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Queen Consort Camilla wades into Roald Dahl rewrites row in first appearance since Covid

The Queen Consort made the comments at a literary reception 

camilla speech© Photo: Alamy
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
February 23, 2023
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The Queen Consort appeared to comment on the Roald Dahl rewrites row as she made her first public appearance since recovering from COVID-19.

Camilla made a broad reference to the controversy in a speech at a Clarence House reception to mark the second anniversary of her online book club, The Reading Room

WATCH: The Queen Consort wades into Roald Dahl rewrites row

The Queen Consort told a room full of authors: "So thank you, on behalf of book-lovers and book clubs everywhere, for sharing your talents with us and for everything you do to promote literacy and a love of literature.

"Please keep doing so and please remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination. Enough said!"

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Roald Dahl © Photo: Getty Images

Roald Dahl wrotes books including Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Books by popular children's author Roald Dahl are being changed by the Roald Dahl estate and book publisher Puffin to make them more suitable for modern audiences.

The changes include removing offensive references of characters' appearance such as "ugly" or "fat" but the move has been met with criticism by many, including prime minister Rishi Sunak.

The Queen Consort's comments with met with applause as it was revealed that her popular Reading Room was launched as a charity on Thursday, which will work to advance education by providing opportunities for the appreciation of literature among adults and children in the UK and around the world.   

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The Queen's Reading Room has now become a charity

The Queen's Reading Room follows the success of Her Majesty's book club which launched on Instagram in January 2021 and has since amassed over 155,000 international followers.

The new charity will stage its first literary festival on 11 June at Hampton Court Palace, with speakers including Dame Judi Dench and David Olusoga.

In The Queen Consort's former role as the Duchess of Cornwall, Her Majesty worked with numerous literacy charities in the UK including  the National Literacy Trust, First Story, and Coram Beanstalk. In 2011, the then Duchess became Patron of BookTrust, taking on the role from the Duke of Edinburgh.

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Queen Consort and Charlie Mackesy© Photo: Alamy

The Queen Consort with author and illustrator Charlie Mackesy

Camilla missed a joint engagement at The Felix Project with King Charles on Wednesday as she continued to recover from COVID-19.

Ahead of the outing, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "Her Majesty has made an excellent recovery from last week's illness.

"However, to allow for additional preparation ahead of Thursday's rescheduled literary reception and other commitments, Her Majesty will not be attending today's Felix Project engagement."

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