The Queen Consort has spoken of the “life-changing” effects of reading after stamping a charity’s logo into a children’s picture book destined for an overseas library.
Camilla described herself as a “passionate” book lover as she toured Book Aid International’s headquarters and helped complete a shipment destined for Kigali Public Library in Rwanda .
With a logo stamp in her hand, she put the mark on an inside page of The Girl Who Planted Trees by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova, and later stamped the novel We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan.
The Queen Consort visited the Library in the Rwandan capital last June, during a trip to attend the opening of a Commonwealth leaders’ summit, soon after becoming patron of Book Aid International after succeeding the Duke of Edinburgh.
After touring the warehouse packed with books and meeting volunteers, trustees and senior executives from the organisation, she praised their efforts.
Camilla, who launched her online, reading room, book club a few years ago, said: “Thank you everybody for the job that you do – books are my passion.
“I know the people and children who have seen these books and it’s life-changing to be able to pick up a book and be able to read.
“A lot of them are in terrible situations, it is a form of escapism, it takes them into another world – so it’s you who are doing it, so thank you very much.”
Book Aid International sends more than a million best-selling novels, non-fiction books, medical textbooks and reference books donated by publishers to NGO partners across the globe.
They also provide a “discovery book box” a mini library in a box, and send titles destined for displaced people in countries experiencing conflict.
Camilla marvelled at the array of books in storage at the warehouse and was guided around by Harry Boughton, the charity’s head of operations, who revealed during a work visit to Zimbabwe that readers wanted books by the bestselling author, Danielle Steel.
Alison Tweed, Book Aid International’s chief executive, said about the Queen Consort: “She is so engaged, she clearly is a passionate reader and that makes all the difference – that we have that level of support.”
During her visit, the Queen Consort spoke of authors on her reading list at the moment and mentioned well-known writers India Knight and William Boyd.
Alison Tweed, Book Aid International’s chief executive, said about the Queen Consort: “She is so engaged, she clearly is a passionate reader and that makes all the difference – that we have that level of support.
“We work in over 26 countries, about 20 of them are in Africa, in most of those countries we have a range of partners, so we’ll have partners who want general fiction, partners who want medical texts – so we work with them they tell us what they want and we select the books.”
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