Camilla: Charles won't slow down or do what he's told

The Queen arriving at the Queen’s Reading Room Festival at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

King Charles is “doing fine” but “won’t slow down and won’t do what he’s told”, the Queen has told Jack Reacher novelist, Lee Child at a star-studded literary festival.

Camilla joined authors, actors and TV personalities at the Queen’s Reading Room Festival at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey on Saturday.

The 69-year-old thriller writer said Charles, "sounds to me like a typical husband," in response to the Queen's update.

The Queen joined the audience at the festival’s evening session in Base Court, which will include a performance by Miriam Margolyes and highlights from her one-woman show.

Ms Margolyes said she told Camilla “how much I love the King”, and the Queen promised to pass on the message. Author Sir Ian Rankin, best known for his John Rebus novels said the Queen told him that “her whole family were fans of my books”.

Mr Child said: “I asked her how the King was doing because he did my investiture when I got the CBE, so I have a soft spot.

“And I hope he’s doing fine. She said he is doing fine, except he won’t slow down and he won’t do what he’s told, which sounds to me a typical husband.”

Camilla spoke to a number of authors and actors at the festival, including Sir Ian Rankin, Ann Cleeves, Miriam Margolyes and Elizabeth McGovern.

Meanwhile, the Queen told Elif Shafak she is “longing” to read her upcoming book, the novelist said.

Shafak said: “She asked about my upcoming book, There Are Rivers In The Sky, she knew about it and she said I am longing to read it.

“I was really honoured.”

Elif Shafak and Harlan Coben welcome the Queen to a reception at Hampton Court Palace Credit: Jordan Pettitt/PA

Charles has recently returned to public-facing duties while still receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer.

The King’s appearance at a D-Day event in Portsmouth on Wednesday was his first public speech and most high-profile appearance since his cancer diagnosis.

He is expected to take part in the upcoming Trooping the Colour ceremony, but will inspect the soldiers from a carriage rather than on horseback, it is understood.

This is the second year that the festival has taken place, with both the King and Queen attending last year.

The former Duchess of Cornwall launched The Reading Room on Instagram in January 2021 and the project was relaunched as charity The Queen’s Reading Room in February 2023.

It also has a podcast whose second series guests included Good Omens and Stardust author Neil Gaiman and Withnail And I actor Richard E Grant.

The Queen’s Reading Room festival is a co-production between The Queen’s Reading Room and Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for Hampton Court Palace.

This is the Royal Rota - our weekly podcast about the royal family, with ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship and Producer Lizzie Robinson