Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall shares unique childhood insight as new book club launches

The duchess could travel the world ‘without ever leaving’ her room

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visits Maggie's Barts at St Bartholomew's Hospital on October 07, 2020 in London, England
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has opened up about her childhood love of reading in a deeply emotional piece to mark the launch of her new online book club.

The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room officially launched with its Season One book picks on Friday, January 15. Royal fans and book-lovers were quick to see what insightful novels the Duchess of Cornwall had picked and are sure to be delighted as the Reading Room will feature each one of the chosen reads for a fortnight. 

Duchess Camilla is the patron of several literary organizations and has previously spoken about her love of reading.

Whilst it was already clear that this was a venture Duchess Camilla was eager to put everything into, she has now opened up on exactly what books meant to her throughout her life.

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What did Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall reveal about her childhood?

In a piece written for The Sunday Times to mark the launch of the Reading Room, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall revealed how she can trace her love of reading all the way back to childhood

The piece, which has also been shared on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s website shares how her father, Major Bruce Shand, played a huge part in encouraging his daughter’s love of reading. 

‘My father was a passionate bibliophile who would read to his children every night,” Duchess Camilla wrote. ‘Life without books was, for him, a life not worth living. He passed his love of reading on to me.’

But it seems it wasn’t just her father who inspired her. The surroundings of her childhood home in ‘the depths of the of the Sussex countryside’ meant that the Duchess of Cornwall ‘travelled the world without ever leaving [her] room’.

How did lockdown inspire the Duchess of Cornwall?

During the first national lockdown in 2020, Duchess Camilla shared a list of her favorite books with royal fans. In her emotional piece, she revealed how delighted she was by the letters she received in response. 

The Duchess of Cornwall wrote that: ‘The most moving letters were those from people who described how books had been their lifeline during lockdown’.

As the Duchess revealed, ‘Reading was comforting us, making us laugh, taking us on journeys that we could not undertake in the flesh and, crucially, reminding us that we were not alone. We had found community in reading at a time when we were, sadly but necessarily, unable to be with those we love.’ 

Following on from this, the Duchess of Cornwall ‘thought the best space for [the book reading community] to meet one another might be online.’

Having sought some advice from ‘book-ish friends’, the Duchess’ Reading Room was born.

What is the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room?

The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room is an online reading platform. The Reading Room explores the magical world of books and those extraordinary people who write them, as well as the benefits of reading. 

Concluding her emotional piece, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wrote: ‘I fervently hope that the Reading Room will be a resource, a reassurance and a refuge for all book lovers, on a digital desert island of our own.’

Have you read any of the Reading Room’s books yet? 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!