Why The Farm At Highgrove Is So Important To King Charles III

With his ascension to the throng, King Charles III has to give up his beloved Highgrove House, which has served as his private home for over 40 years (via Independent).

When King Charles purchased Highgrove House in 1980, the 353-acre property was overgrown with weeds and brambles, and the prince worked to lovingly restore not only the house but also the grounds (via Veranda). Oprah Daily says the royal caretaker was responsible for its transformation into a gardener's paradise. The multiple gardens include wildlife habitat, a wildflower meadow, and a more traditional English garden. King Charles even keeps bees.

Although he purchased Highgrove House, it became part of the Duchy of Cornwall, which was created in 1337 as a way to provide for the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, a title always held by the monarch's oldest son and heir to the throne. The Duchy has land in over 20 counties consisting of farms and commercial and residential property. The New York Times reports that under Charles' watchful investment eye, the Duchy of Cornwall's worth ballooned to an estimated one billion dollars. Now that Charles is king, the Duchy transfers to his son William, who was just named Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales (via People).

King Charles III practices organic farming at Home Farm

The gardens at Highgrove are just part of King Charles' passion project; he also practices organic and sustainable agriculture at the adjacent Home Farm, which he began in 1985, receiving full organic status in 1994 (via Country Living). In Real Royalty's episode Secrets of the Queen's Kitchens, King Charles is described as so crazy for the organic vegetables and meat grown at Home Farm that he won't eat produce from anywhere else, going so far as shipping them 600 miles when he's at the royal residences in Scotland.

According to Real Royalty, the Home Farm is a way for Charles put his "controversial" agriculture beliefs into practice. Those beliefs? Organic farming, of which he was an early proponent. Reuters reports that in 2008, the then-prince admonished GMO food in an interview with The Telegraph, calling it "the biggest disaster environmentally of all time."

While Home Farm is part of the Duchy's land, King Charles leased the 1,000-acre farm to grow organic crops and heritage meats. Those are sold first under the Duchy Originals brand, which is now Waitrose Duchy Organic (via BBC). Hello! reports Charles opted not to renew the 20-year lease out of concerns about not having enough time to devote to the farm, knowing he'd be crowned king during the lease period. BBC reports the farm is now in the hands of a non-royal tenant.