The King's support for Rural Communities and Agriculture

The Prince of Wales cares deeply about the countryside and the welfare of rural communities.

The King and rural communities

Maintaining a healthy agricultural sector is vital to the country, not just because the landscape relies on the accumulated knowledge of farming communities for its continued stewardship, but also because the social fabric of the countryside depends on a strong farming base.

Whatever our relationship with rural Britain, we can surely all agree that it is one of the greatest treasures of our nation.

His Majesty The King, as The Prince of Wales, in 2016

The King’s belief in the importance of the family farm in agriculture has led him to form a number of initiatives to help readdress the problems faced by communities in the countryside.

The King visits a farm

His Majesty, when he was The Prince of Wales, became Patron or President of a number of organisations that seek to preserve rural communities and protect British agriculture including Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society, Dry Stone Walling Association, Lleyn Sheep Society, National Hedgelaying Society, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, and the Welsh Black Cattle Society.

The King with sheep

His Majesty also became Patron of the Soil Association and Garden Organic, both of which encourage organic farming and gardening. 

The King looks at soil

The King’s concern for farmers all over the UK has led to His Majesty starting several initiatives to promote the produce of certain areas in the hope of increasing farmer’s incomes and preserving their way of life.

Campaign for Wool

To that end, the Campaign for Wool was launched by The King in 2010 to help struggling sheep farmers. The Campaign for Wool aims to promote the clear benefits of wool over synthetic fabrics and create more demand in order to help sheep farmers get a better return.

In 2020, Campaign for Wool celebrated their 10th anniversary with the launch of a limited-edition wool scarf, designed in collaboration with Amy Powney from luxury sustainable brand Mother of Pearl and manufactured by Johnstons of Elgin

The King with the Campaign for Wool 10th Anniversary scarf

The 10th Anniversary scarf was conceived by The King (when he was The Prince of Wales) to commemorate the anniversary and showcase the benefits of wool. Available in three distinct Autumnal colours, the unisex scarf was crafted using a unique wool fibre blend created for the celebratory scarf with fine wools from four leading wool growing countries connected to the campaign – the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

Profits from the scarf supported The King’s Foundation Future Textiles initiative and apprenticeship at Johnstons of Elgin.

The Royal Countryside Fund

The Royal Countryside Fund was established by The King (as The Prince of Wales) in 2010 and exists to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life. Through partnerships and events, the charity celebrates and promotes the value of the countryside.

The King at an event for the Royal Countryside Fund

Since its creation, The Royal Countryside Fund has given away over £10 million to more than 350 projects working across the UK which improve service provision in rural areas, support farming businesses and rural enterprises, and provide training opportunities for young people. 

The Duchy of Cornwall

When His Majesty was The Duke of Cornwall, The King was responsible for the management of the Duchy of Cornwall, a landed estate with many tenant farmers. This position acts as Chairman of The Prince's Council, the Duchy’s supervisory body. During his time in this role, The King put a high priority on safeguarding the interests of Duchy tenants, on long-term environmental stewardship, and regularly visited farms and tenants.

The King and The 25th Duke of Cornwall, Prince William

The King was the longest serving Duke of Cornwall, until his Accession in 2022. The current Duke is The Prince of Wales, who became the 25th Duke of Cornwall in the Estate's history. The revenue from the Duchy estate is used to fund the public, private and charitable activities of The Duke and his immediate family.

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