‘Great fun!’ Prince Charles shares childhood story of Princess Anne on vegetable patch

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The Prince of Wales, 72, spoke to Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, 58, about his earliest memory of nature for a programme that was aired in August. The future King recalled for Mr Armitage how he and Princess Royal, 71, had “great fun” trying to grow tomatoes on their “little vegetable patch”.

“My sister and I had a little vegetable patch in the back of some border somewhere,” he said.

“We had great fun trying to grow tomatoes rather unsuccessfully, and things like that.”

Charles also claimed he and his sister received help from a “splendid” former Buckingham Palace gardener.

Fred Nutbeam, who passed away in 1997, worked as a royal gardener for almost 25 years before he retired in 1978.

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Prince Charles told Mr Armitage: “There was a wonderful head gardener at Buckingham Palace, he was called Mr Nutbeam, rather splendidly.

“He was splendid, and helped us a bit, my sister and I, with the little garden we had.”

Mr Nutbeam was even said to have pushed the Firm’s children around Buckingham Palace in a wheelbarrow.

The ex-Superintendent of Royal Parks Jim Buttress told The Sunday Times in 2016: “Fred told me he used to push Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward around the grounds in a wheelbarrow.”

And it would seem Charles’ early experiences with nature have influenced just how significant he considers the environment today, especially for British children.

During his discussion with Mr Armitage, Charles claimed nothing beats homegrown food and suggested younger Britons should be encouraged to give it a go.

“There’s nothing to beat, is there, I think, eating what you have grown,” he said.

“This is another reason why I always feel it is so important to find ways of encouraging children to grow vegetables and things at school.”

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Simon Armitage travelled to the Prince of Wales’ Carmarthenshire farmhouse, Llywynywrmod, for their interview.

Charles told Mr Armitage “it is wonderful coming down” to the home he purchased in 2006.

He added: “And I love coming in the winter when I can at a weekend.

“And I stump about in the Brecon Beacons and explore, which is magic, and fight my way through large numbers of sheep all over the place.

“It is very special because it’s more of a cottage.”

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