Queen Consort criticises Roald Dahl changes

Queen weighs in on controversial Roald Dahl edits

The Queen Consort has appeared to weigh in on controversial changes to books by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl.

Speaking to a roomful of writers for a reception to mark the second anniversary of her online book club, The Reading Room, Camilla urged authors to resist curbs on “freedom of expression”.

It comes after hundreds of edits were revealed to have been made to 10 of Dahl’s most famous works, including Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Matilda, sparking widespread criticism.

Earlier this week, it was revealed some of the famed British author’s works had been rewritten in an effort to be more inclusive. The move came after Dahl was accused of anti-Semitism, misogyny and racism.

“Please remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination,” Camilla said at the function at Clarence House on Thursday (British time).

The Telegraph reports the Queen Consort then looked up at the crowd with a smile, adding: “Enough said”, to cheers of “hear, hear” from the assembled crowd.

Among those present were acclaimed novelists William Boyd, Philippa Gregory, Charlie Mackesy, Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Victoria Hislop, Sebastian Faulks and Peter James.

During her speech, Camilla urged authors to take “the most enormous pride” in their profession, and quoted a “stirring speech” from John Steinbeck when he received the Nobel prize for literature in 1962.

“I am impelled not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession and in the great and good men who have practised it through the ages,” Steinbeck said at the time.

The Queen Consort added her own instructions.

“I would like to take this opportunity to echo that lion’s roar on your behalf – and, of course, to rectify the unaccountable omission of great and good women. Let there be no squeaking like mice about your achievements, but only roaring like a pride of lions,” she said.

It was Camilla’s first public appearance since her second COVID infection. Her husband, the King, joined her at Clarence House.

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