Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, had a very good excuse if her make-up wasn’t ‘just so’ at an official event on Friday, admitted she was moved to tears by the entries to a BBC short story competition.
The duchess looked stylish nonetheless in a simple cream, A-line dress that she dressed up with a two-strand grey pearl necklace and simple pearl drop earrings, her mascara only looking very slightly smudged!
The 500 Words creative writing competition asks children to let their imaginations run wild by writing short stories, with winners in the various age categories winning piles of books – the ‘silver’ category of winners were each given Camilla’s height in books, while ‘gold’ winners got a stack of books as tall as British TV host Chris Evans – and fun prizes such as a ride in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car and in the Queen’s own rowbarge.
The winning stories were also read out live on air on BBC Radio 2 by celebrity readers, with Camilla tuning in as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang dropped her off at Hampton Court Palace to host the awards event.
Speaking to the crowds of children gathered for the fun awards do, the duchess, who has helped judge the competition for the past four years, admitted that she “had a little cry” as she listened to some of the stories on the way to the palace. “I’m afraid to say you were right about a little tear and the mascara,” she joked with Evans, who was hosting the event with her.
She even recalled the words of the eccentric Grandpa Potts from the beloved 1968 children’s film as she encouraged the children to keep reading and writing.
“Grandpa Potts has some very good advice that I want to share with you this morning,” the duchess said. “His advice is, ‘Never say no to adventures. Always say yes, otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life’. I want to encourage everyone here to keep reading, to keep writing and keep saying a big fat yes to adventure.”