Perhaps it was the inclement weather that did it.

But Queen Camilla revealed today that she dreams of being a student at Hogwarts, as she helped launch a literary festival and attended a decidedly soggy garden party.

Attending the opening of the 35th annual Charleston Festival in Rye, East Sussex, the royal, 76, was asked by local schoolgirl Bess, nine: ‘Are there any fictional places from a book that you would like to travel to and why?’

She replied: ‘One place I think I’d love to go is Hogwarts. I’d like to jump on the Express and I’d like to go to Hogwarts and sit in that wonderful hall and wait for the hat to come round and pick a house for me.

‘I’d like to look at Dumbledore, and Hagrid, and Snape, and see all the pictures going mad and people jumping out of pictures and the food flying about, I think it would be a proper magical experience, and that’s a place I’d really like to go to.’

Queen Camilla, patron of the Charleston Trust, gave a speech during a surprise appearance at the Sussex festival on Thursday

The royal, 76, arrived carrying a large transparent umbrella and a neutral rain mac to face the weather

The royal, 76, arrived carrying a large transparent umbrella and a neutral rain mac to face the weather 

Queen Camilla also met with British actor and comedian Lenny Henry (R) during the surprise appearance at the opening session of the Charleston Festival

Queen Camilla also met with British actor and comedian Lenny Henry (R) during the surprise appearance at the opening session of the Charleston Festival

Queen Camilla was welcomed to the event by actress Jenny Agutter for the 'Power of Reading' event, which celebrates the power of books and reading for children and young people

Queen Camilla was welcomed to the event by actress Jenny Agutter for the ‘Power of Reading’ event, which celebrates the power of books and reading for children and young people

The royal gave a speech at the 'Power of Reading' event, which celebrated the power of books and reading for children and young people

The royal gave a speech at the ‘Power of Reading’ event, which celebrated the power of books and reading for children and young people

The event was also attended by children’s laureate Joseph Coelho, Jacqueline Wilson, author of Tracy Beaker, actress Jenny Agutter, and Francesca Simon of Horrid Henry books, as well as Sir Lenny Henry.

During the session entitled the ‘Power of Reading’, the Queen delivered an address to around 450 children attending, saying: ‘Good morning everybody, I’m sorry about the weather, I lived in Sussex for many years and it was always sunny.

‘As the proud Patron of Charleston, I am delighted to welcome you to this year’s Literary Festival, in a place rightly described by a previous resident as ‘an earthly paradise’.’

She cited Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden, as one of her favourite authors and ‘someone, like all of us, who understood the incredible thrill of reading’.

During the two hour visit, which took place in a marquee during rain, The Queen also toured Charleston’s house and studio which was home to the famous ‘Bloomsbury Set’, a group of intellectuals, philosophers and intellectuals from the early 20th century.

Queen Camilla wore a vibrant blue dress with an eye-catching feather print for the occasion

Queen Camilla wore a vibrant blue dress with an eye-catching feather print for the occasion

The royal teamed her patterned dress with an elegant matching green scarf as she addressed the crowds

The royal teamed her patterned dress with an elegant matching green scarf as she addressed the crowds

(L-R) Author Joseph Coelho, author Francesca Simon, novelist Jacqueline Wilson and actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry sat on stage as Camilla took to the stand for a special speech

(L-R) Author Joseph Coelho, author Francesca Simon, novelist Jacqueline Wilson and actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry sat on stage as Camilla took to the stand for a special speech 

Queen Camilla is patron of the Charleston Trust but her appearance today was a surprise for guests

Queen Camilla is patron of the Charleston Trust but her appearance today was a surprise for guests

Joseph Coelho, children’s laureate, said afterwards: ‘I could see the kids in the audience smiling and grinning. Books can take you to different worlds.’

Jenny Agutter, star of The Railway Children and Call the Midwife, said: ‘It’s a great choice Hogwarts, she connected with the children and they know the Queen reads the books too.’

Event organisers had promised on its website that a ‘very special surprise guest’ would be attending, but the audience were delighted when they unexpectedly found themselves in royal company.

Camilla looked elegant in an eye-catching green dress with a peacock feather pattern and matching green scarf. 

She added a light beige coat for the surprise appearance, which was met with rainy weather. Luckily Her Majesty had on hand a large see-through umbrella to shield her from the rain. 

