The star-studded line-up bringing the coronation to life for blind children - News - Living Paintings %

Living Paintings

The star-studded line-up bringing the coronation to life for blind children

19th April 2023

The coronation of King Charles is just around the corner and our free coronation gifts for blind children will soon be sent out to every corner of the kingdom!

As we prepare to bring the coronation to life through touch and sound for blind and visually impaired children across the UK, we wanted to introduce you to the star-studded line-up who have volunteered their time to record audio guides for us.

Dame Joanna Lumley is holding up a tactile picture of St Edward's Crown

Dame Joanna Lumley

Say hello to our absolutely fabulous friend (sorry…), Joanna Lumley!

Joanna is a keen supporter of Living Paintings – and it isn’t the first time she has worked on a royal project with us. She has previously recorded audio guides for our portraits from the Royal Collection.

Joanna is a friend of King Charles and has kindly recorded the audio guide for the St Edward’s Crown and coronation ceremony for children who are of secondary school age.

After her recording, Joanna sent us the following message:

“It was a pleasure and privilege to record the audio description of St Edward’s Crown for blind children. Now I know that it weighs as much as four tins of baked beans, my respect for His Majesty – already sky-high – becomes stratospheric. Knowing that children around the country will be able to see the crown through touch and experience the ceremony better because of the wonderful people at Living Paintings fills me with awe.

I shall be at the coronation, in humbler headwear, but still bursting with pride that we shall have shown blind children a pivotal part of the fabulous ceremony.”

Listen to a sample of Joanna’s audio guide:


Omid Djalili holds a tactile picture of the Kinbg Charles portrait on the royal mail 1st class stamp

Omid Djalili

The hilarious Omid Djalili joined us in the studio to record his audio guide – for the King Charles III Royal Mail stamp for secondary school aged children.

Omid was the last person to make our late Queen laugh in public during his role as The Herald at the Platinum Jubilee Pagaent. It was such a great performance, that we knew we had to ask him to be involved in our project.

King Charles is also a fan of Omid’s comedy. In fact, during our recording Omid let us into a secret and told us the King’s favourite joke of his. Sadly for you, dear readers, we can’t repeat it here!

Listen to a sample of Omid’s audio guide:


Roman Kemp

Radio and TV host Roman Kemp hot-footed it from his breakfast show at Capital FM to record his guide! Roman kindly agreed to describe the King Charles III stamp for primary school aged children.

It’s the first time Roman has worked with us and we are delighted! He isn’t the first Kemp to lend his support to Living Paintings though. Dad, Martin Kemp, has previously presented a BBC Lifeline appeal for us.

You’re next, Shirley!

Listen to a sample of Roman’s audio guide:


Mel Giedroyc in the studio holding up a copy of Zog, by Julia Donaldson

Mel Giedroyc

Mel has previously worked with Living Paintings on the amazing Zog, by Julia Donaldson. We don’t like to play favourites here at LP, but her hilarious commentary has to make this one of our favourite audio descriptions! We’re so pleased to have got her back behind the microphone to help us bring the coronation to life for blind children.

Mel provides the audio guide for the St Edward’s crown for primary school aged children.

Listen to a sample of Mel’s audio guide:


Sir Derek Jacobi is holding up a copy of The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

Sir Derek Jacobi

Sir Derek is a long-time friend of Living Paintings – we simply can’t list all of the support he has given us through the years (we would need to write a book!). We are absolutely thrilled he has volunteered his time, yet again, to help our cause.

Derek’s voice will be instantly recognisable as the narrator of top CBeebie’s show, In the Night Garden. His audio guide for pre-schoolers is packed with wonderful stories and tales about the king – with not a Tombliboo in sight.

Listen to a sample of Sir Derek’s audio guide:


Eleanor Stollery is sitting at a table with a tactile version of the St Edward's Crown

Eleanor Stollery

Eleanor is 12 years old and has been a member of Living Paintings’ free postal library of tactile-audio books for many years. We are so happy she was able to record the guide for St Edward’s Crown for pre-schoolers.

Eleanor doesn’t let her sight loss hold her back, and we hope her involvement sends an inspiring message to the young children who will be listening.

Already an accomplished actress, Eleanor voices Lark in Milkshakes ‘Milo’ on Channel 5 and spent three seasons playing Tiny Tim at The Old Vic’s annual production of A Christmas Carol.

Listen to a sample of Eleanor’s audio guide below:


Royal Books to Borrow!

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.


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