Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall is BookTrust's Patron.
Her Royal Highness took the reins from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 2011, who stood down after many years in the role.
This followed an event at Dundonald Library in Belfast attended by The Duchess of Cornwall and then BookTrust Chief Executive Viv Bird. During the visit, Her Royal Highness was introduced to children from The Letterbox Club - the Book Trust scheme that aims to improve the educational outlook for looked-after children. This is just one of the areas of BookTrust's work that focuses on empowering and inspiring children and families to experience the pleasure of reading.
The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron or President of a number of leading charities and in recent times she has become increasingly well-known for her deep personal interest in literature and literacy. At a major book prize ceremony, Her Royal Highness spoke vividly about her longstanding relationship with the written word:
I firmly believe in the importance of igniting a passion for reading in the next generation…The power of a captivating story, a well-honed sentence or a beautifully crafted character is immense, not only taking the reader - or listener - to different worlds, but broadening and stimulating the mind, too.
As Patron, The Duchess is a key figurehead for BookTrust's work to inspire a lifelong love of books for all.
BookTrust's President is Michael Morpurgo.
Michael Morpurgo is the award-winning author of over 120 books for children, including War Horse, which has been adapted into a phenomenally successful stage show and film.
Among his many accolades, he has won the Smarties Prize, The Writers Guild Award and the Blue Peter Book Award. From 2003-2005 he was the Children's Laureate, and in 2005 he was named the Booksellers Association Author of the Year. Along with his wife Clare, he founded the charity Farms for City Children (FFCC), which offers young children from urban areas the chance to spend time working on farms in the heart of the countryside. Over 75,000 children have taken part in FFCC.
The former Children's Laureate has been a key figure in children's literature for many years and speaks with great passion about the joy of books and storytelling for young people. Michael Morpurgo said regarding his appointment:
BookTrust is batting for literature in all its forms. The organisation is particularly meaningful for me: my late stepfather, Jack Morpurgo, was Director of the National Book League, from which BookTrust grew. What BookTrust continues to do is to not simply promote reading, but to enthuse teachers, parents and children with the joy and wonder that can be found in books. To be invited to join them as their president is an honour, and I hope I can make a significant contribution.
Previous BookTrust Presidents include the 2007 Nobel Prize-winner, Doris Lessing, and former Poet Laureate John Masefield, who was the first person to be appointed to the role back in 1938.