David Walliams and Camilla in video chat about lockdown writing

Children’s author David Walliams has joked with the Duchess of Cornwall about how his son prefers other writers to him.

The pair held a video chat to highlight the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition and discussed how writing stories is perfect for passing the time in lockdown.

Camilla quizzed Walliams about his seven-year-old son Alfred, asking: “Has your son inherited your talent for writing?”

Camilla and David Walliams
The Duchess of Cornwall and David Walliams on their video call (Clarence House/PA)

The actor amused the duchess by revealing: “He’s coming up with ideas for stories all the time. I mean, they come thick and fast.

“So he’s really into that and really into stories. He tends to choose other writers rather than me…”

The Britain’s Got Talent judge, 48, whose popular comedy fiction books include Gangsta Granny, Mr Stink, and The Boy In The Dress, was asked by Camilla how he was coping in lockdown.

“I’m good. I’m just keeping myself busy writing,” he replied.

He added: “Well it’s never a better time, I think, to be writing or reading than this time. And I find, personally, that when I do creative work, it passes the time beautifully.”

The duchess and Walliams talked about how they wanted millions of children to enter The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, which this year has the environment as its theme.

Camilla said: “You can tell it by poetry, you can write an essay, you can write a story.”

Camilla and David Walliams
Comedian and author David Walliams during a literary tea party hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall in 2017 (Chris Jackson/PA)

Walliams added: “Really be as imaginative as you can. There’s millions of children who could potentially enter this competition.”

Camilla, who is vice-patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society, is an avid reader and is focused on promoting literacy through her charity work.

The duchess, who was seated in front of the packed bookshelves in her study at her Scottish home Birkhall, said: “We just want lots and lots and lots of these aspiring young writers to enter because, as you said before, some of their stories really are verging on brilliant.”

Walliams added: “They’re brilliant. And I know that this theme is really going to get them going, so I can’t wait to read the entries.”

The comedian and the duchess have often collaborated on promoting literacy, with Walliams dressing as a bus conductor for a special garden party in 2017 hosted by Camilla at Clarence House to mark a National Literacy Trust project.

This #EnglishLanguageDay & with children across the Commonwealth out of school, we're thrilled to share a message from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, inspiring entries to The Queens Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020

Details: https://t.co/w1pwPP9DhU@ClarenceHouse@RoyalFamilypic.twitter.com/IETneZGqu2

— The Royal Commonwealth Society (@RoyalCWSociety) April 23, 2020

The competition is the world’s oldest and largest schools international writing contest.

It was founded in 1883 to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people throughout the Commonwealth.

For 2020, the theme of competition is Climate Action and the Commonwealth, with young people asked to consider their position and power in bringing about change, and how the Commonwealth can be used as a tool for positive action.

There are two age categories: under 14s and 14-18 years.

More details can be found at thercs.org/the-qcec and entries will be accepted online until June 30 2020.

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