‘Their eyes widen!’ Camilla reveals touching activity she shares with grandchildren

Camilla speaks about her favourite childhood books

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Prince Charles’ wife has five grandchildren from her two children, Laura Lopes and Tom Parker Bowles. Camilla, 74, is also step-grandmother to Prince William’s three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince Harry’s Archie and Lilibet.

In an interview with the Mirror, Camilla revealed one of her favourite books to read to her grandchildren involves a “gangster granny” who plots to steal the Queen’s Crown Jewels from The Tower of London.

Among her top picks for youngsters, Camilla selected the multi-million bestseller Gangster Granny, by David Walliams, which she described as a “wonderful book”.

It follows the story of Ben, aged 11, who spends time at his grandmother’s house every Friday whilst his parents go out dancing, much to his dismay.

Ben becomes keener on the visits to his grandma’s after learning she is an international jewel thief with a plan to steal Her Majesty’s crown jewels.

Talking about reading the title with the young people in her life, Camilla explains how she loves watching “their eyes widen as they begin to wonder if their own grandparents might have some interesting tales to tell.”

Camilla, patron of the National Literacy Trust, spoke of her favourite titles for children ahead of World Book Day next Thursday, March 3.

She also explained her own love of the hobby, saying: “When we read, we understand ourselves better, we understand others better and we make lifelong friends.”

The Duchess went on to add that encouraging children to read is ever more important in “our multimedia age” yet there are still around 400,000 children in Britain who don’t have a book of their own.

She added: “World Book Day is a brilliant way to prove how much fun and escapism can be found in a good book.”

In her interview with the Mirror, Camilla spoke of the joy of reading and explained its importance in a developing mind.

She said: “Reading for pleasure is, we know, the biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income.”

The National Literacy Trust backed Camilla’s messaging, as experts say children who are the most engaged with literacy are three times more likely to have higher levels of mental wellbeing than children who are the least engaged (39.4 percent vs 11.8 percent).

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Elsewhere in her interview, Camilla spoke of her love for literacy, which extends back to her childhood.

She spoke of the titles she would purchase with her pocket money as a child that she now reads to her own grandchildren.

She said: “I still remember the intense excitement I felt as a child when choosing books to buy with my pocket money and the joy of knowing that these precious books, clutched tightly in my hands, were my very own.”

Camilla explained she loved Black Beauty by Anna Sewell while in her phase as a “pony-mad child”, and added that she “loves it still” today.

Camilla also gave a nod to The Explorer by Katherine Rundell which she has also shared with her grandchildren, describing it as a “wildly exciting, witty, thought-provoking book”.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Duchess launched ‘The Reading Room’ which celebrates literature in all its forms and provides recommendations of books for the public to read each season.

Her Instagram page for the project includes further recommendations – including several from friends and family members.

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