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Duchess Camilla shares lockdown reading inspiration as she launches online book club 

The Duchess of Cornwall has launched the Reading Room on Instagram

duchess camilla reading room
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Duchess of Cornwall shared her reading recommendations as she launched her online book club on Friday.

Camilla, 73, spoke of her love of literature as the Reading Room's first four titles were announced, saying reading was a "great adventure" that allowed people to laugh and cry with a good book.

Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel's The Mirror And The Light have been picked by the Duchess alongside William Boyd’s Restless, Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak.

READ: Duchess Camilla's home with Prince Charles is so Instagrammable - see photo

WATCH: Camilla reveals her new reading list!

In a video to welcome readers to her Instagram-based Reading Room, Camilla said: "To me, reading is a great adventure. I've loved it since I was very small and I'd love everybody else to enjoy it as much as I do.

"You can escape, and you can travel, and you can laugh and you can cry. There's every type of emotion humans experience in a book."

Camilla's latest project comes after she first shared her reading recommendations during the first national lockdown in April 2020. She also shared her summer reading list in August to give royal fans inspiration over the holidays.

It was the positive letters she received from across the globe in reaction, that encouraged the Duchess to create the Reading Room, to encourage book fans of all ages to discover new writers and create a hub for literary communities to connect.

MORE: The sweet story behind the personalised gold bracelet Duchess Camilla gave Kate Middleton

MORE: 28 must-reads this winter: from brilliant novels to must-try cookbooks

reading room books© Photo: PA

The Duchess' recommended reads

In another video, the Duchess spoke about her hopes for the Reading Room: "I like it to be something that everybody could delve into and find something that suited them and enjoy it – I think it’s for people's enjoyment.

"And I think they get more enjoyment if they can… see little snippets of authors and why they wrote the book."

On Wednesday, a new portrait of the Duchess was shared on the Reading Room's Instagram account. The candid shot taken by Jennifer Pattison showed Camilla quietly reading at home.

The portrait of the Duchess shared by the Reading Room

Last week, Camilla shared her love of doodling horses during her childhood with author and illustrator Charlie Mackesy during a video call to promote the launch of the initiative.

Each of the titles picked by the Duchess will be highlighted for a fortnight with information about the book and its author, alongside a Book Club Kit – a set of questions readers can use to explore the themes of the novel and spark discussions with friends.

The kits have been created by the Reading Room book researchers as part of the Lockdown Reading Project, a collaboration between the University of Portsmouth and the University of Copenhagen to study how reading habits are changing in the face of Covid-19.

The Duchess holds seven patronages related to literature, including the National Literacy Trust, and has presented the prestigious Booker Prize for a number of years.

Camilla's recommended reads

hilary mantel book

The Mirror And The Light by Hilary Mantel, £12.50, Amazon

william boyd book

Restless by William Boyd, £7.38, Amazon

crawdads book

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, £5.99, Amazon

architect apprentice

 The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak, £7.89, Amazon


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