When Queen Camilla ascended to the throne alongside her husband, King Charles III, one of her goals was to become the UK’s chief book lover. Through her charity, the Queen’s Reading Room, which began as an Instagram account during COVID-19, she threw a literary festival in June that attracted some of the nation’s biggest names, including Dame Judi Dench, and authors Ken Follett, Peter James, and Kate Mosse. On Friday, the charity announced that the festival will return to Hampton Court Palace next summer. In addition, the queen will deepen her role in the nation’s literary conversation by launching a weekly podcast in early January.
The podcast will be hosted by Vicki Perrin, the CEO of the Queen’s Reading Room, but her majesty will join on the episodes to share her observations. The first episode will feature an interview with crime writer Sir Ian Rankin about his novel Rebus, and later episodes will spotlight Dame Joanna Lumley, Ann Patchett, Bonnie Garmus, and more.
“There is nothing quite like a brilliant book recommendation from a friend; but it’s even better when that person is one of your favorite authors or most admired persons,” Perrin said in a statement. “I hope that this podcast will inspire listeners to new literary adventures and help those wishing to love books a little more, find the books which set their imaginations alight.”
The Queen’s Reading Room podcast will premiere on January 8. The 2024 edition of the Queen’s Reading Room Festival will return to Hampton Court Palace on June 8. Though tickets will not go on sale until February, the charity is currently offering a voucher towards ticket purchases on their website with the holiday season in mind.
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