The world watched the coronation of the new foxhunting, polo-playing, gameshooting and deerstalking king. The coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey achieved a peak audience of 20 million people in the UK and many times that number abroad. The royal couple are both passionate about the countryside and fieldsports, including horse riding, hunting, shooting and fishing. Antis are furious.
Around 10 million viewers were his majesty’s loyal subjects from the British countryside. And throughout his life, the King has been loyal to them, an enthusiastic supporter of the rural way of life and many of the sports they love too
Glynn Evans of BASC says it’s heartening to have a monarch who understands the countryside.
He says: “He is passionate about the land, the people, the food that’s produced there, the country sports, the activities that go on. I think it’s really important that we have this.”
Charlie Jacoby has a side job talking about royals on TV. On coronation day, he will be working for both the BBC and Fox News. He says it is important we have a monarch who loves the countryside and loves country people.
He says: “The job of King is to reach across all of society. In a way, it’s a kind of audience management job. We will see him being nice to groups who are committed to destroying us, too. And he comes across as a bit of a greenie.” Charlie says there’s no doubt that, like his mother and his eldest son, the King is most comfortable with country people in an ordinary country setting.
In the South-West of England, the King developed his interest in the countryside and farming as the Duke of Cornwall and active manager of the Duchy, owner of 135,000 acres.
His Royal Highness is a regular at the Cornish Royal Show. Ian Hodge of Ian Hodge Shooting & Fieldsports Supplies says his daughter Beatrice met His Royal Highness at the show.
Ian says: “He asked ‘What do you do for a living?’ She said, ‘I work in a gun shop locally’. He said, ‘Would that be Ian Hodge’s?’” Ian says they were completely astounded that the King had heard of the shop.
The Cornish gun shop owner is also a steward at the show and met the King. He says: “Because of being a steward I wear a bowler hat. I think he thought I must be a little bit important. “ He says His Royal Highness came up and had a chat.
He says: “I was talking to one of his security detail who said he loves agricultural shows. He loves the countryside. He said he much prefers to be here rather than in the city. Obviously, he’s got to do both.”
Welsh farmer Gareth Wyn Jones met His Royal Highness when he was the Prince of Wales.
He says: “He called me the cheeky chappy with the hat. He’s a really nice guy and I think he’s done a lot for farming. He’s done a lot for the countryside, and I hope he carries on.“
Gareth says the King has been vocal and hasn’t been scared of rocking a few boats. He says: “I wish him good luck. I hope that he does stand up for the things that we believe in like farming, the environment, shooting, hunting, and fishing. Because it is a God-given right. And we need to make sure that people understand that food doesn’t come from supermarkets, it doesn’t come from retail. It comes from the land, and it comes from the people that work that land.”
King Charles follows in his family’s rural traditions. His father, Prince Philip, was the patron of BASC for more than half a century. Glynn says the King has an interest in the countryside. He says: “That’s really important because we have someone who not only cares about it, but understands it, understands the fabric, understands the people.
Queen Elizabeth also loved country sports. Glynn says: “We had Her Majesty the Queen, who clearly everybody knew had a love of shooting, the countryside, dogs and horses. I think we’re really fortunate to have that similar enthusiasm and passion in the King and the Queen.”
Mo Metcalf-Fisher of the Countryside Alliance says His Majesty the King is a well-rounded countryman who’s been committed to the environment, conservation, the rural way of life and matters of genuine importance to our countryside and rural communities.
He says: “For many years he’s been well ahead of his time in talking about the importance of sustainable farming. He’s been a big advocate for rare breed cattle survival and hedge laying. He’s also has played a massive role in highlighting the plight of our fish.”
His Majesty shares his mother’s love of horses and dogs. Jake Swindells of the Countryside Alliance in Scotland says King Charles has long been an advocate of the countryside. He says: “He has a love of country sports, hunting, shooting and fishing. He often shows real concern for our rural communities.”
Mo says His Majesty has already given years of service to countryside, the nation and the Commonwealth. He says: ”The Countryside Alliance extends its warmest and best wishes to His Majesty on the day of his coronation. And we extend our best wishes to the Queen consort, herself a committed countrywoman.”
The coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, will anoint them as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other countries around the world, and the Fieldsports community will gain a royal couple who share a love of country life and are passionate about protecting it.