Duchess Camilla shows off impressive language skills on solo visit to Canadian school

Duchess Camilla spoke both English and French at an elementary school on day two of her Canada tour with Prince Charles

Duchess Camilla shows off language skills at Canadian school
(Image credit: Getty)

Duchess Camilla showed off her flair for foreign languages at a school in Canada yesterday, addressing students in both English and French during the visit. 

The Duchess of Cornwall showed off her bilingual tongue during a solo engagement in Canada yesterday, speaking both English and French to pupils at a Catholic elementary school in Ottawa. 

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles arrived in the Commonwealth realm on Tuesday to embark on a whirlwind three-day-long tour in honor of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, leaving the preparation of Jubilee decorations to their royal staffers back in Britain. 

The couple's overseas trip marks their first joint visit to North America in over five years and is widely considered to be an opportunity for the Crown to learn about the different cultures across the country. On the first day of the tour, Prince Charles addressed the 'dark' history of the Indingeous people in Canada, amid calls for the Royal Family to apologize for the Anglican Church's abuses of the First Nations community. 

On Wednesday, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla continued their nationwide adventure, flying almost 1,000 miles from Newfoundland to the capital, Ottawa. Their first call of business was a visit to the Assumption School in Vanier, a low-income area of the city. 

Shortly after arrival, the future Queen Consort was invited into one of the building's classrooms, where she learned all about the school's literacy initiatives and met with a grade of starstruck six and seven-year-olds. 


(Image credit: Getty)

She went on to read the book, The Library Bus, to the assembly of children, in the hope of highlighting the joys of the written word to the young pupils. The heartwarming story, which is inspired by author Bahram Rahman's sister's experience, tells the tale of an Afghan girl visiting a mobile library in Kabul. 

After the recital was finished, Grade One teacher, Stephanie Lucas, showed Camilla the classroom's new Start2Finish vending machine. Instead of candy and drinks, however, the machine allows the students to choose one book a month for three years - no return needed. Camilla was notably impressed by the addition, calling it a 'brilliant idea' for encouraging young people to read. 

The 74-year-old also tried out a French literacy class, where the children were studying the 2001 novel, Une drole de minister, by Dominique Demers. Camilla even channeled her inner Francophile during the lesson, speaking a few words of the European language to teacher Miss Sarah Erskine. The duchess also praised the children's attentiveness in French, describing their 'concentration' as 'tres bien'. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.