Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is to be Patron of Roald Dahl 100 – a year of global celebrations marking 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl.
The Duchess began her new role with a visit to London’s Southbank Centre, which has just launched an interactive experience, The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl, created in partnership with the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, and featuring archival treasures from The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden.
Her Royal Highness had a special tour of the Wondercrump experience, in the company of Felicity Dahl (Roald Dahl’s wife), Luke Kelly (Managing Director of Roald Dahl’s Literary Estate and Roald Dahl’s grandson), “Willy Wonka” (in the personage of Jonathan Slinger from the hit West End musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and a number of "Mini Festival Makers" who help curate Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival.
The Duchess then joined "Miss Honey" (actress Charlotte Scott from the RSC’s London cast of Matilda The Musical) on the stage in the Clore Ballroom, where Her Royal Highness read a chapter from The BFG to an audience of children. Next stop was the "Dream Jar making station" - one of the special activities running during Imagine Children’s Festival (February 10th - 21st), where the Duchess, along with Felicity and Luke, were all encouraged by the children to bottle their dreams, just like The BFG!
Her Royal Highness concluded her visit by meeting a number of "Friends of Roald Dahl 100", including his publishers, the producers of the two hit stage musicals inspired by Dahl stories, the team behind the forthcoming The BFG movie, official biographer Donald Sturrock, representatives of the Reading Agency, Literature Wales, the National Literacy Trust, Wales Millennium Centre, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, and Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, and her team.
Luke Kelly, MD of Roald Dahl’s Literary Estate and Roald Dahl’s grandson says: “We are absolutely delighted – or HOPSCOTCHY as The BFG might say – that Her Royal Highness has agreed to be Patron of the Roald Dahl 100 celebrations this year. With the Duchess having such a deep interest in literacy herself, 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!"