The Prince of Wales has praised the viral videos shared by Britons to help boost the country’s morale and paid tribute to the ‘crucial role’ of home-grown producers in keeping the country fed amid the coronavirus crisis.
The royal, who revealed he had entertained himself during his time in lockdown by watching ‘some of the funniest videos’ he had ever seen, also urged the nation to remember that it owes its farmers – and all those in the food supply chain – an ‘enormous debt of gratitude’.
Writing in the latest edition of Country Life magazine, the future king, a keen farmer and advocate of countryside issues, said the coronavirus crisis has shown how we should never take food for granted and paid tribute to farmers during a time of unprecedented upheaval.
‘When was the last time anyone gave the availability of a bottle of milk, or a loaf of bread, or fresh vegetables a second thought? Suddenly, these things are precious and valued. And this is how it always should be,’ he writes.
Prince Charles has praised the ‘crucial role’ of home-grown producers in keeping the country fed during the coronavirus crisis
‘Food does not happen by magic. If the past few weeks have proved anything, it is that we cannot take it for granted.’
As he recovers from Covid-19 at his home on the Balmoral estate, the royal revealed the had been using technology to remain in contact with his family and would also enjoy ‘the funniest’ videos circulating the internet, praising their creators for keeping the nation’s spirits up.
He writes: ‘Beyond the walls of the hospitals, care homes, doctors’ surgeries and pharmacies, we have also seen a heart-warming burgeoning of remarkable kindness and concern for those in need across the country.
‘Younger people shopping for older folk, some making regular telephone calls to those living alone, church services recorded and emailed to parishioners and, of course, we have seen the very best use of technology – allowing people to keep working, but also to keep in touch through virtual parties, games, singing – and some of the funniest videos I have seen for a long time!’
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen produce prices collapse as a result of the closure of cafes and restaurants.
Dairy farmers have been forced to dump thousands of pints of milk, and many fear being put out of business.
The royal revealed he had entertained himself during his time in lockdown by watching ‘some of the funniest videos’ online
Strict restrictions on the movement of migrant workers are also likely to affect the early spring fruit and vegetable harvests.
Charles noted that the UK boasts some 80,000 producers, ranging from the arable and vegetable farms of East Anglia to Scottish fishing villages, the dairy fields of Cornwall and Northern Ireland, and the orchards of Kent.
Writing in Country Life Magazine, the Prince of Wales said that the nation owes farmers ‘an enormous debt of gratitude’
In what is described by the magazine’s publishers as a ‘special message’ to the nation, he writes: ‘What this national crisis has also brought home – dare I say it – is how much we rely on our agricultural community and all those in the food supply chain, from field to fork.
‘The retailers have been doing an outstanding job responding to the unprecedented pressures, and so has the entire supply chain.
‘The delivery drivers, shelf-stackers and all the others serving shoppers are providing an immensely important service in this time of great need.
‘Of course, it all begins with our farmers. Day in and day out, they are working to produce food for us. And we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.’
The prince also ruminates on the way the crisis has changed the way society behaves as it faces up to an unprecedented challenge.
The full article appears in the latest issue of Country Life magazine, on sale now.