Camilla reads to Wimbledon youngsters
The Duchess of Cornwall met pupils from Wimbledon today (Thursday March 3) to mark World Book Day and to launch the Young Writers' Competition being run by Wimbledon Bookfest.
The Duchess toured Wimbledon Chase Primary School, where she also met youngsters from Dundonald, Donhead, Poplar, St Mark’s, Ursuline Prep and Wimbledon High Schools. Many were dressed as their favourite book characters - from Harry Potter to comic superheroes including Superman and Batman.
She listened to some reading from their favourite books and also watched a short performance based on the Shakespeare play Macbeth.
The Duchess, patron of the National Literacy Trust, also read the youngsters an extract from the classic children's book Winnie The Pooh, in particular the story about Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit's doorway.
Among the guests at the event was actress Prunella Scales, a governor at a local primary, and her husband actor Timothy West.
Ms Scales said: "I think it's incredibly important that children read. We used to read to our children every night.
"We used to think how lovely it was they had two trained actors reading to them, then one night our eldest child said 'Oh mum, stop doing the funny voices'.
"Television is a bit of a threat to reading - not that I'm against television, but children should read as well."
The Duchess also formally launched the Wimbledon Bookfest Young Writers' Competition, together with Rachel Russell, Chair of World Book Day, and Michael Crompton, the Bookfest chair of Judges. The competition runs from March until July and is open to all Merton schools.
More than 3,000 children took part in the Bookfest education programme last year and it looks set to grow in 2011. This year’s winners will have their stories recorded by actors and Harper Collins Education will be publishing one of the winning entries as part of their Big Cat reading scheme.
March 3, 2011