Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 617

2 News&Views 22 SEPTEMBER 2022 The showmust go on is a familiar concept, but never has it felt more defined than in the past fortnight, with the death of our longest servingmonarch and the elevation to the throne of her eldest son, our longest serving heir. HisMajesty King Charles III made an immediate impact with an impromptu walkabout outside Buckingham Palace and a heartfelt address to the nation. He is not afraid to talk about love or show emotion. The King was brought up to follow the traditional upper-class behaviour of sti upper lip and a ‘keep calmand carry on’ attitude, but has mellowed with age and is now free to be his ownman. I suspect he will do things a little di erently fromThe Queen he adored. For many years as HRHThe Prince of Wales, he was dismissed as someone ‘who talked to the plants’ and a ‘tree hugger’. His visionary outlook on the environment was greeted with suspicion by sections of the print media, who had no interest in trying to decrease our CO2 emissions or reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Prince Charles, as he was then, was put in a box firmlymarked ‘alternative’. He did his best to ignore critics, knowing he was following a path better for those who would live long beyond his own years. He has continued to learn fromexperts in renewable energy and to study ancient farming and gardening traditions that existed well before fertilisers. He turned his methods into a commercial success, with Duchy Originals 30 years ago. As early as 1970, long before it was a fashionable topic, he raised his concerns about pollution, public waste and the short-termnature of modern architecture. In 1985, way ahead of the curve, he turnedHome Farm in Gloucestershire, part of his Duchy of Cornwall, to organic production. By 2009, people began listening, as he gave a speech recommending a ‘sustainability revolution’ and demonstrating with his own actions how to improve our individual carbon footprint. He has cut greenhouse gas emissions at his Highgrove Estate by 18% in one year, installing air and groundsource heat pumps to keep the house warm, solar panels and wood chip boilers, improving insulation andminimising his carbon footprint as best as he can. The King even runs his ancient AstonMartin on surplus white wine and whey from the cheese process. In a keynote to world leaders at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, he said: “As our planet’s life-support systembegins to fail and our very survival as a species is brought into question, remember our children and grandchildren will ask not what our generation said, but what it did. Let us give answers then, of which we can be proud.” Only last October, at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, he gave the opening address and implored world leaders to take urgent action, warning that “time has quite literally run out”. We have finally taken notice of warnings fromaman who I predict will one day be seen as a prophet. The King cares more about the future of our planet than anymonarch we have had. He has now passed the baton on toHRHPrince William, the newPrince of Wales, who himself instigated the Earthshot Prize alongside Sir David Attenborough, which o ers a global award designed to incentivise change and to help repair our planet over the next decade. I look forward to witnessing the influence of our new green King. ‘The King cares more about the future of our planet than any monarchwe have had’ HAPPY DAYS Her Majesty The Queen with HRH The Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle in 1969 A KING FOR ALL SEASONS As we embark on a new era, Clare Balding looks forward to the reign of His Majesty King Charles III and reflects on the positive role he has played in nurturing the environment