The Duchess of Cornwall names her countryside champions in the 13 July 2022 issue, which she has guest edited. Among them are her husband The Prince of Wales, as well as a wine producer, a bee master and TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
In the ITV documentary Camilla’s Country Life, The Duchess admits that ‘isn’t easy writing about one’s husband…I chewed through a few pencils’ — but her piece about The Prince’s deep love of the countryside is beautifully expressed.
‘My husband is a countryman to his very core,’ she writes.
‘It’s the place where he is most happy and relaxed, an integral part of his heart and soul. Whether he’s hedge-laying in the pouring rain, striding, like a mountain goat, up impossibly steep Highland hills, planting trees in the arboretum or pruning at Highgrove, this is where he finds true peace.’
While The Prince finds peace in the countryside, he also works incredibly hard and has genuine expertise: he is patron of 68 different country-related causes. ‘His role is not mere honorary figurehead,’ adds The Duchess rather one offering practical, tangible support and guidance to an astonishing array of group campaigns and associations…
‘His patronages provide a fascinating snapshot of the countryside, as well as being testament to his hard work and, above all, proof, if proof be needed, of my husband’s deep and enduring love for all things bucolically British.’
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Also among The Duchess’s 12 country champions are ‘bee master’ Steve Benbow, conservationist David Mills and equine therapist June Burgess, founder of Co Down-based, horse-assisted workshop company Horses for People.
June pays tribute to The Duchess, who visited her organisation last year and left a deep impression.
‘Without exception, everyone was so touched and uplifted by her genuine interest. None of us had any idea that she would be so warm and engaging,’ June says.
‘The Duchess’s seal of approval gave me such a personal boost that it has inspired me ever since.’
Another of the 12 countryside champions is a name only recently linked with the country: motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson, whose series Clarkson’s Farm brought the ups and downs of modern British farming to a new audience.
‘I’d lived in London, so I thought that farming was: put seeds in the ground, weather happens, food grows,’ says the former Top Gear presenter.
‘How wrong I was.’
‘It’s the farmers that we have to thank for this pretty countryside,’ he adds.
‘Every wood, every tree, every fence and every field is made and run by farmers.’
You can read the full article about The Duchess of Cornwall’s countryside heroes and heroines in this week’s Country Life — find out more about what’s in the issue.
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