The Queen of Genovia makes a royal appearance

Distinguished actor Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, make a royal appearance this past week at GRHS.

Emma Walton Hamilton embraces her mother as they celebrate their new Children's book

Emma Walton Hamilton embraces her mother as they celebrate their new Children’s book “The Very Fairy Princess- Graduation Girl!”

by Kaitlin Stansel, Foreign Affairs Liason

“A queen is never late. Everyone else is simply early,” Julie Andrews’ character said in the movie The Princess Diaries.

On Monday April 28th, with an auditorium full of three hundred of her loyal onlookers, the queenly Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, graced Glen Rock with her imperial presence in the Glen Rock High School Auditorium as part of Books, Bytes & Beyond’s Conversations With Authors series.

As the curtains opened, Hamilton and Andrews were celebrated with an over joyous standing ovation. The audience, ranging in age from young children to senior citizens who remembered Andrews from her earlier performances, gawked as the duo spoke about their infatuation in writing children’s books.

“They spoke about … the importance of reading aloud to children to a crowd of several hundred people,” said Mary Brown, from Books, Bytes & Beyond who, with the help of others from the Glen Rock Library, organized the event.

Smiling in a queenly fashion, Andrews poses in front of the Sydney Opera House.

The famed authors reminisced as they shared stories about their writing collaboration and the memories they held of when they were children.

“It was a discussion for parents and educators about developing a child’s joy of reading that can last a lifetime.” Said Georgene Betterbed, the president of The Friends of the Glen Rock Library. “They also discussed how a child’s fear/dislike of reading can be turned around by involving a subject/hobby which is very much liked by the child into a reading subject – look for books which focus on a topic which is dear to the child. Bring that child into the story by not just reading but do ‘performance’ reading – adopt your voice to the many characters in the books,” Betterbed continued.

Here was an internationally known performer talking about writing, having obscure books reprinted, and the importance of reading. It was quite ‘unHollywood.’”

— Georgene Betterbed

Andrews only briefly discussed her acting career, elaborating on P.L. Travers who wrote Mary Poppins, which Andrews stared in as Marry Poppins herself. She told the audience how Travers was far more difficult than she was portrayed in the movie Saving Mr. Banks. However when asked about her favorite movie role Andrews was left speechless, saying that she couldn’t pick a favorite for she loved every movie she’s appeared in.

“Here was an internationally known performer talking about writing, having obscure books reprinted, and the importance of reading. It was quite ‘unHollywood,’” said Georgene Betterbed on the stars’ humbling appearance.

Betterbed also added that the conversation Andrews and Hamilton held with the audience was informal and the mother daughter pair fluently fed off of each other’s thoughts.

Julie Andrews, the daughter of author Edward Charles Wells, chose Glen Rock for the premiere of her tour “Conversation with an Author” because it matched her traditional personality.

Their successful educational visit marked the pair’s sixth visit to the Rock, and we can only hope that the Queen of Genovia will return to her second home soon.