Homage to Our Royal Soil

With Kate and William gracing us with their presence in NYC, and the American debut of Downton Abbey Season 5 less than a month away, the majesty and monarchy of England is present in our minds. While our whimsical obsessions with fairy tales and social structures gone by may help us daydream, a recent film about the HRH Prince Charles and his 24-year-old organic farm inspire more corporeal (and attainable) ideals. The Farmer and His Prince, a film by Bertram Verhaag yet to be released in the U.S., tells the story of the prince’s organic farm and David Wilson, the farm’s operator.

HRH Prince Charles has been an outspoken proponent of sustainable farming (and eating) for over 30 years and to this end started the Duchy Home Farm as an example of his vision for the direction in which our global food system needs to go. Much of this vision was coalesced in his keynote speech at the Future of Food Conference in 2011. Full of gems, succinct and well worth a read, his idealist views on food systems resonate with us:

Questioning the conventional worldview is a risky business. And the only reason I have done so is for the sake of your generation and for the integrity of Nature herself. It is your future that concerns me and that of your grandchildren, and theirs too. That is how far we should be looking ahead. I have no intention of being confronted by my grandchildren, demanding to know why on Earth we didn’t do something about the many problems that existed when we knew what was going wrong.”

The film explores the farm, David Wilson’s daily life, supporters of Prince Charles and the food movement, and importance of changing the way that we grow food. Reviews found it a tad bit preachy, but ultimately an inspiring and important piece of work that may find you “charmed by a film pairing romantic images of family farming with ecological smarts and dash of fondness for the still-useful corners of an outdated monarchy.”

Check out the trailer and keep your eyes open for the American debut. To learn more about Prince Charles’s environmental and agricultural work, check out On the Future of Food.

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Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson

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