural and educational events later on.