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The Queen Consort carries out literacy engagements in London

Published 2 February 2023

Book Aid International

Her Majesty started the day at Book Aid International’s warehouse in London, where books of all kinds are prepared to be shipped to communities across the globe.

Each book carries a Book Aid stamp, and in the charity’s packing room, The Queen Consort stamped a selection of children’s books which will be sent to Kigali Public Library in Rwanda, which Her Majesty visited in 2022 whilst in the country for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

During the visit, Her Majesty also met members of the charity’s senior team, including the Rt Hon Lord Boateng, Vice Patron, who benefitted from books the charity sent to Ghana, where he spent much of his childhood.

Book Aid International shares the power of books and helps create a more equal world. Every year the charity provides over one million brand-new, carefully selected books to thousands of communities where people have very few opportunities to read and works with its partners to support and establish libraries. In an average year, Book Aid International gives an estimated 23.5 million people access to books, supporting 180 partners around the world.

Since 2017 Book Aid International has:

  • Supported readers in 32 countries
  • Provided 6,343,917 brand-new, publisher-donated books from the UK
  • Established 530 school libraries
  • Funded the purchase of 136,725 locally published books
  • Trained 2,599 teachers and librarians in how to support readers

Coram Beanstalk

The Queen Consort then joined in with the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Coram Beanstalk, a charity that aims to foster a love of reading in children at all ages through one-to-one support, allowing their self-confidence to flourish.

Coram Beanstalk has helped over 250,000 children to develop their reading abilities, and during her visit Her Majesty heard about the charity’s history and plans for the future and met some of the longest serving volunteer helpers.

Pupils from Ark Brunel School in North Kensington, who have benefitted from Coram Beanstalk’s support for over four decades, joined poet Joshua Siegal to perform ‘Just a Book?’.

There were also readings given by winners of ‘Voices’ - Coram’s national creative writing competition for children and young people in care, before The Queen Consort and guests enjoyed a celebratory slice of cake.

The Queen Consort and Literacy

The Queen Consort is recognised as an important supporter of literacy in the UK and internationally. As a grandmother, Her Majesty understands the joy of reading, but also the importance of literacy in creating life opportunities. Her Majesty has visited schools and libraries, as well as workplace reading schemes and prisons to see the work of adult literacy schemes. In The Queen Consort’s former role as The Duchess of Cornwall, Her Majesty worked with numerous literacy charities in the UK including the National Literacy Trust, First Story, and Booktrust.