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The Duchess of Cornwall shares heartfelt message on World Book Day

Camilla is patron of a number of literacy charities

The Duchess of Cornwall shared a heartfelt message to mark World Book Day on Thursday.

Camilla, 74, who is patron of a number of literacy charities, penned an article for The Mirror this week in support of the annual event.

READ: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall express solidarity with Ukraine during royal visit

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WATCH: Duchess of Cornwall reveals who inspired her love of reading

"This World Book Day, please take your children and your grandchildren to your nearest book shop to let the explorations begin," the Duchess wrote. "As Willy Wonka writes on his golden tickets, 'I shake you warmly by the hand! Tremendous things are in store for you!  Many wonderful surprises await you!' – surprises, he might have added, that are only possible between the covers of a book…"

Camilla, who has five grandchildren and five step-grandchildren of her own, praised World Book Day for bringing the joy of reading to children for 25 years.

Recalling her own childhood memories, she said: "I still remember the intense excitement I felt as a child when choosing books to buy with my pocket money…and the joy of knowing that these precious books, clutched tightly in my hands, were my very own."

The Duchess also highlighted the importance of reading from a young age, adding: "When we read, we understand ourselves better, we understand others better and we make lifelong friends."

MORE: The Duchess of Cornwall loves reading this book to her grandchildren

MORE: The Countess of Wessex celebrates World Book Day with children and puppies

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The Duchess has read to children on many of her royal engagements

Camilla's message comes the day after she and the Prince of Wales expressed their solidarity for Ukraine during a visit to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral on Wednesday.

Charles and Camilla lit a candle and left floral tributes at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London as they acknowledged the plight of the eastern European nation as fears grow Russia is planning a greater onslaught in the coming days.

The Duchess was also left close to tears when the leading members of the UK's Ukrainian community sang a mournful version of the song Chervona Kalyna, Red Guelder Rose, to welcome the couple when they walked into a cathedral hall.

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