Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 74, recited a poem to honour National Poem Day and Clarence House shared a recording of it on Twitter. The Duchess, who is a supporter of Poetry Together, an organisation that connects groups of school children and elderly people to perform poems they have learned by heart, read W.H. Auden’s poem Night Mail. But according to a language expert the future Princess Consort requires some professional voice training.
Reacting to the recording, language expert Judi James told Express.co.uk the Duchess could do with some coaching “to allow herself to sound engaged, interesting and fully on board with her messages”.
Judi praised the Camilla’s “natural vocal tone”, saying it sounds “mature and adult in contrast to both the Queen and Kate’s higher, more girlish, silvery tones”.
“Unlike many of the Windsor women she has a deep, kindly tone with a hint of huskiness.”
However, the expert claimed Camilla needs training “not to sound unlike herself” but to get the most out of the attributes of her voice.
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“As Consort,” Judi said, “she will need to make speeches that might possibly be as dry as dust and will need to make the words come alive to modern ears.
“Royals are being heard all the time, on TV, radio and social media as well as during those more formal royal addresses.”
When Camilla’s husband, Prince Charles, 72, accedes the throne, Camilla’s role within the Firm will change, too. Even though she won’t be known as Queen Consort, out of respect for the late Princess Diana, her title will carry the responsibilities that come with being married to the King.
Besides, the Duchess of Cornwall is already the most senior female royal after the Queen – a position that she uses to support causes she feels strongly about.
This includes her work as President of the Royal Voluntary Society — of which The Queen is Patron — and Patron of The Silver Line, a free confidential helpline for older people experiencing loneliness, among dozens of other organisations in the areas of health, women empowerment, arts, literacy, and support of victims of rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Camilla’s public speaking needs some other “tweaking” too. Firstly, Judi says, her enunciation “needs a little exaggeration”. While it comes through “ok for real life”, it isn’t enough for poetry or to connect with a large audience.
Secondly, the Duchess has to control her breath, which “goes slightly at a couple of points and she sounds as though she is suppressing a cough or needing to clear her throat towards the end”.
“She sounds as though she hasn’t warmed up.”
Judi can also sense some shyness in Camilla’s delivery. “She sounds a little like we all probably did when we were asked to read aloud at school and felt embarrassed and lacking in confidence. “
In her future role as Princess Consort, mastering her speeches will be essential. Jodi says: “Camilla can be coached to enjoy this kind of thing.”
Her initial recommendation for the Duchess is to draw from her experience as a mother: “If she read to her children when they were small she must have used a more varied tone.”
This should help her to “add impact, engagement and variety now”.