Duchess of Cornwall pushed by friend to recite children’s poetry

The Duchess of Cornwall was pushed by a friend into reciting a children’s poem from heart.

Camilla reeled off from memory the humorous Matilda Who told Lies, And Was Burned To Death.

The duchess gave a subtle roll of the eyes to insistent friend Gyles Brandreth at an event in London, before standing to recite the poem in front of an assembled crowd.

The Duchess of Cornwall with schoolchildren at the Poetry Together in at the Eaton Upper School in London (Craig Simpson/PA)

Despite previously asking “do I have to do this?” Camilla delivered the lines, opening with “Matilda told such dreadful lies”.

Speaking at the event, Brandreth said: “She and I are of the same vintage, we are, as it were, over pensionable age now, I said I think you ought to have a go.

“She said ‘for goodness sake please no’.

“I saw her at another event last night, and she said ‘do I have to do this?’, and I said ‘yes’.

“If the seven-year-olds can do it the 70-year-olds can do it.”

The Duchess of Cornwall with schoolchildren at the Poetry Together in at the Eaton Upper School in London (Craig Simpson/PA)

She was joined in the performance by pupils from Knightsbridge School, who she shared tea with after the recital.

Literature lover Camilla inspired poetry enthusiast Brandreth to find a link between the artform and helping memory.

The Poetry Together project which ensued, to help old and young people appreciate poetry and aid memory, and the duchess was in attendance at an event for the scheme in London.

Brandreth said: “She was at the beginning of the venture. If it wasn’t for my meeting this would not have happened. Frankly, without her, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Poetry Together encourages young people to read poetry alongside the elderly, in a bid to help their memory based on research into the benefits of poetry.

The event was attended by representatives from schools and organisations for the elderly, including the Chelsea Pensioners, from across the country.

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