Duchess Camilla reveals surprising dream dinner party guests

The royal filmed a short video for her book club members

The Duchess of Cornwall is an avid reader, and like many of us she has wondered about what it would be like to meet her favourite fictional characters.

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During a visit to Meta's new headquarters last week, the royal filmed a short video for those in her book club, where she answered some questions that they had submitted. Among the queries were which characters from literature would she like to host at a dinner party, and she certainly had a surprising response. "Well I've got quite an extraordinary mixture," she explained.

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"I'd have the Count of Monte Cristo. Then I'd have two rather devious characters to spice up the whole thing. I'd have Mrs Danvers, dressed in black, and I'd have Count Fosco from The Woman in White. I think they'd cause quite a lot of trouble and I wanted somebody a bit different."

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She added: "Then I'd have a heroine of mine, Elizabeth Bennett. Just a good strong woman to keep the show on the road, so to speak.

"And then I'd have Uncle Matthew from the Pursuit of Love, probably with his entrenching tool to keep everyone under control.

"[There are] A lot more people I'd like to have but I think that would be a very good mixture."

The Duchess is an avid reader

She also spoke about the importance of literacy for young children, as she explained: "Obviously you've got to learn to read first because if you can't read, how are you going to get on in life? You're not going to be able to read signs, you're not going to be able to read application forms. You've got to learn to read from an early age, I think it's so important.

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"The earlier you can learn, the better. I think that's very much a parent's job, to get children reading very young by reading to them.

The Duchess recorded the video when she visited Meta's new headquarters last week

"Because however young you are, you absorb stories. The more stories you absorb, the more interested you're going to be in the future. I think for everybody, to read a story can take you into so many different worlds.

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"You can go to places you thought you'd never get to. You can go to different countries. However difficult things are, you can get away from them and go into your own world for a bit. Just take yourself away from everything that's annoying you and read a book. I think it's the most therapeutic thing you can do.

"After lockdown, especially, when we were all in a world we didn't understand. What better than to reach for a book? So many people have started reading again which is really good news."

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