‘Always brings a tear to my eye’ Duchess of Cornwall includes heartbreaking tribute to her late brother as she shares her favourite books

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • The Duchess of Cornwall has shared her nine favourites books – and one of them was written by her late brother.


    Duchess Camilla is very outspoken about her love for literature, especially in her role as patron of the National Literacy Trust.

    During lockdown, to carry on with her work to inspire both children and adults to discover the joy of reading, she shared the list of her nine favourite books.

    The list was shared on Clarence House’s official Instagram page, alongside a picture of the duchess sitting on the steps at Birkhall, taken by a member of staff.

    The caption read, ‘“Ernest Hemingway, famously, once said “There is no friend as loyal as a book”. In these challenging times when we are isolated from the ones we love, many of us are finding comfort in reading, to fire up our imaginations, to take us on journeys and to make us laugh. With that in mind, here is a list of my dearest ‘friends’.” – The Duchess of Cornwall.

    ‘⬅️ Her Royal Highness has curated a reading list to provide some inspiration to those isolating at home over the Easter weekend.

    ‘The Duchess is passionate about reading for all ages and promotes its importance through some of her patronages, including @literacy_trust, @booktrust, @beanstalkreads and @royalsocietyofliterature. 📚’

    View this post on Instagram

    “Ernest Hemingway, famously, once said “There is no friend as loyal as a book”. In these challenging times when we are isolated from the ones we love, many of us are finding comfort in reading, to fire up our imaginations, to take us on journeys and to make us laugh. With that in mind, here is a list of my dearest ‘friends’.” – The Duchess of Cornwall ⬅️ Her Royal Highness has curated a reading list to provide some inspiration to those isolating at home over the Easter weekend. The Duchess is passionate about reading for all ages and promotes its importance through some of her patronages, including @literacy_trust, @booktrust, @beanstalkreads and @royalsocietyofliterature. 📚 See our Instagram story for more on why The Duchess selected each book!

    A post shared by Clarence House (@clarencehouse) on

    And one of the books, Travels on my Elephant, is a poignant tribute to her late brother, Mark Shand.

    The travel writer and conservationist was heavily involved in the protection of Asian elephants. He sadly died 2014 at the age of 62 after falling in New York and sustaining fatal injuries because of a very thin skull.

    Speaking about her choice, the duchess said: “My late brother’s tale of his love affair with Tara, an Asian elephant, on their journey across India… it always brings a tear to my eye.”

    If you want more reading inspiration from the duchess, here’s the list in full:

    • Restless by William Boyd

    • A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

    • The Simon Serrailler series by Susan Hill

    • The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

    • The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard

    • A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles

    • The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

    • The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak

    • Travels On My Elephant by Mark Shand

    Latest Stories

    Most Popular

    NAV BUG FIX