Line-up of stars announced for Camilla’s first Reading Room literary festival

The Queen Reading Room charity will hold its one-day event at Hampton Court Palace in June.

Laura Elston
Wednesday 29 March 2023 12:55 BST
Camilla reading to schoolchildren (Yui Mok/PA)
Camilla reading to schoolchildren (Yui Mok/PA)

The Queen Consort’s literary charity has revealed the line-up for its first ever festival.

Dame Judi Dench, Gyles Brandreth, Dame Harriet Walter, Philippa Gregory, David Olusoga, Ben Macintyre, Kate Mosse, David Harewood, Robert Harris and Ken Follett will be among the actors and authors appearing at Hampton Court Palace on June 11.

The one-day event will also see The Queen’s Reading Room join forces with The Royal Society of Literature to stage a memorial event for the late Wolf Hall trilogy author Dame Hilary Mantel, overlooked by Anne Boleyn’s Gateway.

And the cast of the West End show Austentatious will improvise a new Jane Austen novel inspired by a title dreamt up by Camilla.

Dame Judi will appear in conversation with Brandreth to discuss her life, career and love of Shakespeare.

Camilla’s reading room began as an Instagram book club inspired during lockdown, but was relaunched as a charity in February to work on advancing education by promoting the appreciation of literature among adults and children.

Vicki Perrin, chief executive of The Queen’s Reading Room, said: “There is a special kind of magic to be found in a book, and great wonder in listening to authors speak about their work.

“I have no doubt that visitors will find themselves inspired by these great minds, enjoy connecting with fellow readers, and I hope that they will come away transformed into lifelong literature lovers.”

The festival is a co-production between The Queen’s Reading Room and Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for Hampton Court Palace.

Proceeds will go towards the ongoing work of both charities and tickets are available via thequeensreadingroom.co.uk

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