Benjamin, 11, performed his poem as five-year-old sister Madeleine and his mother Melissa watched in the audience with Queen Camilla left moved by the young family
Queen Camilla was left overcome with emotion after an 11-year-old boy read out a poem for his younger sister, who is suffering with leukaemia.
Benjamin Andrews performed for the royal at a Poetry Together recital as Madeleine, five, sat in the audience. Her Majesty, carrying out engagements despite being on her summer break in Scotland, was moved by the youngsters. He read Torn Apart the audience, which won a prize last year.
After meeting Benjamin and Madeleine at Fielding Primary School in Ealing, west London, she told him: “It was obviously your poem that made her better.” Camilla attended on Tuesday afternoon alongside close friend of many years Gyles Brandreth, who founded the group.
He said: “She was very touched by the young person’s poem about his sister. Her Majesty is really keen on the English language. She loves poetry, she loves writing, she loves books.” Benjamin and Madeleine’s mother Melissa said her daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was two.
The parent said: “She is in remission now. We have three more years until she is in the clear, hopefully. But everything is going well so far. I still cry every time he reads the poem. It is so beautiful. It is wonderful that something so meaningful and touching came out of this.”
Former children’s TV presenter Baroness Benjamin, champion of Poetry Together, said: “We are introducing children to the love of words. We are telling them they can be inspired, they can be creative, they can open their minds to language.”
Camilla’s appearance Prince William and Kate have been tipped to take on some extra responsibility in the months ahead due to their ‘unique position’ and the lack of active working royals. The Prince and Princess of Wales are currently patrons for 50 charities, as well as running their own projects they are passionate about. But one expert believes the work-load could be increasing for the couple in a move to boost the monarchy.
They are likely to up their workload, despite being consider as two of the most hard-working royals, having already taken on 40 joint engagements so far this year. They have sparked questions as to whether William and Kate will take on more than they previously have done, particularly now that their three children are growing older.
Commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said: “After the Queen’s death and after the Sussexes and Andrew ceased to carry out royal engagements, the Palace announced a review of royal patronages. With fewer of them and only four working royals under 70 expect fewer royal engagements.”
He added: “This is comparatively few numerically compared to the usual number senior royals such as Princess Anne have been involved with, but [Kate and William] are in a unique position to boost the profile of those they are attached to.”
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