Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A cuddle for Camilla

She may be the wife of a future king but there was no standing on ceremony for Camilla of Cornwall on Tuesday night.  The duchess was presenting the Man Booker Prize in central London and as the overcome winner, Richard Flanagan, made his way on stage to collect his award he wrapped Camilla up in a huge bear hug.  And the delighted Duchess of Cornwall gave him a cuddle right back.

A cuddle for Camilla as Richard Flanagan collects one of the biggest prizes in the book world

Richard Flanagan had won the award for his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which is set in World War Two.  It was inspired by his father, Archie, who had been held prisoner in Burma during the war and who died on the day that his son completed the novel.  Richard Flanagan was, understandably, emotional as he picked up one of the biggest prizes in the book world and immediately hugged the duchess when he arrived on stage.  But while in times past royals kept their distance, Camilla cuddled right back as the celebrations began.

And it wasn't just Richard Flanagan who was remembering the inspiration that came from his father. In her speech, the Duchess of Cornwall talked about the joy of growing up in a house full of books and spoke with pride about her father reading to her and her brother and sister.  Camilla is a passionate advocate of literacy and is involved with several charities and organisations which promote reading and writing.  Her speech also mentioned several of the initiatives linked to literacy with which she is involved including the Books Unlocked scheme which funds literacy projects in prisons.

The Duchess of Cornwall speaking at the Man Book Prize in London on October 14th 2014

Camilla also mentioned how the Man Booker Prize puts novels and their authors on the agenda and gets everyone talking about reading.  And while the bearhug from an author will also be getting headlines this morning, his book and the campaign to bring reading to a wider audience will still be generating words when the pictures fade from the memory.

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