The Duchess of Cornwall joked that she was in the right place for a personal book recommendation as she helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of the National Literacy Trust (NLT).
Camilla, who is about to accompany the Prince of Wales on a trip to Australia next month where he will open the Commonwealth Games, was speaking to a room packed with authors at a special NLT reception.
She joked: “I am just about to embark on an aeroplane journey to Australia which is a few hours – if anybody has got any really good recommendations, I am sure I will be thrilled to hear them.”
Authors including Jilly Cooper, Prue Leith, Victoria Hislop, Joanna Trollope and Joanne Harris were among the guests at the central London event where Camilla was presented with 25 books especially chosen by children to read to her grandchildren.
The NLT went around the country and asked children to pick their favourite children’s books as a surprise for Camilla who is a patron of the charity.
Camilla and Charles are awaiting the birth next month of a third grandchild by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Children’s Laureate Lauren Child said she felt “really touched” that her book Utterly Me, Clarice Bean was among the special picks.
She said: “I think it is important to read, especially reading to young children. I think there is benefits from reading out loud.
“It is always very nice if somebody values your work – that is really what it is about, if you can communicate something to your reader whether they are old or young.”
Judith Kerr, 92, smiled and said “it is wonderful and I am so delighted” at the thought that her book The Tiger Who Came To Tea was among the special 25.
She said: “That was a bedtime story so made up for my daughter when she was two or three. It was not my intention at first to make it into a book.”
Camilla, who has been a patron since 2010, is an avid reader and works with schemes to promote reading for both children and adults.
The National Literacy Trust was launched in October 1993. It has campaigned to help improve literacy levels of disadvantaged young people in the UK.
Camilla also got a gentle cheer from a room loaded with writers when she thanked the authors for the “fantastic job they do”.