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Doting grandmother Camilla helps young children in the countdown to Christmas

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The Duchess joins in with a 'Shake, Rattle and Rhyme' session at the Birmingham Library's Centre for the Child - making a new young friend in the process
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 Photo: © Rex

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After reading to the group, Camilla helps one girl find the next door on a giant advent calender, based on the hit children's book, The Gruffalo
 Photo: © Rex

11 DECEMBER 2009

The Duchess of Cornwall has a natural affinity with children.

As a grandmother of two - soon to be four – and patron of a number of youth-focused charities, Camilla seems never happier than when surrounded by young people.

As part of a series of pre-Christmas engagements in Birmingham recently, Prince Charles' wife got to meet an array of tots, from tiny new babies and toddlers to young school children.

In particular she made friends with one little girl with a some help from a toy tambourine at a 'Shake, Rattle and Rhyme' session for parents and children at the Centre for the Child in the city's library.

No doubt well rehearsed in the art of bedtime stories, the hands-on royal also read to the group in front of a giant advent calendar based on the popular book, The Gruffalo.

The visit to Birmingham's library followed an engagement to help put the finishing touches on a homeless charity's Christmas tree in Coventry for Camilla, who travelled to the West Midlands by train.

And her busy day was completed with a charity performance of the ballet Romany Wood at the Elmhurst School for Dance.

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