Camilla is the star of the show as the Queen is put at the center of a parody of Jane Austen at Her Majesty’s first literary festival
- Comedy group Austentatious will don period costume to improvise a play
- It will be based on a fictional title by Austen imagined by Camilla for her festival
The Queen inspired a parody of Jane Austen to be presented at her inaugural literary festival.
Comedy group Austentatious will don period costume to improvise a play based on a fictional title by Austen dreamed up by Camilla as the centerpiece of the Queen’s Reading Room Festival at Hampton Court Palace next month.
Organizers promise the event will be “a literary festival like no other” – and break with the stifling convention of “authors plugging in their own books”. The Queen was actively involved in organizing the one-day extravaganza on June 11.
The festival will also honor the life and work of Wolf Hall novelist Dame Hilary Mantel, despite the late author’s controversial relationship with the royal family.
The piece will be a centerpiece of the Queen’s Reading Room Festival at Hampton Court Palace next month. Pictured: Queen Camilla talks to pupils as she launches the ‘Coronation Libraries’ initiative at Shirehampton Primary School on May 18, 2023 in Bristol
In a 2013 speech, described by critics as ‘venomous’, Dame Hilary called the Princess of Wales, then Duchess of Cambridge, ‘designed by committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the brooch of its hand-turned and glossy varnished limbs”.
Dame Hilary’s ‘life and legacy’ will be celebrated at a special event with actors Ben Miles and Dame Harriet Walter and authors Philippa Gregory and Kamila Shamsie
It is hoped that the festival will become one of Camilla’s “legacy” projects by inspiring more people to take up reading.
Vikki Perrin, general manager of the Queen’s Reading Room, said: ‘The Queen is so passionate about books and sharing recommendations for reading’, adding that every time she went to see her she was ‘sitting in an armchair literally surrounded by books”.
Comedy group Austentatious (pictured in 2019) will don period costume to improvise a play based on a fictional Austen title dreamed up by Camilla
“We hope this is the start of something really special that will grow, rather than a one-time event.”
Also participating is one of the King’s favorite writers, Robert Harris.
The Queen launched The Reading Room, which recommends four books four times a year, on Instagram in January 2021.