Charles and Camilla honor Dickens on 200th birthday

Britain’s Prince Charles has led ceremonies marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, one of English literature’s most famous and celebrated novelists.

The prince laid a wreath at Dickens’ grave Tuesday at Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner, where the writer was buried in 1870 alongside Geoffrey Chaucer, Tennyson, Samuel Johnson and other literary greats.

The writer’s descendants attended the ceremony. His great-grandson Mark Dickens said the writer was very committed to social reform.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla also toured the Dickens Museum in central London where they cut a book-shaped cake and listened to a reading by Actress Gillian Anderson from an old Dickens book. Anderson recently played Miss Haversham in the British TV drama “Great Expectations” based on Dickens’ novel. She praised Dickens for describing the human condition in England of his time.

More events are being held in the southern city of Portsmouth, where Dickens was born on Feb. 7, 1812.

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