The Queen launches National Literacy Trust's Coronation Libraries

Published 23 May 2023

On Her Majesty's first solo engagement since the Coronation, The Queen was welcomed to Shirehampton Primary School in Bristol to launch the first of 50 Coronation Libraries, created by the National Literacy Trust.

The Queen visits Shirehampton Primary School

In celebration of Their Majesties' Coronation, the National Literacy Trust's Coronation Libraries Project celebrates the role that The Queen has played in supporting literacy projects and encouraging young people to embrace reading from a young age. The project also highlights the vital importance of primary school libraries in developing a life-long love of reading.

The Queen at Shirehampton Primary School

Created across the UK in 2023 and 2024 in collaboration with Primary School Library Alliance, the Coronation libraries and reading spaces will be established in communities with low levels of literacy, where the cost-of-living crisis is biting hardest and children are least likely to have books at home.

Each library or reading space will be refurbished, restocked and two members of staff will be trained to manage it and deliver a range of reading activities for the whole school. In addition, a commemorative Coronation plaque will be placed in each library.

Shirehampton Primary School’s new Coronation library is also the 500th library to be transformed as part of the Primary School Library Alliance campaign – a unique cross-sector, multi-partnership collaboration that is addressing the issue of library provision in primary schools across the UK. 

The Queen in Shirehampton's new Coronation Library

Joined by children's authors and illustrators Cressida Cowell, Malorie Blackman, Francesca Simon, Jasbinder Bilan and Rob Biddulph, Her Majesty took part in engaging literacy-based activities with pupils - including a reading of Horrid Henry meets The Queen in Shirehampton's new Coronation Library, and a special draw-along of Queen Mary's Crown.

Her Majesty was also presented with the 'Coronation Collection', a selection of 23 books voted for by over 12,000 children across the UK in celebration of the Coronation before unveiling a plaque to officially open the space.

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