Event organisers had promised on its website that a 'very special surprise guest' would be attending prior to the event

Event organisers had promised on its website that a ‘very special surprise guest’ would be attending prior to the event 

Camilla was all smiles for the occasion, despite the rain for the opening session of the Charleston Festival

Camilla was all smiles for the occasion, despite the rain for the opening session of the Charleston Festival

Queen Camilla was in high spirits as she shook hands with guests during the literary event

Queen Camilla was in high spirits as she shook hands with guests during the literary event

During the event, Queen Camilla was handed a microphone to ask a question to the speaker on stage

During the event, Queen Camilla was handed a microphone to ask a question to the speaker on stage 

The Queen Consort was pictured chatting with other speakers at the event before taking to the stage

The Queen Consort was pictured chatting with other speakers at the event before taking to the stage

The Queen also revealed during her visit that the King is ‘getting better’ before joking: ‘Well, he would be if he behaved himself.’ 

Camilla, 76, was chatting to guests at a garden party at Lamb House in Rye, East Sussex, where she was treated to a performance by actors Timothy West and Hayley Mills. 

Charles, who is still undergoing treatment for cancer, is said to be delighted that his doctors have given him permission to undertake more public engagements again.

 He packed in five major events in 48 hours earlier this week alone. And his wife revealed that he was ‘quite cross’ he could not be there, but had been ‘dragged away to more menial tasks’. 

She was visiting Lamb House, home of the author EF Benson, on a literary-themed day of engagements in Sussex. 

The Queen has made no secret of her frustration that her husband is working too hard, but sources say she understands and accepted his prodigious work ethic. 

The King had been undertaking state business and royal duties tirelessly behind the scenes since his diagnosis, and has now been given the green light to attend more events in public. 

Actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry took to the stage to read an extract from The Cat In The Hat

Actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry took to the stage to read an extract from The Cat In The Hat

The popular royal delighted audiences with her surprise appearance for opening session of the Charleston Festival, telling the crowd that she believes we should all be aiming for five minutes reading a day

The popular royal delighted audiences with her surprise appearance for opening session of the Charleston Festival, telling the crowd that she believes we should all be aiming for five minutes reading a day

The royal, who has always been very vocal about her passion for reading, watched the speakers on stage, cheering them on with the other guests

The royal, who has always been very vocal about her passion for reading, watched the speakers on stage, cheering them on with the other guests

Queen Camilla received flowers from a school child at the the opening session of the Charleston Festival

 Queen Camilla received flowers from a school child at the the opening session of the Charleston Festival

Guests of the literary event, including a number of schoolchildren, were honoured to meet with Queen Camilla during her surprise appearance

Guests of the literary event, including a number of schoolchildren, were honoured to meet with Queen Camilla during her surprise appearance 

The audience was delighted when they unexpectedly found themselves in royal company

The audience was delighted when they unexpectedly found themselves in royal company

He is also set to lead the Royal Family at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next week, as previously revealed by the Mail. 

The Charleston Trust festival brings together today’s most exciting artists, thinkers and changemakers to engage with art and ideas. 

Camilla, who is patron of the Charleston Trust, joined the opening event the ‘Power of Reading’, for which tickets cost between £10 and £25.

It aims to celebrate the power of books and reading for children and young people – something which the Queen has tirelessly shown commitment for. 

Camilla is an avid reader, patron of a number of literary organisations and has been supporting the children’s writing competition since 2015. 

Only in March she endorsed new research that said five minutes of reading a day is as valuable to health and wellbeing as walking 10,000 steps and eating five portions of fruit and vegetables. 

In the speech, which marked the third anniversary of her book club, The Queen’s Reading Room, as well as its first as a registered charity, Her Majesty said: ‘In addition to our five a day and our 10,000 steps, we should all be aiming for at least five minutes of reading every day for invaluable benefits for brain health and mental well-being. 

After the event, Camilla toured the studio at Charleston House, taking in its impressive artwork

After the event, Camilla toured the studio at Charleston House, taking in its impressive artwork

Queen Camilla looked elegant with her jewel-toned green scarf wrapped around her shoulders as a shawl

Queen Camilla looked elegant with her jewel-toned green scarf wrapped around her shoulders as a shawl 

The royal also wore a series of bracelets on her wrist in blue tones that matched her outfit

The royal also wore a series of bracelets on her wrist in blue tones that matched her outfit

Queen Camilla smiles during a tour of the studio at Charleston House after a surprise appearance at the opening session of the Charleston Festival

Queen Camilla smiles during a tour of the studio at Charleston House after a surprise appearance at the opening session of the Charleston Festival

