The Duchess of Cornwall remarked how “everyone seems to be self-isolating these days” as she visited booksellers in Hay-on-Wye.
Bookshop owner Anne Brichto called out to Camilla from an upstairs window above Addyman Books, where she has been staying after getting pinged for contact with someone with Covid-19.
The duchess’s remarks came after the Duchess of Cambridge was told on Friday to self-isolate at Kensington Palace.
Camilla, 73, standing in the street, called back to Anne, saying: “I heard you are self-isolating. I am glad you are enjoying it.”
As she entered the bookstore, the duchess remarked: “Everyone seems to be isolating these days.”
Rules on 10-day self-isolation periods in England are being eased for the fully vaccinated and under-18s, but not until August 16.
At Addyman Books, the duchess chatted with owner Derek Addyman, who stood in for his self-isolating partner.
Camilla said: “What a very special place to be. This bookshop looks absolutely lovely.
“I can’t imagine anything nicer than being in a bookshop and studying all these books.
“I’ve just started my Instagram. I have a Reading Room. I don’t know anything about technology but it shows what you can do even if you are a technophobe like me.
“It’s really nice to put up my favourite books. It is going quite well.”
The duchess, an avid reader who holds seven patronages related to literature, also admired crime books in the Murder & Mayhem bookshop and grabbed a tub of toffee and honeycomb ice cream at Shepherds Ice Cream Parlour.
Camilla met authors, businessmen and schoolchildren at Richard Booth’s Bookshop, which is the world’s largest second-hand bookshop, saying: “It’s lovely to be back.”
Inside, she chatted with Pat Thornton, who worked in the shop for 47 years, and Eliza Greatbatch, daughter of the shop’s owners.
Ms Greatbatch told the duchess: “In the last few weeks it has been lovely to see the children come in – the excitement they have when they see all of these books.”
Year 5 students Imogen Keeble, Maisy Bishop and Rhys Sayce read a poem and handed the duchess a printed copy.
The duchess opened the online Hay Festival this year and has visited numerous times in the past.
The Prince of Wales, who was test-driving an eco-car in Llandrindod Wells, and the duchess are carrying out a week of engagements on their annual summer visit to Wales.