The Duchess of Cornwall hosts celebratory tea for Waterstones Children’s Laureate 20th anniversary
Published on: 17 October 2019
The Duchess of Cornwall has hosted a tea at Clarence House yesterday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate, which is awarded once every two years to an eminent children’s bookwriter or illustrator to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.
The Duchess of Cornwall welcomed the current Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell, and four former Laureates, Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson, Anthony Browne and Chris Riddell, where they discussed, amongst other things, the importance of libraries, sharing the powerful experience of reading aloud and how books inspire children to unleash their creativity.
Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2019–2021, said:
'It was so kind of The Duchess of Cornwall to invite our League of Laureates to tea. She has been a staunch champion of literary causes and charities for so many years, and it was an opportunity for us to say how very grateful we are for her support. Over tea in the Garden Room, we discussed the invaluable role of libraries in both schools and communities, and why it is so importantthat every child has access to books and can experience the transformative magic of reading.'
The Duchess and Laureates were joined by Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust, alongside Jill Coleman (Director of Children's Books), Emily Drabble (Head of Children's Books Promotion and Prizes).
Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust, said:
'BookTrust was delighted to be invited to Clarence House by The Duchess of Cornwall, who is clearly just as passionate as we are about ensuring the next generation of young readers are inspired to discover the wonderful world of words. We spoke about the powerful experience of reading aloud, with The Duchess sharing her strong, beautiful memories of being read to as a child by her father,and how she now reads to her grandchildren and encourages them to lose themselves in a book.'
The League of Laureates
Originally created by Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and author Michael Morpurgo, eleven authors and illustrators have been appointed to this prestigious role: Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne, Julia Donaldson, Malorie Blackman, Chris Riddell, Lauren Child and current Laureate Cressida Cowell, author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once series, and author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton.
The ‘League of Laureates’ are the foremost representatives of children’s literature, showcasing the extraordinary and dynamic art form and its rich contribution to culture in the UK and bringing it to the attention of a wider audience. Together the Laureates encompass all genres of children’s literature – illustration, poetry, picture books, YA and everything in between – and have introduced millions of children to an extraordinary world of creativity.
Waterstones Children's Laureate
Bestselling author-illustrator Cressida Cowell is the Children's Laureate for 2019-21: a role given every two years to celebrate outstanding achievement in children's literature.