Camilla tells pupils: Keep reading and you’ll go a long way

The Duchess of Cornwall has offered a group of young bookworms the benefit of her years of experience, telling them: “Keep on reading and you’ll go a long way.”

Camilla marked World Book Day by visiting a London primary school and sat down with pupils, enjoying a reading circle, to help promote the global event.

The duchess is patron of several organisations that support literacy including the National Literacy Trust, BookTrust and First Story, and has been a passionate supporter of the BBC children’s writing competition 500 Words.

After reading the opening section of Lauren Child’s book Hubert Horatio: A Very Fishy Tale with some of the children in the school library, she attended an assembly to hear how the pupils spent the weeks leading up to World Book Day.

She told the youngsters from Avondale Park School in Notting Hill: “I’ve had a lovely time upstairs reading with some of the reading stars and they even made me read a bit of the book myself – very, very impressive.

“I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I do. I spend a lot time reading now I have grandchildren, probably the same age as some of you here, so I get to know all the books.

“The best thing you can possibly do is to read – if I could give you any advice I would just say, ‘keep on reading and you’ll go a long way’.”

Avondale Park School was affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, with former and current pupils dying in the blaze as well as a member of staff, while many of the pupils were displaced.

Head teacher Katy Blackler, who hosted Camilla’s visit, said the duchess did not mention Grenfell and the focus of the visit was World Book Day.

Ms Blackler said the children were excited and proud to have the duchess in their school, adding: “It’s lovely that today she’s also promoted reading.

“I think in our world of lots of computers and iPads and phones it’s quite a challenge sometimes as they can seem more appealing, and what we want is for the children to read.”