Camilla appears to wade into Roald Dahl controversy by telling writers: ‘Remain true to your calling!’
Queen Consort Camilla appears to have waded into the row over Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s books being rewritten for a woke generation.
Camilla, 75, whose lifelong love of literature led her to become patron of the National Literacy Trust, urged authors to protect the “freedom of your expression” days after controversy erupted when it emerged Roald’s classics are having words such as “fat” cut out of them to avoid offending today’s kids.
Speaking at a reception to mark the second anniversary of her popular online book club, the royal told a room full of writers: “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.”
She then looked up and with a knowing smile added: “Enough said.”
Her comments were greeted by laughter and cheers of “Hear hear” by dozens of the literary world’s most famous and best-selling literary figures including Philippa Gregory, Ben Okri, William Boyd and Sebastian Faulks.
Camilla then advised: “Let there be no squeaking like mice about your achievements, but only roaring like a pride of lions.”
Even though she did not directly reference the furore over ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ author Roald’s books being changed, it is being interpreted as a reaction to the ongoing outcry over publisher Puffin’s decision to deploy a team of “sensitivity writers” to remove language they fear would offend today’s generation.
Changes include Augustus Gloop from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ being referred to only as “enormous” instead of “fat” and the Oompa Loompas in the book going gender-neutral.
Roald’s Mrs Twit is also no longer referred to as being fearfully ugly, and “female” has been changed to “woman” in ‘Matilda’, while Fantastic Mr Fox’s three sons have become daughters.
Passages not written by Roald, who died in 1990 aged 74, have also been added.
A litany of famous writers have attacked the changes and updates, including ‘The Satanic Verses’ author Salman Rushdie, 75, who is still living under a fatwa and recovering from almost being stabbed to death in New York last year.
He said: “Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.”
The Roald Dahl Story Company has said in a statement: “We want to ensure that Roald Dahl’s wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today.
“When publishing new print runs of books written years ago, it’s not unusual to review the language used, alongside updating other details including a book’s cover and page layout.”