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Queen Consort launches literary charity

Melanie May | 28 February 2023 | News

An open book. By pexels on pixabay

The Queen Consort has launched The Queen’s Reading Room, the online community she created during the pandemic, as a charity.

The Queen’s Reading Room was announced as a charity at an event celebrating its second anniversary, which saw the Queen Consort joined by The King, along with authors, members of the literary community and representatives of literacy charities.

As a charity, it will continue to celebrate books from a diverse range of authors around the world, chosen for their literary, educative and historic merit. The charity will work to provide opportunities for the appreciation of literature among adults and children in the UK and around the world, with the aim of closing the gap between writers and readers through accessible, educational and free literary content available year-round.

Her Majesty will continue to share book recommendations through her Instagram page, via the charity website and through Facebook too.

Speaking at the event, the Queen Consort said:

“As some of you may know, my Reading Room started as a list of 9 of my favourite books, literally scribbled on a piece of paper during the first lockdown. It is now a global community of over 155,000, supported by internationally-renowned men and women of letters, as well as thousands of readers. I am now delighted to announce that the Reading Room has become a charity, working to close the gap between readers and writers and helping people of all ages and backgrounds find and connect to books. We have lots of excitements in the pipeline and I do very much hope you will be able to attend our first literary festival at Hampton Court Palace later this year, when we shall bring together some of the world’s foremost authors, actors, experts and literature lovers for a day celebrating the written word.”

The Queen’s Reading Room Festival will take place on 11 June at Hampton Court Palace. Speakers will include Dame Judi Dench, David Olusoga, Kamila Shamsie, Austentatious, Ben Macintyre, Dame Harriet Walter, and Ken Follett.

Visitors will be able to explore the Palace on literary themed tours and tread the floors where Shakespeare once performed with his King’s Men; wander the gardens; listen to poetry read by actors, and enjoy shows from the festival’s headliners. The full programme and tickets will be released in early March and all proceeds from the festival will support the ongoing work of The Queen’s Reading Room and Historic Royal Palace charities.