The Queen has become the first royal patron of the Anne Frank Trust UK.
Well known for her interest in literacy, Queen Camilla takes up her role on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.
The appointment has been welcomed by the educational charity, which empowers young people to challenge all forms of prejudices through teaching about Anne Frank. The Jewish teenager spent two years in hiding in Amsterdam before being discovered by the Nazis and transported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died aged 15.
Anne Frank Trust UK chair Nicola Cobbald said: “Her Majesty’s interest in young people and in reading is well-known and long-standing. As a youth charity whose key educational tool is a beloved book, Anne Frank’s Diary, we could not be more delighted to have Her Majesty as our patron.”
Cobbald added that the patronage also showed the royal’s “deep commitment to commemorating the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and to overcoming prejudice today” and that it “could not be more timely” due to “unprecedented levels of antisemitism here in Britain, as well as a significant rise in Islamophobia”.
The poignancy of the first royal patronage for the charity has been noted as there was evidence that Anne had been a committed royalist.
In her attic room, she had picture postcards of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, which can still be seen in the Anne Frank House Museum. She recorded in her diary the 18th birthday of “this beauty” Princess Elizabeth of York, later Queen Elizabeth II, and when the birth of a Dutch princess was announced, Anne wrote: “I think it’s wonderful. No one here understands why I take such an interest in the Royal Family.”
Tim Robertson, chief executive of the Anne Frank Trust UK, said: “As we mark Holocaust Memorial Day, it is heartbreakingly poignant to think how much Queen Camilla’s patronage would have meant to Anne. A passion for royalty was one of the hobbies that gave Anne hope and happiness during her two years in hiding from the Nazis.”
The Queen was guest of honour at the Anne Frank Trust UK’s annual lunch in 2022, when she was Duchess of Cornwall. During her address, Her Majesty said: “Let us… learn from those who bore witness to the horrors of the Holocaust, and all subsequent genocides, and commit ourselves to keeping their stories alive, so that each generation will be ready to tackle hatred in any of its terrible forms.
"And let us carry with us the words and wisdom of Anne Frank a child of only 14 years old, who wrote on 7th May 1944: ‘What is done cannot be undone, but at least one can prevent it from happening again’.”
Anne Frank Trust lunch 2022. Young people with the Queen, then the Duchess of Cornwall (Photo: The Anne Frank Trust)
The Queen is known for her interest in reading and literacy. As Duchess, she became patron of the National Literacy Trust, Book Trust and First Story.
Since becoming Queen, she has established The Queen's Reading Room, which works to celebrate and promote the power and benefits of reading.
Clarence House was approached for comment.