The Queen Consort points at the camera as she poses for pictures among the artwork at

The Queen Consort points at the camera as she poses for pictures among the artwork at the studio at Charleston House

It was a special day for Queen Camilla, who has a passion for books and readings, when she made a surprise appearance at the opening session of the Charleston Festival

It was a special day for Queen Camilla, who has a passion for books and readings, when she made a surprise appearance at the opening session of the Charleston Festival

Queen Camilla was pictured with an umbrella in hand leaving in the picturesque grounds of Charleston House

Queen Camilla was pictured with an umbrella in hand leaving in the picturesque grounds of Charleston House

Camilla waved to crowds, smiling despite the damp British weather, as she left Charleston Festival today

Camilla waved to crowds, smiling despite the damp British weather, as she left Charleston Festival today

Queen Camilla leaves in the rain after a surprise appearance at the opening session of the Charleston Festival

Queen Camilla leaves in the rain after a surprise appearance at the opening session of the Charleston Festival

‘Just as we always suspected, books are good for us – and now science is proving us right!’

As she moved through the crowds, Queen Camilla was gifted flowers from school children. Tallulah, one of the school children at the event told The Argus: ‘It was really exciting but I was also quite nervous.’

Tallulah, 9, handed Her Majesty some wild flowers that had been picked from the local gardens, telling the publication: ‘She asked me where I picked the flowers, and she also asked us if we visited the South Downs for walks.’

Next stop on the Queen’s literary tour of Sussex was the quaint East Sussex town of Rye, which is famed for its winding cobbled streets and old-world charm. 

Excited crowds gathered outside the Church of Saint Mary in the hope of meeting the Queen. 

Queen Camilla arrives for a visit to the Church of Saint Mary in Rye, East Sussex

Queen Camilla arrives for a visit to the Church of Saint Mary in Rye, East Sussex

Some royal fans have waited in the rain for three hours just to catch a glimpse of Queen Camilla

Some royal fans have waited in the rain for three hours just to catch a glimpse of Queen Camilla 

It was more flowers for Queen Camilla as members of the local community gathered to meet Her Majesty

It was more flowers for Queen Camilla as members of the local community gathered to meet Her Majesty 

Queen Camilla holds on to a bunch of carnations that were gifted to her by a royal fan outside the Church of Saint Mary in Rye

Queen Camilla holds on to a bunch of carnations that were gifted to her by a royal fan outside the Church of Saint Mary in Rye

Queen Camilla met with local children who came armed with British royal flags to mark the exciting visit from Her Majesty

Queen Camilla met with local children who came armed with British royal flags to mark the exciting visit from Her Majesty 

Never mind the damp British weather! Royal fans came out in their droves to line the streets of picturesque Rye and meet with Queen Camilla

Never mind the damp British weather! Royal fans came out in their droves to line the streets of picturesque Rye and meet with Queen Camilla 

James Tindall, who works at Fletchers House restaurant and tearoom in Rye, told reporters at The Argus: ‘It’s great for the town. It’s brought a lot of people here. It is nice for her to come and visit. It’s brought the community together.’

Some royal fans were so dedicated in their pursuit of catching a glimpse of Queen Camilla that they waited for three hours in the rain. Melanie Edwards, 63, told The Argus: ‘It’s brilliant. It’s exciting.’

Royal enthusiasts were also keen to show their support for King Charles, who has been undergoing cancer treatment, presenting Her Majesty with some flowers to pass on to her husband.

Queen Camilla arrives for a visit to Lamb House, which was once home to novelists Henry James, Rumer Godden and E. F. Benson

Queen Camilla arrives for a visit to Lamb House, which was once home to novelists Henry James, Rumer Godden and E. F. Benson

Her Majesty was met with excited crowds who were keen to get a photograph of Camilla

Her Majesty was met with excited crowds who were keen to get a photograph of Camilla 

Queen Camilla's stunning Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet could be seen as she shook hands with royal fans outside Lamb House

Queen Camilla’s stunning Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet could be seen as she shook hands with royal fans outside Lamb House

Queen Camilla looked in high spirits during her trip to Rye, greeting the royal fans that lined the streets of the pretty East Sussex town

Queen Camilla looked in high spirits during her trip to Rye, greeting the royal fans that lined the streets of the pretty East Sussex town 

It was rain macs and umbrellas all around for Queen Camilla and the royal fans that welcomed her to Rye, despite the miserable weather

