Camilla launches Instagram book club to get people reading

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The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room aims to be a hub for people of all ages and abilities, with a focus on writers from the Commonwealth – opening with four of her winter choices on January 15. Each comes with a reading list, photo diary and video from the author.

There will be a fresh selection every season and Camilla’s aides are to coordinate her choices with publishers to ensure titles are easily available.

The forum might be a commercial boon for chosen authors – in the US, books in Oprah Winfrey’s TV club sold 55 million copies in 15 years;

Richard and Judy’s choices sold an average 250,000 copies.

It is not a commercial enterprise for Camilla, 73, but aides say that it is about encouraging a love of reading, which “promotes a wide range of emotional, social and educational benefits”, said a spokesman.

With a new portrait of Camilla by photographer Hugo Burnand, she launches the forum today on Instagram DuchessOfCornwallsReadingRoom.

In a video chat she asks Charlie Mackesy – the author of The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse, which sold 1.4 million copies – “Had you any idea quite what a success your book was going to be? I adore it.”

He had written offering early support to her project, ending his letter “Love, Charlie x”.

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