His Majesty, King Charles III
- 08 September 2022
- Last updated:
- 19 September 2022
The National Trust warmly welcomes His Majesty as the new King. King Charles is a passionate supporter of the National Trust, and particularly of our campaigns on rural and conservation issues. He succeeded his grandmother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother as our President.
Taking a personal interest
In this capacity, King Charles has taken a personal interest in all aspects of our work, hosting fundraising events and meeting staff and volunteers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The King’s most recent visit to a Trust place was to Tattershall Castle in Lincolnshire in March 2018, where he met staff, volunteers and local school students. He was shown some of our conservation projects and the work involved in looking after the buildings, collection and wildlife.
Visits to the places in our care
King Charles’s other recent visits included a tour of Churchill’s home, Chartwell in Kent, in June 2017. He came to see our work at the house and to thank those who had pledged money to our fundraising appeal to buy hundreds of Sir Winston Churchill’s personal items for the nation.
The King’s enthusiasm for visiting our places began much earlier. In 1977, at the opening of Erddig near Wrexham, he bravely attempted to ride one of the Yorke family’s collection of penny-farthing bicycles.
Royal connections in the collections we care for
Our collections include some interesting connections to The King. The coronet he wore at his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969 was designed by Louis Osman, who lived at Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire from late 1960 to 1979.
It was here in his workshop that Osman designed and created the gold coronet using the pioneering new process of electroforming. Examples of the chairs designed by King Charles’s uncle, Lord Snowdon, for the investiture are on show at Chirk Castle, Wrexham.
Featuring in the magazine
As Patron of the Trust’s centenary in 1995, The King gave a speech on the countryside which was reprinted in the National Trust Magazine that autumn. He was also interviewed for the magazine’s autumn 2008 issue on food and farming, a subject that's close to his heart.
More recently, in 2020 near the start of the coronavirus pandemic, he wrote a special foreword in the magazine to commemorate the Trust’s 125th anniversary.
Supporting conservation work
The King has been equally supportive of our work to conserve historic buildings and collections. He wrote the foreword to the Public Catalogue Foundation’s six-volume Oil Paintings in National Trust Properties in 2013, which he described as ‘a revelation in terms of the number and variety of the pictures and, in many cases, their unexpected quality’.
As President, The King has kept up to date with the activities of the Trust, hosting regular meetings with the Director-General and Chair.
‘I never cease to be amazed by the uniquely varied activity with which [the National Trust] is involved: it is custodian of an extraordinary range of our national heritage, from beautiful countryside and coastline to fine gardens and country houses.
'Yet the Trust is not only about the “great and grand”; it looks after many unexpected treasures too. Properties like the exquisite 16-sided A La Ronde in Devon, or the last working spade mill, Patterson's, in Northern Ireland, or even The Workhouse at Southwell in Nottinghamshire, which reflects the day-to-day life of the very poorest in the 19th century.' – His Majesty, King Charles III.
The National Trust is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. For 70 years, we were honoured to welcome Her Majesty The Queen to a variety of places in our care.
The former Prince of Wales was our President from 2003 until the death of Her Majesty the Queen and his ascension to the throne.