Queen Camilla hosts actors and authors to celebrate reading

Queen Camilla hosted authors and actors at a star-studded event in London to celebrate reading.

The royal oversaw the glitzy bash at Clarence House on Tuesday night (26.03.24) to mark the third anniversary of her Reading Room book club charity and it was attended by writers including Harlan Corben, Donna Tartt and Philippa Gregory and actors Helena Bonham Carter, Dame Joanna Lumley, Rupert Everett and Sir Derek Jacobi.

Camilla, 76, gave a speech at the event which highlighted new research which suggests just five minutes of reading a day can have significant health benefits. She told the star-studded audience: "In addition to our five a day and our 10,000 steps, we should all be aiming for at least five minutes of reading every day for invaluable benefits for brain health and mental well-being.

"Just as we always suspected, books are good for us – and now science is proving us right!"

The Queen's Reading Room is a charity which celebrate and promotes the power and benefits of reading and aims to help more people connect with books.

During her speech, Camilla said of the project: "Thanks to all of you, the Reading Room is doing what it can to spread the word about how literature, quite simply, makes life better.

"Since it began three years ago, it has reached nearly 12 million people through all its platforms, produced more than a thousand pieces of educational literary content and had its inaugural festival at Hampton Court, attended by almost 8,000 people from as far afield as the United States, Canada, Northern Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

"It's also launched a podcast, which this year will take us into the 'reading rooms' of 32 captivating writers, actors and thinkers. And now, this first study sees us embarking on an important journey to understand the science behind the power of stories to enrich our lives.

"This would not have been possible without all of you: your talents, your imagination, your originality, your support and, most of all, your profound love of the written word."

Speaking at the event, Joanna Lumley was full of praise of the Queen's mission to promote reading. She said: "It's like walking into a room with a packet of crisps when everyone is starving, people are ravenous for something and then they get hold of it and devour it.

"Thats why this book club has reached 12 million in three years, and that's an extraordinary number. It's like rock star stuff. And it will only get better ...

"Reading makes you feel less stressed, you go to a happy place, you never feel alone with book. And we have all discovered the same things are activated. And yet all we do is give children small screens."