King Charles III was knee-deep in organic farming before the promise of profitability and high-tech marketing. He began an organic venture on The Duchy of Cornwall’s Home Farm in 1985, turning it into a “completely organic farming system.” In the early 1990s, he founded Duchy Originals to sell organic foods. According to Time, milk, carrots, oats, parsnips, and beets were among the items the farm provided to the company. So if you ever wondered what King Charles eats in a day, rest assured it’s more than his famous Oaten Biscuits, the first and most popular product produced under the Duchy label (per NPR).
Yet, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Duchy Originals didn’t prove successful until its merger with Waitrose in 2009. The former Prince of Wales also founded a shop called The Veg Shed to sell the misshapen produce grown on the royal estate. Unfortunately, its doors closed in 2013 (via BBC). However, with Waitrose’s help, Dutchy Originals became a prestigious institution. With over 300 products available, in 2017, the brand made over $231 million dollars in sales (via CNN). It now spans 30 countries.
In 2020, King Charles did not renew the lease for Home Farm (per BBC) and with his new role as ruling monarch, he may be giving up more than just his public stature surrounding environmental activism (via Mirror). CNN speculates that he will eventually hand over the Duchy business to his son, Prince William.