Camilla reveals wonder at Carroll's books during graduation ceremony

The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken of her passion for the writings of Lewis Carroll as Chester University awarded her an honorary doctorate for championing literature and literacy.

During a graduation ceremony at Chester Cathedral, Camilla - who also has the title Countess of Chester - was presented with a Doctorate of Letters in recognition of her leadership of initiatives promoting and encouraging literacy both in the UK and internationally.

She told the graduates and their families: "One of my favourite books is Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - a local Cheshire author, as I am sure you know.

Duchess of Cornwall honorary doctorate
Duchess of Cornwall honorary doctorate

"In one wonderful passage, the White Rabbit has to make a speech. He puts on his spectacles and asks, 'Where shall I begin?' The King tells him: 'Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.' Well, that's my plan this afternoon."

Camilla went on to tell the university's Chancellor, Gyles Brandreth: "I can speak to you, Chancellor, as Chancellor to Chancellor, because I am a Chancellor, too.

"I am Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen - originally founded as a small theological college, very much as this university was founded back in the 1830s.

Duchess of Cornwall honorary doctorate
Duchess of Cornwall honorary doctorate

"It was around the time when Lewis Carroll was born, in the nearby village of Daresbury, about halfway between here and the university's Warrington campus.

"Your founders believed in 'education for service' - and I know that education for service is still at the heart of the university's mission today. As Lewis Carroll said in another of his works: 'One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others'."

The duchess has championed literacy for many years, taking on the patronage of a number of related organisations and has been a passionate supporter of the BBC Radio 2 children's writing competition 500 Words.