Britain’s Queen Camilla recently revealed a popular children’s story “frightened” her as a young child. Speaking on her new podcast, The Queen’s Reading Room, the 76-year-old said that she was never a fan of the author Lewis Carroll because ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scared her when she was little. She admitted it was some of the characters that “frightened” her. She also said that she was fearful of Alice going down the rabbit hole.
Queen Camilla was quizzed on whether she preferred Lewis Carroll or Hans Christian Anderson – the author of The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling. She said, “It’s an awful thing to admit, but I’ve never really liked Lewis Carroll”.
“I was rather put off by Alice going down that rabbit hole. It always really frightened me as a child. All the Mad Hatters and Red Queens and… it just wasn’t my favourite,” she added.
However, according to the Telegraph, the 76-year-old does not appear to have let her own views of Lewis Carroll shape those of others. ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ is one of the many books featured on her Reading Room website, recommended by authors William Boyd, Elif Shafak and Susan Hill.
Moreover, the actor Richard E Grant read Mr Carroll’s ‘All in the Golden Afternoon’, the preface poem to ‘Alice in Wonderland’, at the inaugural Queen’s Reading Room Literary Festival at Hampton Court Palace in June. According to the outlet, at a poetry recital attended by the Queen at a primary school in west London last August, two students performed Mr Carroll’s Jabberwocky, dressed as the Mad Hatter and Alice.
Meanwhile, according to the Queen’s Reading Room website, the podcast aims to promote the power and benefits of reading and is on a mission to help more people find and connect with books which enrich their lives. It was launched in 2021 during the Covid pandemic.
“As a charity, we produce accessible, free educational content around literature 365 days a year through our social channels and website; as well as literary festivals and events; research and campaigns,” the website reads.