The Queen may have unknowingly inspired one of her son’s, Prince Charles, most passionate endeavors with a simple act when he was a child. Instilling the mindset of kindness and compassion towards the Earth at a young age, the British monarch provided Charles and his sister, Princess Anne, with gardening plots at Buckingham Palace to teach them about nature.
The plots, although a small section of the large and ornate Buckingham Palace gardens, were key in teaching Charles and his sister how to sustainably grow their own produce as well as practice their gardening skills overall.
These traits were key in the then-young royal’s now lifelong ambition to maintain the delicate balance of Britain’s ecosystem despite mounting environmental concerns globally.
Prince Charles was interviewed at his Highgrove estate in Gloucester, England. The host, Adam Frost, joined the royal in strolling the grounds and for candid discussions regarding his passion.
In the interview, given to BBC Gardeners’ World, he said had been “absolutely riveted” by his grandmother’s, The Queen Mother, garden at Royal Lodge in Windsor, adding his upbringing kickstarted his drive to combat the “multiple threats” the British countryside now faces.
“I suspect it was probably partly to do with my grandmother’s wonderful garden at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, where I spent a lot of my childhood,” the Prince stated. “I remember being absolutely riveted as a child wandering about looking at all the plants.”
In describing what the garden that instigated his love for nature looked like at the time, he explained that “it was a wonderful woodland garden with masses of azaleas and rhododendrons,” and that “the smell and everything had a profound effect on me.”
Despite his passion for all things nature-related, the prince does have worries for the future sustainability of natural ecosystems in Great Britain and beyond.
“The biggest fear is we end up with a wasteland here. Having seen more and more of these pests, particularly from the Far East, coming here. There’s all these caterpillars and strange things, all with extraordinary names, one thing after another.”
As reported by Express, last year Prince Charles wrote of his personal battles to save the trees.
“I have always been mortified by the loss of mature elm trees from almost every part of the countryside I knew and loved as a child, so I had high hopes for an American variety that appeared to be resistant to the disease.”
The prince had allegedly planted a row of them at his Highgrove home only to have each and every one succumb to Dutch Elm Disease, one that has taken all of the native variants of the tree from Britain as well.
As a warning to the general public, the heir-apparent to the British throne stated that “the wider problem is that a great many more pests and diseases are now seriously threatening the health of all our native trees, yet public awareness of this situation seems to be frighteningly low.”