It was rain macs and umbrellas all around for Queen Camilla and the royal fans that welcomed her to Rye, despite the miserable weather 

Cameras at the ready! Onlookers had their smartphones and cameras ready to get a snap of the Queen

Cameras at the ready! Onlookers had their smartphones and cameras ready to get a snap of the Queen

Queen Camilla makes her way around the crowds in Rye outside the Church of Saint Mary

Queen Camilla makes her way around the crowds in Rye outside the Church of Saint Mary

Royal fans looked delighted to share a moment with Her Majesty as she braved the rainy weather

Royal fans looked delighted to share a moment with Her Majesty as she braved the rainy weather

The Queen visited the Church of Saint Mary before heading to literary landmark Lamb House in Rye

The Queen visited the Church of Saint Mary before heading to literary landmark Lamb House in Rye

Queen Camilla was wearing her trusty rain mac to protect her from the elements today

Queen Camilla was wearing her trusty rain mac to protect her from the elements today

The crowds lined up outside Lamb House to greet Camilla before she entered the historic building

The crowds lined up outside Lamb House to greet Camilla before she entered the historic building

Queen Camilla's large umbrella kept her dry during the visit to Rye

Queen Camilla’s large umbrella kept her dry during the visit to Rye 

The Queen Consort looked radiant in a vibrant blue dress with a feather pattern for her trip to Rye today

The Queen Consort looked radiant in a vibrant blue dress with a feather pattern for her trip to Rye today 

Queen Camilla met with the crowds who had waited in the rain outside Lamb House in Rye

Queen Camilla met with the crowds who had waited in the rain outside Lamb House in Rye 

Queen Camilla arriving for a visit to Lamb House, where many literary greats have lived over the years

Queen Camilla arriving for a visit to Lamb House, where many literary greats have lived over the years 

The Duchess was all smiles as she met with local members of the community in Rye after attending the opening session for the Charleston Festival

The Duchess was all smiles as she met with local members of the community in Rye after attending the opening session for the Charleston Festival

Queen Camilla arrives at Lamb House, which was built in 1723 by James Lamb, a wine merchant, politician and Mayor of Rye.

Queen Camilla arrives at Lamb House, which was built in 1723 by James Lamb, a wine merchant, politician and Mayor of Rye.

School children were among the local residents that came to meet Queen Camilla outside Lamb House in Rye

School children were among the local residents that came to meet Queen Camilla outside Lamb House in Rye 

Queen Camilla wore some sensible tan shoes for the occasion as she negotiated the cobbled streets of Rye

Queen Camilla wore some sensible tan shoes for the occasion as she negotiated the cobbled streets of Rye 

The crowds surround historic Lamb House, a Grade II listed 18th-century in Rye

The crowds surround historic Lamb House, a Grade II listed 18th-century in Rye 

The Queen is on her way to Lamb House, where Henry James lived and hosted his literary friends including H.G. Wells,

The Queen is on her way to Lamb House, where Henry James lived and hosted his literary friends including H.G. Wells,

The Queen left Lamb House to chants of long live the Queen

The Queen left Lamb House to chants of long live the Queen 

Royal watchers lined up to get a moment with Her Majesty as she made her way around pretty East Sussex town Rye

Royal watchers lined up to get a moment with Her Majesty as she made her way around pretty East Sussex town Rye 

The Queen shakes hands with royal fans on her walk towards historic Lamb House in Rye

The Queen shakes hands with royal fans on her walk towards historic Lamb House in Rye

Queen Camilla kept her umbrella up throughout the day, shielding her from the miserable British weather

Queen Camilla kept her umbrella up throughout the day, shielding her from the miserable British weather 

Her Majesty was in high spirits as she weaved in and out of crowds in the streets of Rye

Her Majesty was in high spirits as she weaved in and out of crowds in the streets of Rye

The Queen Consort had chosen some statement gold earrings for the occasion, as well as her usual stack of bracelets and stunning emerald-cut diamond engagement ring and wedding band

The Queen Consort had chosen some statement gold earrings for the occasion, as well as her usual stack of bracelets and stunning emerald-cut diamond engagement ring and wedding band

Camilla was stopped by fans who wanted to share a moment with the Queen on her literary trip to Rye

Camilla was stopped by fans who wanted to share a moment with the Queen on her literary trip to Rye

Qyeen Camilla wore a beautiful blue dress for the occasion with a striking peacock motif

Qyeen Camilla wore a beautiful blue dress for the occasion with a striking peacock motif 

