The Duchess of Cornwall visits Griffin Primary School

Today The Duchess of Cornwall celebrated the joy of reading as she carried out literacy-themed engagements in London.

This morning, The Duchess joined Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell MBE at Griffin Primary School in Wandsworth, South London to formally open their newly built, bespoke ‘Life-changing Library’.

Griffin Primary School is one of six pilot primary schools selected to take part in Cressida Cowell’s flagship project as Waterstones Children’s Laureate – ‘Life-changing Libraries’ – which is designed to showcase the transformative impact a well-resourced primary school library has on a child’s opportunities in life.

Together with Cressida Cowell and two pupils from Griffin Primary School, Her Royal Highness cut the ribbon to officially open the state-of-the-art library. Inside the new space, The Duchess read The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr to a class of Year 2 pupils, and then took part in a ‘draw-along’ session led by Cressida Cowell, the internationally bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series. Her Royal Highness has been Patron of BookTrust since 2011

Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell, MBE, said:

"The response to ‘Life-changing Libraries’ has been incredible, and the formal opening of these beautiful new library spaces is a very exciting moment in the campaign. I am honoured that The Duchess of Cornwall was able to join us at Griffin Primary School for the first of these special occasions, and I’m looking forward to visiting the other pilot schools across England over the next few days to celebrate the magic of reading and the transformative power of literacy and libraries."

 the Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of BookTrust, during her visit to Griffin Primary School


The Duchess of Cornwall then joined Elmer the Elephant and her friends from the Elephant Family in St James’s Park to host a special story time for local school children to mark the launch of The National Literacy Trust’s Elephant Story Trail.

This elephant-themed story trail stretches from Green Park to St James's Park from 22nd June – 12th July and children are invited to find their way with a specially created map and complete nature-themed challenges from the story trail booklet along the way.

Conservation charity Elephant Family are raising awareness of healthy co-existence between humans and animals by placing 100 life-size Asian elephants across locations in London. The elephants were created by indigenous communities in Tamil Nadu.

The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the National Literacy Trust and Joint President of Elephant Family, reads to school pupils


Created in memory of Elephant Family Co-Founder and The Duchess’s brother Mark Shand, the CoExistence art exhibition marks a unique time when a reduction in human activity is having a positive effect on wildlife around the world.