Charles celebrates 70 years as Duke of Cornwall at agricultural show

·4-min read
The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales speak to exhibitors at the Royal Cornwall Show (PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales speak to exhibitors at the Royal Cornwall Show (PA)

The Prince of Wales has marked 70 years of holding the title Duke of Cornwall by visiting the county’s annual agricultural show.

The prince, accompanied by his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, toured the Royal Cornwall Show on Friday, and saw dozens of local businesses exhibiting their wares.

On arrival, the royal couple were presented with a harvest jug created by St Ives-based potter Adrian Brough.

The vessel, which was decorated with images of flowers and sheaves of wheat, is traditionally used in Cornwall to carry ale or cider at harvest time.

Charles and Camilla battled through throngs of well-wishers to visit some of the artisan food producers in the main pavilion.

They spoke to Scott Hall, of Cornish Chillies, a company making condiments from its 4,000 UK-grown chilli plants.

Mr Hall told the PA news agency: “Charles was wondering how hot our sauces were, and we said they are anything from mild to super hot.

“Camilla said she wanted to get some for her son (food critic) Tom Parker Bowles.”

The Duchess of Cornwall described the sparkling cider as “smooth and refreshing” (PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall described the sparkling cider as “smooth and refreshing” (PA)

Elsewhere, Charles and Camilla tried some sparkling cider, which Camilla described as “smooth and refreshing”.

Charles declined to try some Cornish Biltong, according to Kerry Rickard, whose family have run their butchery business since the 1960s. She told PA: “Charles said it might pull his teeth out.”

Camilla visited the dog show tent, where different terriers were competing to be named top dog, and went on to admire the blooms in the flower tent.

Charles spent some time with the team managing the Duchy of Cornwall, including young farmers preparing to step into their parents’ shoes when they retire.

The duchy’s “sustainable stewardship” initiative works with future farmers of its land to work out how it can make changes and improvements to help them survive and reach environmental targets.

Will Kitto, of Higher Coombe Farm near Liskeard, said the prince had discussed their sustainability plans and the current cost-of-living crisis.

The farm has been worked by the same family for three generations.

Mr Kitto said: “Charles was asking about what we are doing to achieve net zero and boost natural capital using sustainable methods of farming.”

Will Kitto talked to Charles about his family’s farm on Duchy of Cornwall land (Tess de la Mare/PA)
Will Kitto talked to Charles about his family’s farm on Duchy of Cornwall land (Tess de la Mare/PA)

Asked about the difficulties facing British farmers, he said: “Just making a living is incredibly hard, food has been very cheap for a long time and of course some people can only afford cheap food.

“We need to make sure we can make enough food in this country rather than shipping it from far away, and make sure we do it sustainably.”

He added: “But we also have to be financially sustainable and the prices of fuel and fertiliser are going through the roof.”

Later in the afternoon, the royal couple were due to watch a parade of British sheep, goats and cows, and hand out trophies to competitors in the livestock contest.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in the royal box during a show of British livestock (PA)
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in the royal box during a show of British livestock (PA)

Camilla and Charles were not the only public figures at the Royal Cornwall Show on Friday, as the Prime Minister made a flying visit to the showground on Friday morning.

Boris Johnson visited the cattle tent and sheep tent, and spoke to various traders in the exhibition centre, and also posed for selfies with members of the public.

In a tweet he  said his trip to the show was to help champion “Cornish food and drink, agricultural produce that is the best in the world”.

He said  he was  seeing  “all sorts  of extraordinary signs of the rural life in Cornwall and the amazing activities for all the family  to enjoy” and even got to  stroke a supreme champion cow.

Mr Johnson  added that “what we need to do is make sure that we eat and drink more of the food that we grow in this country”.

One member of show staff said Mr Johnson had received a “mixed reception”, but added: “I think on balance there was still more cheering than booing.”

They added: “I don’t think he minded, he’s got a hide like a rhinoceros.”

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