Prince Charles is to step away from running the farm that supplies his luxury ‘Duchy Originals’ Prince Charles will not renew
food brand to upmarket supermarkets Waitrose and Ocado.
The 71-year-old royal, who created the popular high-end brand from Home Farm in Gloucestershire
35 years ago, looks set to now turn his attentions closer to home, transforming 2,000 acres of
the Sandringham estate into a sheep farm.
It’s thought, as Charles prepares to take the throne, that a sheep farm could be easier to manage
than the diverse 900-acre Home Farm, which turned organic in 1985, because it will focus solely on rearing lamb.
The Duchy Originals brand is far-reaching, selling everything from luxury Cornish pasties to
regional ales, cheeses and organic meat. Prince Charles will not renew
A new sheep farm would see the Prince oversee a vastly reduced amount of livestock. Home
Farm currently breeds Gloucester, Shetland and British White cattle plus Tamworth pigs and Irish Moiled pigs.
Prince Charles is expected to end his 35-year tenancy at Home Farm in Highgrove, Gloucestershire,
in April. He started organic farming there in 1985
Heir to the throne is reportedly making the change as ‘he is expected to be king at some point’
The Duchy Originals brand, which supplies upmarket supermarkets Waitrose and Ocado, breeds
livestock from its Home Farm site in Gloucestershire (Pictured: Duchy Originals organic Welsh lamb leg steaks)
The wide-ranging products include everything from authentic Cornish pasties
Locally brewed ales and luxury biscuits also feature in the Duchy Originals product range
The wide-ranging products include everything from authentic Cornish pasties to locally brewed ales
End of an era? Prince Charles now looks set to focus his attentions on a sheep farm in
Sandringham instead. Pictured: The Queen browsing Duchy Originals products on sale at a Waitrose in Dorset, back in 2016
The latest reports, say The Sun, suggest that Charles has made the difficult decision to
walk away from Home Farm by not renewing the lease when it comes up in April.
MailOnline has contacted Clarence House for comment. Prince Charles will not renew
Meanwhile, Sandringham looks like a viable alternative for Charles to continue his interest in
organic farming; he took over the 2,000-acre estate in Norfolk from Prince Philip last year,
and the farm achieved organic status with it earlier this summer.
Home Farm was very much a pioneer in organic farming, with Prince Charles making the
Gloucestershire estate all organic long before many of his farming peers.
The practices employed by his staff there are said to ‘epitomise’ his belief in farming methods
that don’t use pesticides, with planting seeds said to be done in time with the lunar cycle.
Describing his farming beliefs on Home Farm, Charles previously told National Geographic: ‘
In farming, as in gardening, I happen to believe that if you treat the land with love and respect
then it will repay you in kind.’Prince Charles will not renew
Prince Charles took over Sandringham estate in Norfolk from his father last year
He has already caused commotion in the area by submitting plans to the council for a 500-strong
organic cattle herd. (Pictured: The planned area to be converted)
As patron of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, he has been keen to ensure the farm plays its
part in preserving the gene pool of British pigs, sheep and cattle.
Home Farm has previously welcomed Tamworth pigs, Irish Moiled pigs, Gloucester, Shetland
and British White cattle, as well as Hebridean and Shropshire sheep.
The royal estate has also applied for permission to build a large shed – but locals have raised
concerns about the smell that could be caused by such a large number of cattle
Home Farm has also been at the centre of preserving British breeds such as the Tamworth pig
His plans for re-developing Sandringham have previously run into trouble, after he became locked
in battle with locals over a scheme for a 500-strong organic cattle herd.
The royal estate had applied for a large shed measuring 315ft by 98ft.
Backing the scheme in May this year, they said: ‘The production of organically, grass-fed high-quality
beef from local heritage breeds represents an enhancement of the heritage, cultural and environmental
assets of West Norfolk.
‘With the estate going into full organic production across all its enterprises the need for a good source
of farmyard manure to maintain soil fertility means that the estate is farming more sustainably and
further enhances the environmental assets of the borough.’
The future King and his son Prince William carried out the most duties of any royal since
the start of lockdown in March.
Charles led the way with 69 commitments through phone calls, video conferences and in-
person engagements, followed by Prince William with 54 official duties.