Duchess of Cornwall in visit to organic cheese farm

By Claire Hayhurst, PA

The Duchess of Cornwall donned a white hat and boot covers as she visited an organic cheese farm.

Camilla went to The Bath Soft Cheese Company, where she met local schoolchildren learning about the cheese-making process.

She saw pregnant cows at the farm in Kelston, Somerset, as well as calves, from an upstairs viewing gallery.

Four signature cheeses are made on site with milk from the 600-acre farm’s herd of 160 Holstein Friesian cows.

The duchess tasted the company’s four speciality cheeses (Ben Birchall/PA)

Camilla walked into rooms where the Bath Soft, Bath Blue, Wyfe of Bath and Merry Wyfe cheeses were ripening.

After being handed a gift box of the four cheeses, the duchess referred to her husband the Prince of Wales.

“He’s away in Japan at the moment but I might be a good wife and keep it to share with him on his return,” she joked.

Managing director Hugh Padfield, a fourth-generation farmer and cheese-maker, showed Camilla around with his father Graham.

Camilla spoke with schoolchildren who were visiting the farm (Ben Birchall/PA)

Mr Padfield’s grandparents moved to the farm in 1914, with his great-grandmother Lilian making her own cheddar cheese.

In 1993, Graham Padfield decided to recreate the soft cheese that had been traditionally made in Bath since the late 1700s.

The company, which was recently crowned Supreme Champions at the 2019 International Cheese Awards, now sells thousands of cheeses across the UK.

Hugh Padfield said the duchess’s visit was “such a privilege” and she was “very complimentary” about the cheese.

The Duchess of Cornwall is shown a blue cheese by Hugh Hadfield during her visit (Ben Birchall/PA)

“She said the Merry Wyfe was her favourite,” he said.

“Merry Wyfe is washed with cider made on the farm every other day for four weeks.

“It was mentioned a couple of times that Prince Charles is a fan of smelly cheese.

“He previously tried our cheese and she said ‘I remember him having that – he really enjoyed it’.”

Camilla visited the farm after attending the Royal United Hospital in Bath, where she opened the new Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases and Brownsword Therapies Centre.

She praised the facilities and said the hydrotherapy pool looked “extremely tempting”.