Royal fans were delighted to catch a moment with Queen Camilla, who made time to address the crowds despite the rain

Royal fans were delighted to catch a moment with Queen Camilla, who made time to address the crowds despite the rain

Camilla is on a literary tour of Rye, first attending the Charleston Festival before visiting the historic Lamb House, the former home of Henry James

Camilla is on a literary tour of Rye, first attending the Charleston Festival before visiting the historic Lamb House, the former home of Henry James 

The crowds were eager to meet Queen Camilla, with some local residents waiting in the rain for three hours just to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty

The crowds were eager to meet Queen Camilla, with some local residents waiting in the rain for three hours just to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty

Her Majesty tenderly places her hand of the head of a child during a meet and greet outside the the Church of Saint Mary in Rye

Her Majesty tenderly places her hand of the head of a child during a meet and greet outside the the Church of Saint Mary in Rye 

The Queen, who has had a passion for reading since she was a child, looked happy to be taking part in the literary events today

The Queen, who has had a passion for reading since she was a child, looked happy to be taking part in the literary events today 

Queen Camilla bends down to greet a child wearing a bright yellow rain jacket, who looks excited to meet the royal

Queen Camilla bends down to greet a child wearing a bright yellow rain jacket, who looks excited to meet the royal

Despite the rain, Camilla appeared in high spirits during her trip around Rye, where she met with local volunteers and listened to them discussing their charity endeavours

Despite the rain, Camilla appeared in high spirits during her trip around Rye, where she met with local volunteers and listened to them discussing their charity endeavours

The Queen Consort gives a wave to photographers during a soggy day out in East Sussex

The Queen Consort gives a wave to photographers during a soggy day out in East Sussex 

Local resident Julie Barker, 59, and her sister Celia, 70, came with tulips for King Charles in the hope that Camilla would pass them on.

Despite the rain, Camilla appeared in high spirits during her trip around Rye, where she met with local volunteers and listened to them discussing their charity endeavours. 

Her Majesty popped into the Church of Saint Mary in Rye for some respite from the rain, where she learned more about the different initiatives taking place in the church community. 

Shortly after that, the royal walked across to Lamb House, a Grade II listed 18th-century house that was once home to famous novelist Henry James, as well as Rumer Godden and E F Benson.

Here the Queen Consort had a tour of the National Trust property before joining some VIPs in the garden for some literary readings. Hayley Mills, Timothy West and Prunella Scales were among the guests who met with the Queen. 

Queen Camilla waves at the crowds as she leaves Lamb House, a historic property in Rye

Queen Camilla waves at the crowds as she leaves Lamb House, a historic property in Rye  

The Queen Consort left Lamb House to chants of 'God save the Queen' from royal fans

The Queen Consort left Lamb House to chants of ‘God save the Queen’ from royal fans

Her Majesty had received numerous bunches of flowers through her day in Sussex and emerged out of Lamb House with a stunning purple and white bouquet

Her Majesty had received numerous bunches of flowers through her day in Sussex and emerged out of Lamb House with a stunning purple and white bouquet 

Camilla smiled for the cameras while carrying the impressive bouquet, which consisted of hydrangeas, baby's-breath and wild flowers in purple and blue tones

Camilla smiled for the cameras while carrying the impressive bouquet, which consisted of hydrangeas, baby’s-breath and wild flowers in purple and blue tones

Queen Camilla momentarily ditched her rain mac as the weather eased in East Sussex

Queen Camilla momentarily ditched her rain mac as the weather eased in East Sussex 

Queen Camilla leaves lamb house with with broadcaster Gyles Brandreth

Queen Camilla leaves lamb house with with broadcaster Gyles Brandreth

The Queen met with actor Timothy West and Oscar winner Hayley Mills for a garden party at Lamb House in Rye

The Queen met with actor Timothy West and Oscar winner Hayley Mills for a garden party at Lamb House in Rye

Queen Camilla shares a moment with Timothy West during the garden party at Lamb House

Queen Camilla shares a moment with Timothy West during the garden party at Lamb House

 Camilla has previously told how her love of reading began as a child when her father would read bedtime stories to her. 

She explained how her father Bruce Shand, an avid reader, used to read books to her and her siblings before their bedtime.

‘When we were children at night he would sit at the bottom of our beds and read us stories, every sort of story you could imagine,’ she recounted, as she held a reception at Buckingham Palace for the BBC’s 500 Words in February.