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British RoyalsPrince Charles and Camilla

The Duchess of Cornwall backs literacy campaign: “Spending time together with a book is much more than just learning to read”


Royal Navy Media Archive

The Duchess of Cornwall has written an article for The Sun on the importance of literacy and encouraging children to read in conjunction with their campaign called ‘Books for Schools.’

Literacy has been a cornerstone of Camilla’s royal work, and her passion shines throughout the article. She talks of her father, saying that “I was very lucky to have a father who read to us when we were children – and he didn’t just read books – he brought them alive. We couldn’t wait for the next chapter. So my love of reading started early and has stayed with me all my life. And, looking back, that was one of the greatest gifts my father could have given me.”

The ‘Books for Schools’ campaign began last November to provide 106 books (£600 total) for schools in the UK. To enter, schools need to collect 3,500 tokens from issues of The Sun and The Sun on Sunday and send them in to receive their books this March. The campaign ends on Saturday.

Camilla writes that she hopes “readers of The Sun will support this campaign to put more books into the hands of children. From my own experience, I know how important reading together can be for parents and children. Just as my father read to us as children, I read to my own children, and now to my grandchildren too.”

Camilla continues, “We all know how important reading is for our children, but it might surprise you that a good reader can also improve their skills in maths and science.

“There are other untold and astonishing benefits. Research has shown that reading for pleasure improves how children think, explore and figure things out between the ages of 10 and 16.”

She also writes of her patronage of the National Literacy Trust, which she took on in part to “help them in their mission to improve the reading and writing skills of children all over the country.

“What is more, their projects are full of imagination and enthusiasm. Thanks to them, I have taken part in a book-nic (a picnic with books instead of food), and I’ve beaten Gaby Roslin at Scrabble!”

Camilla has been patron of the National Literacy Trust since 2010.

But she notes that “Sadly, there are many children who have not yet been given the chance to discover the magic of reading or set foot in the worlds you can discover on bookshelves.”

She ends, writing:

“Spending time together with a book is much more than just learning to read. My hope is that with the success of this campaign, there will be many more people who are about to begin a lifelong love of books with all the pleasure and benefit that brings.”

Camilla’s article can be read in its entirety here.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.