To celebrate International Literacy Day, The Duchess of Cornwall visited Ivydale School in London to open their brand new library. The Duchess, who is Patron of the National Literacy Trust, also recorded a video message during the visit to launch the National Literacy Trust’s Virtual School Library which will be available to students, teachers and parents from Monday 14th September.

Her Royal Highness was greeted by the school’s Headteacher, Helen Ingham, who introduced a group of year 3 students taking part in a reading activity in the playground. The Duchess also met a group of parents who had donated their time, skills and funds to enable the new library to open. Her Royal Highness then joined another group of students in the school hall as they enjoyed a poetry workshop from children’s author Chris Smith. Chris and the children performed their specially written poem for Her Royal Highness:

Don’t be late for the Duchess!

By Chris Smith and the kids of Ivydale Primary.


As Skyla was going to school today,

She met a tarantula on her way.

The tarantula said with a spidery smile,

‘Why don’t you play football with me for a while?’


But Skyla said… NO!


‘You naughty tarantula, you’re totally awful,

You’re making me late for the Duchess of Cornwall!’


As Emily was going to school today,

She met a rabbit on her way.

And the rabbit, he said with a carroty smile,

‘Why no play pick up sticks with me for a while?’


But Emily said… NO!


‘You’ll make me late for the royal visit!

It starts in an hour and I don’t want to miss it.'


As Joshua was going to school today,

He met a meerkat on his way.

And the meerkat said with a nervous smile,

‘Why not go running with me for a while?’


But Joshua said… NO!


‘You bad meerkat, let me out of your clutches!

You’ll make me late to see the Duchess!’


We had lots of adventures on our way here today.

But we’re all here to welcome you. Hip hip hooray!


The Duchess of Cornwall then joined students in the new library as they pointed out some of their favourite books before listening to Her Royal Highness recording a special message for the Virtual School Library. 

The Duchess is a passionate promoter of Literacy in the UK and internationally, with particular focus on encouraging a love of reading and writing from an early age.

Explore the Virtual School Library and watch an exclusive introductory film featuring Her Royal Highness here