Queen updates royal Dolls’ House with tiny modern books

Camilla looks at the tiny book she penned.© His Majesty King Charles III 2024/PA

The Queen quipped that writing a tiny book for the Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House caused her eyesight to deteriorate.

Camilla penned one of 20 new manuscripts created to refresh the tiny library collection.

The books measure just 1.8in (4.5cm) and have been hand-crafted by famous authors to mark the centenary of the house’s completion.


The replica Edwardian residence was a gift to Queen Mary from the nation after World War One.

Its famous library was originally designed to encapsulate the literary culture from when it was built in the 1920s, and features handwritten works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Vita Sackville-West, A. A. Milne and Thomas Hardy.

The new additions have been curated to reflect modern literature with the books penned and decorated by well-known writers and illustrators.

Sir Tom Stoppard, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Sir Ben Okri and Julia Donaldson are just a few of the famous faces who put their calligraphy skills to the test to create the latest miniature works.

They range from short stories, plays and poetry collections, to articles and recipes, most of which were inspired by the dolls’ house, or created to mark the anniversary.

The Queen, who championed the anniversary project to modernise the library, handwrote an introduction to the Modern-Day Miniature Library project.

An inscription by Camilla in her book.

Books being added to the Dolls' House Library.

© His Majesty King Charles III 2024/PA

Camilla hosted a reception at Windsor Castle for the writers, binders and illustrators who contributed to the project and joked: “I hope your eyesight hasn’t deteriorated that much – certainly mine did.”

She also told her guests: “As a child, seeing the dolls’ house for the first time, I was always fascinated by the books.

“The idea of actually seeing these important writers, actually seeing their writing, was huge excitement.

“And I know the future generations are going to feel the same about all of you. They are going to look at these books and say ‘Goodness, how wonderful’. It’s wonderful to see Alan Bennett or Tom Stoppard, to see their writing.”

Camilla’s doll-sized book was bound in the Royal Bindery and features a gold-tooled 7mm-tall version of her cypher.

The Queen had previously called the library “the most breath-taking space in the house”.

The exterior of the tiny book written by the Queen.

Very small books for the Dolls' House.

© His Majesty King Charles III 2024/PA

Author Sebastian Faulks, who wrote a poem for the collection, said the size of the book he was asked to create made it “a real challenge, but fun”.

The Birdsong writer added: “My handwriting has not been under such pressure since infant school, I can only apologise for my illustrations.”

Anglo-Nigerian writer and author of the Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo, said her contribution “invites us to reconsider Britain’s deep history and origins in a way that challenges assumptions and provokes debate.”

The Library inside the Dolls' House.

© His Majesty King Charles III 2024/PA
The Dolls' House at Windsor Castle.

© His Majesty King Charles III 2024/PA

The Dolls’ House was made for King George V’s consort, Queen Mary, and took three years to complete.

It was designed and built by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1921 and 1924, and has electricity and running water.

It is a 1:12 scale miniature Edwardian-style royal residence and has a grand piano, working lifts and a wine cellar with tiny bottles of real champagne.

There is also a scaled-down replica of the Crown Jewels inset with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and pearls.

It is cited as the largest and most famous dolls’ house in the world.

Related Topics

  • Queen Camilla
  • Books
  • Windsor Castle
  • Jacqueline Wilson