Prince Charles, 72, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 74, attended a reception for Reading Room, which the Duchess launched as a “celebration of literature” in December. The royal couple were joined by guests including Dame Judi Dench and Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox at the celebration on Tuesday afternoon.
At the Clarence House reception, Camilla delivered a confident and witty speech for authors who have supported the literary vehicle The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room over on Instagram.
It came just hours before the Queen pulled out of the Cop26 climate summit, and a language expert has praised Camilla stating that the royal appeared “more determined” and “more confident” at her most recent appearance and will prove vital for the Firm in the future.
According to a language expert who analysed Camilla’s speech for Express.co.uk, the Duchess of Cornwall has shown she can shine when the Firm most needs her following the Queen’s recent health scale and withdrawal from Cop26.
Language expert Judi James told Express.co.uk: “With the Queen now stepping down from Cop26 after her recent health scare, Camilla seems to have stepped up to the plate here with this unusually animated and humorous speech suggesting she might have more of an integral role in providing back-up and support than imagined.
“This appearance shows a more determined and even a more confident Camilla to the world, during a speech that sounds part off-the-cuff and part scripted.”
Ms James adds that Camilla also utilised a technique favoured by her husband while she addressed the celebrities and public figures in her audience.
The expert claims that this technique helps acquire affection from the audience and builds rapport with those the speaker is addressing.
She said: “Her delivery relies on some self-effacing humour that might not be seen as very royal, although it is actually a trait that Charles in particular often uses to create rapport and win affection during his speeches.”
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“She begins with what is worded as an apology: ‘This is not a great long speech as you’ll be glad to hear…’ Sentiments like this are heard more at the start of nervous wedding speeches than royal addresses and the status ‘lowering’ continues with a very natural-sounding ‘I really just wanted to thank you all…’ to her audience.”
Judi also noted that Camilla utilised a joke within her speech to nod at her future as the consort of Prince Charles.
Camilla is expected to be known as Princess Consort, not Queen Consort when Charles ascends the throne, as an act of respect for the late Princess Diana’s memory.
However, it will ultimately be up to Charles which title she gets and her growing popularity could mean she becomes Queen Consort after all.
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Ms James added: “Her joke about being ‘…a complete technophobe…’ is not only self-effacing but it ends in a good, ironic punchline that jokes about her status as future Queen: ‘…I’m amazed at how I’ve managed to acquire so many followers…’
“She delivers a more scripted joke about ‘poaching’ a quote from a very old friend describing farmers as being ‘People who are the cleverest in the world in a profession I admire most in the world’ and applies it to her literary audience.”
Judi also praised the Duchess for the way she concluded her speech, noting that the royal used inclusive language to relate herself to those she was speaking to.
She said: “Even her thanks have an air of modesty that works. Camilla says she wants to ‘thank the writers for sharing your stories with us readers’ and the use of the ‘Us’ places Camilla in the latter group, as a grateful reader rather than as a royal.”
At the reception, the Duchess was spotted posing for photos with guests including Dame Antonia Fraser and Dame Edna O’Brien.
Camilla was inspired to launch the initiative, which is free, following the response to her two suggested reading lists she published during lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also since her marriage to Prince Charles in 2005, Camilla has made the issue of literacy – particularly among children – central to her work.
The Royal Family member is the patron of seven charities including the National Literacy Trust and First Story.