Prince Charles, from farmer to monarch

His job ? Wait. But in light of the age of his mother, Elizabeth II (94), Prince Charles (71) decided to focus on his role as future king. To do this, the eldest son of the monarch gave up the lease of the “Home Farm”, a famous organic farm he founded in 1990. Nestled in the green valleys of Gloucestershire (south-west England), the 365 hectare farm embodies the environmental convictions of this pioneer of alternative agriculture.

Its black coat of arms struck with gold coins and flanked by two crows, a feather in the beak, testifies to this. Prince Charles is not only the heir to the throne of England, but also 24e Duke of Cornwall and, as such, the lesser known, one of the richest personalities in the kingdom. At the heart of its business empire is the “Home Farm”, whose products are stamped “Duchy Originals”. In the 2018-2019 financial year, the pre-tax profits of this successful business amounted to 3 million pounds (3.32 million euros).

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The Prince of Wales takes advantage of his notoriety to sell products originating from his agricultural domain which is devoted to the cultivation of wheat as well as to the breeding of sheep, oxen and pigs. Biscuits, jams, chocolates, cider and bacon are also served in all the royal palaces. The products are sold in the UK by the premium supermarket chain Waitrose and are successfully exported around the world. Thanks to the Windsor label, “Duchy Originals” foods are expensive and profit margins substantial.

“In matters of agriculture and gardening, I believe that if you treat the earth with love and respect, it will restore this concern to you”: in the name of this philosophy of safeguarding nature to which he is deeply attached, the prince has made “Home Farm” the laboratory of its ecological convictions. The use of solar panels, an ecological drainage system and the planting of seeds according to the lunar cycles illustrate the owner’s philosophy. Lemonade “Duchy” is made from organic Sicilian lemons. The heather honey from Scotland comes from the beehives of the Royal Estate of Balmoral, while the shortbread tins are decorated with watercolors made by the prince himself. In the process, hand-carved furniture from walnut trees raised in a wood from his Highgrove estate and a fine range of clothing made in rural workshops with wool sourced from his sheep were successfully launched.

Position papers

Prince Charles has never hidden his hostility to pesticides and hormones. He said he was in favor of transforming villages into small self-sufficient units. For a long time, his strong positions had shocked the large farmers who dominate British agriculture. When he revealed that he was talking to trees, outraged conservative circles had publicly questioned his ability to one day succeed his mother.

In private, Elizabeth II had criticized the blunt interventions on the ecology of an offspring who wants to be idealistic and provocative. Many predicted it would be a bitter failure in the organic sector. Since then, between mad cow, controversy over genetically modified organisms, foot-and-mouth disease and junk food, the gentleman-farmer can take advantage of a flourishing business.

I won’t be an intrusive king… I’m not that stupid.

Given the advanced age of his mother, Prince Charles is de facto regent of the kingdom. To succeed the monarch – who will not abdicate because of his religious oath taken at the 1953 coronation to serve until his death – the person concerned must fall into line. He had already pledged to respect the political neutrality of the head of state when he becomes king. “The role of monarch and that of Prince of Wales are totally different. I will not be an intrusive king… I am not so stupid ”, underlined HRH in a documentary released in November 2018 on the occasion of the celebration of his 70th birthday. In this period of lieutenancy of the kingdom, the cession of the “Home Farm” contributes to the renunciation of the most contentious causes such as ecology, architecture, alternative medicine or the fate of the deprived.

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However, despite the transfer of the operating lease in April 2021, the prince will remain involved in organic farming. He intends to transform the royal estate of Sandringham (Norfolk), private property of the sovereign, into a vast organic farm of sheep, her favorite animals. Hunt the natural … One thing is clear, His Royal Highness can, without displeasure, consider the road traveled. He perfectly fulfilled his role as Prince of Wales. It remains to forge what will be that of the future king of England.

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