Duchess Camilla wants to encourage Prince George to read

Britain's Duchess Camilla wants to encourage Prince George to read and write stories when he is older.

Duchess Camilla
Duchess Camilla

Britain's Duchess Camilla wants to encourage Prince George to read.

The Duchess - who is married to the 17-month-old royal's grandfather Prince Charles - told school children how she regularly reads bedtime stories to her other grandchildren and hopes to inspire a passion for books in Prince William and Duchess Catherine's son.

Speaking to pupils at the Weston Park Primary School in North London to launch the '500 Words' short story contest, she said: "If you can read and tell stories you can sit in an empty room and take yourself into all sorts of exciting worlds.

"It's something my father taught me and then I went on to read to my children and now grandchildren.

"Sadly I am at least 100 and far too old to enter, but I hope everyone who can will.

"I have a step-grandson called George and while he is too little to enter now, I hope one day he will."

Camilla - who toured classrooms and happily sank to her knees to talk to pupils - was joined at the launch of the competition, which is open to under 13s, by 'Horrid Henry' author Francesca Simon and was fascinated by her work.

She asked: "When I was at school about 100 years ago, I was taught to write a beginning, middle and end. Where do you start?"

The 67-year-old duchess was asked by the writer to come up with a story idea involving two random props - a shell and a kaleidoscope - and suggested a story about the shell washing up on a treasure island, prompting the children to join in with their own suggestions.

She said: "I just want to see as many children as possible get involved."

BBC Radio 2 host Chris Evans - who is running the competition - was also in attendance and had the duchess in fits of laughter after blaming their meeting the day before on him oversleeping and missing the beginning of his radio show.

Camilla is a long-time supporter of literacy initiatives and has agreed to allow the final of the competition to be held at St. James' Palace, where 'The Chris Evans Breakfast Show' will broadcast live.

Those selected as the 50 best entrants in the contest will be invited to the grounds of the palace, where a final six will be chosen and have their work read out by a famous actor.

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