Duchess Camilla praises ‘much-missed’ royal as she discusses new patronage with special family connection

The Duchess of Cornwall opened up in Rwanda about a recently-announced new role as she follows in fellow royal's footsteps...

Duchess Camilla praises "much-missed" royal, seen here at a BookAid/Q.C.E.C event
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

Duchess Camilla has praised a “much-missed” royal in a heartfelt message as discussed a prestigious new role with a sweet family connection.    

As senior members of the extended Royal Family, Prince Charles, who is first in the royal line of succession, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have undertaken many overseas tours and visits over the years. Currently undertaking what is the inaugural royal visit to Rwanda, the Clarence House social media accounts shared a selection of wonderful snaps of the Duchess at the Kigali Public Library with the First Lady of Rwanda, Jeannette Kagame.

Alongside them was a deeply personal message from the future Queen Consort which paid tribute to a “much-missed” royal as she expressed her excitement at taking on a new role that was announced back in May. 

Duchess Camilla has long been known for her love of reading and set up her own online book club, The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room, last year. Now she has got candid about how “powerful” books truly are a month after she became the proud new Patron of Book Aid International.

“Books are extraordinarily powerful. They bring joy in quiet moments, provide comfort in times of difficulty and deepen our connection to the world around us,” she began. “For those fleeing war, struggling to give their children the education they deserve, or facing barriers simply because of their gender, books are a source of hope, strength and the chance to build a brighter future.”

The last person to hold this important royal patronage was the Queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, who passed away at Windsor Castle last year. And it was clear that his absence is still keenly felt as Duchess Camilla made a deeply personal reference to him.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall smiles with young students as she attends a BookAid/Q.C.E.C event with Jeannette Kagame

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

She declared, “I am delighted to have become Patron of Book Aid International, following in the footsteps of my much-missed father-in-law, The Duke of Edinburgh. Its work is truly life-changing: giving millions of people globally access to brand-new books, full of vibrant images and fresh ideas, offering them the magical experience of reading and the remarkable opportunities that come from a love of books.”

As revealed by Clarence House, Book Aid International has worked with many libraries and NGO partners across Rwanda to donate over 222,000 books since 2017. They have also helped to transform two shipping containers into flourishing community libraries.

Prince Philip had been a royal patron of the vital charity since 1966 and chose to remain their patron even after he retired from public duties in 2017.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend a beacon lighting ceremony

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The thought that avid reader and dedicated advocate for literacy Duchess Camilla has succeeded her “much-missed father-in-law” in the role is incredibly moving. Family is known to be deeply important to her and her own father Major Bruce Shand inspired her love of books. The Duchess of Cornwall shared a unique childhood insight back in 2021 in a piece written for The Sunday Times to mark the Reading Room’s launch.

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

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!