HRH the Duchess of Cornwall has taken on the role of patron of Roald Dahl 100, this year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.
The Duchess began her patronage with a visit to the launch of a Dahl exhibition, "The Wonderful World of Roald Dahl", at the Southbank Centre’s Imagine festival yesterday (16th February). She was given a special tour of the exhibition with Luke Kelly, m.d. of Roald Dahl’s Literary Estate and Dahl’s grandson and Dahl’s wife, Felicity Dahl, before meeting Jonathan Slinger, who plays Willy Wonka in the musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
She then read a chapter of The BFG to an audience of children with Catherine Scott, the actress who plays Miss Honey in "Matilda the Musical".
Back row left-right - Willy Wonka (Jonathan Slinger), Roald Dahl’s grandson and m.d. of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate, Luke Kelly, Roald Dahl’s widow Felicity Dahl, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall and Miss Honey (Charlotte Scott) meet some of the “Mini Festival Makers” who help to curate Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival.
Kelly said the Duchess of Cornwall has a “deep interest” in literacy. “We share a common goal: getting as many children as possible to be inspired by reading. The Roald Dahl 100 year has got off to a fantastic start with this glorious exhibition but be prepared for many more surprises and treats along the way.”
The Duchess also met a number of people involved in Roald Dahl 100, including the team behind the upcoming film of The BFG, Literature Wales, the National Literacy Trust, Wales Millennium Centre, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.
Last month the Duchess, who is a supporter of literacy charities, was announced as an honorary judge for Radio 2’s 500 Words competition. She is also the patron of Book Trust.
The Roald Dahl Literary Estate is planning a year-long series of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth, including a host of events in Cardiff, where the author was born.
In terms of publishing, Penguin is redesigning all the Dahl paperbacks and has promised to make a push into licensed publishing. There will also be a Roald Dahl Dictionary from Oxford University Press and a collection of Dahl’s letters from John Murray.
Picture: © Victor Frankowski