Camilla, Queen Consort, Meets With Poet Joseph Coelho, Says She Bonds With Her Grandchildren Through Books
In this undated photo released on Thursday, March 2, 2023, Camilla, Queen Consort meets Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho to mark World Book Day, in London, England. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty via AP/Canadian Press
The 75-year-old royal — who is the wife of King Charles — has marked World Book Day on Thursday by discussing her long-held passion for reading with Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho and she revealed the emotional impact some books had on her when she was young.
Speaking in a video of the conversation — which was recorded in the Clarence House library last month but just released by BookTrust — she said about Grimms’ Fairy Tales, she said: “I remember going to bed at night and having quite bad dreams about them.
“I think as children half of you wants to be scared — you don’t want to be scared too much, but it’s that sort of frisson of just being a little bit frightened.”
And Camilla believes her passion for horses stems from reading Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty.
She said: “I think I have to admit, in the end, I ended up probably being a sort of pony-mad child with Black Beauty, which I howled over, night after night after night.”
The Queen consort is proud she has bonded her with her grandchildren — son Tom Parker Bowles’ children Lola, 15, and 13-year-old Freddy, and daughter Laura Lopes’ kids Eliza, 15, and 13-year-old twins Louis and Gus — over stories and she takes great pleasure in knowing they have grown up to be “bookworms”.
She said: “It was just a wonderful way of getting to know them, as you say, bonding. Sitting on the end of their bed and just reading.
“We took it in turn to find our favourite stories and what’s lovely is it’s really got them reading. They are bookworms now.
“It’s so lovely if I go and see them, I find them tucked up in bed with a book saying ‘Please don’t turn off the light, I’ve got to finish this chapter’.”
Camilla stressed the importance of children learning to read for “pure enjoyment” from an early age.
She said: “It is really nice when you see the pure enjoyment that children are getting out of reading and if you get that at a very early age, it’s going to help you so much in future life.
“Because the earlier you read, the more you are going to understand, the more books you read, the more you’re going to understand about different places, different cultures, different ways of life.”