The first titles from Bloomsbury's Arabian outpost, Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation, were given the royal stamp of approval yesterday (7th April). The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, attended a reception at Windsor Castle to mark launch of the Foundation, and the publication of its first three original titles.
Sheikha Mozah, who is chairperson of Qatar Foundation, and the Emir of Qatar’s consort, gave a short speech at the event, praising Bloomsbury as an "original and high quality publisher" and greeting the foundation as "serving to strengthen the existing bilateral relationships" between Britain and Qatar.
Most of Bloomsbury's top brass were at the event, headed by chief executive Nigel Newton and editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle, and editor Bill Swainson. The Queen mingled with quests throughout the hour long event, talking to Bloomsbury staff, backers of the foundation, and members of the Qatari delegation.
The Foundation launches with a range of children's titles translated into Arabic, including The Gruffalo, and three young adult titles: Where the Streets Had a Name, by Randa Abdel-Fattah, The American Granddaughter, by Inaam Kachachi, and the Night Hunters, by Suad Amiry.