The Duchess of Cornwall this morning joined the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 via phone as part of the Live Final of the 500 Words creative writing competition. In a live discussion with host Zoe Ball and the initiative’s creator, Chris Evans, The Duchess reflected on a decade of 500 Words and five years of her own involvement,
The one I remember most Chris, do you remember Hampton Court when you brought your car (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)?...that was such fun wasn’t it and we all piled into it at the end of the show.
It does fire all of these children's imagination and over a million entries, so there are a million children out there writing and I think that’s wonderful. In this day and age it’s really wonderful.
As part of the virtual event, a prerecorded message from The Duchess was played, congratulating the finalists and celebrating a decade of getting children excited about reading and writing. Her Royal Highness delivered the speech from a Wendy house on the estate, originally built in 1935 for the then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. In the message, The Duchess said,
Now this year, we may have been confined to our homes, but nobody can confine imagination. Once again, I have been blown away by your genius and creativity.
During the live show, the winners of the Silver, Bronze and Gold prizes were announced while the 56 finalists joined a video call with special guests including children’s author David Walliams, dancer Oti Mabuse and choir director Gareth Malone.
The 500 Words competition, which will conclude after this year’s event, was started in 2010 by radio presenter Chris Evans and invites children from across the UK to write an original story using no more than 500 words,
The Duchess first supported the competition in 2015 when she hosted the final at St James's Palace and since then has acted as an Honorary Judge.