The Duchess of Cornwall on her favourite childhood books
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The Duchess of Cornwall has sat down with Lord Dobbs on BBC Radio 4 Today to discuss her favourite books as a child and the importance of reading to children. Clarence House released a minute and a half clip of Camilla speaking about Black Beauty and The Scarlet Pimpernel on Twitter on December 26. The full programme will air on December 27 at 6am on BBC Radio 4.
Camilla said in the clip: “In those days I was a pony-mad child and I thought of very little else apart from horses and ponies and charging about on them.
“Black Beauty was the first book that stuck in my mind.
“I can see it now, there was Ginger – every time I think about poor old Ginger with his head hanging out of the cart and his tongue hanging out, it makes me cry.
“I think that was possibly one of my favourites.
“Another book my father used to read to us all the time, as he loved a bit of adventure, was The Scarlet Pimpernel. He became this great hero in all our eyes.
“I loved all the adventures – I had a passion for the Bastille, I’m not sure why. I used to think about him rescuing all these lovely people from the Bastille and then the terrible moment for the Guillotine when the old tricoteuse sat there doing their knitting.
“I think it stuck for a very long time because then it led me on to A Tale of Two Cities, so you know I went from Paris to Paris and Guillotine to Guillotine.
“There were lovely things like The Children of the New Forest.
“I remember very well because we used to go and visit the New Forest and we used to be sent to look for the tree that they’d hidden in. That was all part of the adventure.”
Body language expert Judi James spoke to Express.co.uk about Camilla’s revelations in the short clip and her emotional recalling of childhood memories.
Judi said: “This rather gentle video recording seems to be more revealing about Camilla and her personality than any other footage we have seen before.
“She looks relaxed in the company of the interviewer and very comfortable to take the lead at times in terms of the conversation.
“She also allows herself to get lost in thought for small periods of time, using body language to signal she is going into her ‘mind’s eye’ state of recalled memory to focus on the books she loved and to re-live the experiences of reading them as a child.
“The three most telling non-verbal traits suggesting higher levels of confidence than we have been shown before are her upper arm splay, her moments of eye contact and the way she nods to request a response from her interviewer.
“Camilla has placed her elbows onto the arms of her chair to produce an ‘up-turned V’ gap under her armpits and this is a signal of assertive confidence.
“Her eye contact is sporadic but when she uses it her eyes widen and she again looks more assertive than usual as she reads and prompts her interviewer.
“Her nodding is another technique to gain a response of agreement from the interviewer.
“We can also see Camilla getting lost in her mind’s eye at moments as she recalls her favourite books as she looks away and narrows her left eye in a gesture to suggest genuine reflection.
“The one trait that still illustrates her rather more reserved style is her ‘dying fall’ vocal trait as her voice trails slightly as she finished some of her statements.
“This suggests she might be happier in a one-to-one conversation than dominating in a more regal way.”
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