Camilla tells young book lovers: You are all going to be stars

The Queen has urged young book lovers at a primary school to keep reading, telling them that “by the time you are grown up you are all going to be stars”.

Camilla was visiting Christ Church School in Chelsea, south-west London, where the joy of reading is being celebrated this month in a literary festival.

She spoke after she toured the school on Wednesday and saw the range of ways the children are being encouraged to read.

Camilla smiles as she meets young pupils
Camilla meets young pupils (Chris Jackson/PA)

As Camilla handed over a gift of a selection of books for the library, she encouraged more than 200 pupils at a special assembly to keep on reading “forever and ever”.

She said: “It is going to take you off on millions of adventures all over the world.

“The more you read as you grow up, it’s going to be bigger and better for all of you.

“Keep on reading and by the time you are grown up you are all going to be stars.”

Camilla was shown a mosaic portrait of the King which was created by the children and an artist for the coronation.

She walked up to the portrait and said: “My goodness, that’s really good. How’s my husband?”

A teacher speaks to Camilla as children listen
The Queen heard about the school’s “Shepherd and Sheep” reading initiative (Chris Jackson/PA)

Then two Year 4 children, Leo and Hannah, both aged nine, told her how they had helped to make the artwork, showing her which tiles they put into the mosaic, and Camilla posed for photographs with them.

There was warm applause after the school choir sang The Secret Owl Society and Hallelujah at the assembly.

Camilla was told that some of the children are being sponsored by family and friends to read as many books as possible during the festival.

She also visited a reception class where she heard about the school’s “Shepherd and Sheep” reading scheme.

It involves new starters being matched with a Year 6 pupil who acts as their “shepherd” – a friend and role model throughout the first year.

She also dropped in on a Year 4 felt-making workshop, where one girl told her “my name is Kamilla too”- but she did not point out it was spelled differently.

Camilla talks to children sitting at a desk
Camilla at Christ Church School in Chelsea (Chris Jackson/PA)

Camilla also spoke to children about their favourite books.

In the school’s garden, she was greeted by one girl who asked: “Are you the Queen?”

Camilla smiled and responded: “That’s me.”

She also discovered how the children were learning new words and saw them enjoying time at a poetry corner and book stand.

Camilla is an avid reader and patron of several organisations that promote and support literacy, including the National Literacy Trust, First Story, Coram Beanstalk and Booktrust.

After the visit, head teacher Avis Hawkins said: “She will have really encouraged the children to keep valuing their opportunities to read and it is amazing that she has given us a selection of her own favourite books that we will treasure.

“I know she has a passion for children and for reading, and it has been such a wonderful opportunity to have her come here and see how our children are reading.”