Celebrate literature for a day at The Queens’ Reading Room Festival, Hampton Court Palace

The Queens’ Reading Room Festival gathers authors, experts, actors and literature lovers for a day celebrating the written word.

Formed by the former Duchess of Cornwall in 2021, the literary festival is held at Hampton Court Palace, visitors can explore the palace on literary-themed tours and tread the floors where Shakespeare once performed.

Poetry will be read by actors including Dame Judi Dench, Gyles Brandreth, Dame Harriet Walter, Philippa Gregory, Ben Macintyre and Ken Follett.

The all-star cast of the award-winning Austentatious improvise a hilarious new Jane Austen novel, inspired entirely by a title dreamt up by HM The Queen Consort.

Performed in period costume with a live musical accompaniment, this show will have you howling with delight.

Three of this country’s greatest writers of espionage will lead us through this session all about spies, lies and disguise.

Ben Macintyre, Ken Follet and Robert Harris will share their innermost spy secrets and reveal what it is like to inhabit the mind of a secret agent for 300 pages or more and why are readers so fascinated by espionage?

Chief executive of The Queen’s Reading Room, Vicki Perrin, said: “There is a special kind of magic to be found in a book, and great wonder in listening to authors speak about their work.

“I have no doubt that visitors will find themselves inspired by these great minds, enjoy connecting with fellow readers and I hope that they will come away transformed into lifelong literature lovers.”

Held on June 11, the festival will also stage a memorial event for Dame Hilary Mantel in the fitting setting of the palace, overlooked by Anne Boleyn’s Gateway.


Picture: The Queen’s Reading Room Festival Picture: The Queens Reading Room Festival

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