The Queen Consort has announced a new UK literary festival which will take place at Hampton Court Palace.
The Queen Consort is launching the The Queen's Reading Room Festival on Sunday 11 June, which will see a range of events and special speakers come together. Headliners include the likes of Dame Judi Dench, Giles Brandreth and Philippa Gregory.
"Visitors can explore the Palace on literary themed tours and tread the floors where Shakespeare once performed with his King’s Men; wander the sumptuous gardens bursting with life in summer; listen to poetry read by some of our country’s finest actors, and of course enjoy shows from our headliners," The Queen's Reading Room explains on its website.
The event was announced with a special video narrated by Dame Judi Dench, which was shared across social media, and now further details of exactly what we can expect from the event have been released.
Gyles Brandreth will be in conversation with Dame Judi Dench reflecting on her life and career, as well as her love for William Shakespeare, with special guests promised. Kate Mosse will also share a preview of her one woman show, which is her first theatre piece, Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries.
There will be a performance of Austentatious, which is an improvisation of "a hilarious new Jane Austen novel, inspired entirely by a title dreamt up by HM The Queen Consort," read a release. It will be "performed in period costume with a live musical accompaniment, hosted by Austen expert Professor John Mullan and with real Austen treasures provided by Jane Austen House."
There will also be a session dedicated to remembering Dame Hilary Mantel, as well as talks on crime writing and spy novels, and more.
"The festival will gather authors, experts, actors and literature lovers for a day celebrating the written word and enjoy shows from our headliners, including: Dame Judi Dench, Gyles Brandreth, Dame Harriet Walter, Philippa Gregory, Ben Macintyre, Ken Follett and many more," according to the release.
As well as talks, guests can join themed literary tours, attend books signings and can enjoy plenty of food and drink in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.
The Queen's Reading Room began as a book club, sharing reading recommendations from The Queen Consort, when she was Duchess of Cornwall.
In April, it was announced that the initiative had become a charity which "will work to provide opportunities for the appreciation of literature among adults and children in the UK and around the world, closing the gap between writers and readers through accessible, educational and free literary content available year-round," according to an announcement on the charity's social media accounts.
Tickets for The Queen's Reading Room Festival are available to buy online.
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