How Queen Consort Camilla’s latest bold move breaks from the long-held rule established by Queen Elizabeth

Queen Consort Camilla has taken a very public stance on a political issue

Charles supported Camilla at her latest outing, where she made a bold departure from the late Queen's way of doing things
(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The late Queen Elizabeth ruled for an unprecedented 70 years, and many scholars and experts agree the success of her reign was down to her skill for avoiding oversharing any personal opinions. Queen Consort Camilla has seemingly settled into the reign of her husband, King Charles, and isn’t afraid to rock the boat, appearing to wade into the censorship row facing authors.

The Queen Consort is a well-known lover of the written word.

She has been quoted as saying in the past, “Reading is exciting. Reading is fun. Reading is cool. There is nothing quite like the thrill of opening a book and being drawn into another world to meet new people and to discover their stories - it’s like making new friends.”

So it is perhaps no surprise that reading and authorship are at the heart of her latest comments which suggest she isn’t afraid to engage in political discourse, a radical departure from the style set and followed by the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Camilla delivered a passionate speech at Clarence House, supported by King Charles

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Speaking at a reception to mark the second anniversary of the online book club she established during the Coronavirus pandemic, Camilla, wearing a sparkling $39K brooch, told a group of writers at Clarence House, “Please remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination.”

Finishing with a knowing smile, she added, “Enough said.”

Her comments were greeted by cheers and applause from dozens of the leading figures of the British literary world, including history novelist Philippa Gregory, Ben Okri, Richard Osman, William Boyd, Victoria Hislop, and Sebastian Faulks.

Camilla greeted lots of authors (and their dogs) at Clarence House

(Image credit: Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

While Camilla’s words alone might not seem particularly bold, they come following a contentious – and very public – debate around the censorship of author’s words.

The publishing house, Puffin, revealed plans to edit the words of Roald Dahl.

Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was no longer going to be referred to as “fat” and the Oompa Loompas were set to become gender neutral.

Other famous Dahl characters including Mrs Twit was set for a makeover – her “fearful ugliness” would become “ugliness” and Miss Trunchbull from Matilda, once a “most formidable female” is now a “most formidable woman”, whose “great horsey face” would now simply be called “her face.”

Puffin said they planned the changes so that Roald Dahl’s works “can continue to be enjoyed by all today.”

Camilla has long been an advocate for reading, establishing an online reading club during the pandemic

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Camilla, as many have speculated, made her feelings on the matter known while speaking at a Clarence House reception where it was also announced her online book club was being renamed The Queen’s Reading Room.

Formerly the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room, the initiative is also being turned into a charity - the first one established in her honor - to improve education a love of reading for all ages.

The charity will hold its first literary festival at Hampton Court this summer.

Rounding off her speech, Camilla paraphrased American writer John Steinbeck’s powerful quotation, “I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession.”

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.