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King Charles shares concerns over cost of living and future of agriculture with Welsh Minister

The new King has worries about how people will deal with the cost of living crisis this winter and concerns around the future of agriculture, according to the first minister of Wales.

Mark Drakeford said the conversation came up with Charles during his visit to Wales on Friday, when he addressed the Welsh Parliament for the first time as monarch and spoke in Welsh.

The King also talked about his interest in renewable energy for Wales and how he believed it would play a ‘bigger part’ in energy security.

Mark Drakeford told TalkTV: ‘The King has always had a very direct interest in the things that are happening in contemporary Wales, the future of our agriculture, the impact of climate change.

‘He mentioned the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and how that will impact on people here in Wales.

‘He [Charles] is concerned as to how people will manage through what is going to be a difficult winter.

‘He was interested to tell me about some of the projects that he has heard of, or become involved in dealing, for example, with food waste, making sure that we don’t waste a precious resource when some people might be going without.

‘Interested, as always in renewable energy generation here in Wales, and how it might play a bigger part in future energy security.’

He went on to say the investiture proceedings for William, the new Prince of Wales, need not follow the same form as the 1969 ceremony which saw the title bestowed upon his father.

‘Well, I certainly don’t think that 1969 is a good guide for what should happen in 2022. Wales is a very different place,’ he added.

‘The nature of the monarchy has developed over that period. My message is that we shouldn’t be in a rush about all of this.

‘We should allow the new prince, as I say, to become familiar with his new responsibilities, develop the job in a way that will work for him and will work for our nation.

‘And then we can think about how and whether there is a need for any further ceremonial underpinning of what has already been announced.’

Returning to farming, the King said he was thought of as a “complete idiot” for wanting to farm organically, but was proved right over his concerns about the impact of the use of antibiotics in conventional agriculture.

At one of his last official engagements as Prince of Wales on the day before the Queen’s death, Charles talked about his longstanding concerns that the widespread use of antibiotics could lead to increased resistance in bugs and viruses.

He said: “One of the reasons I went organic 40 years ago was because I felt there was an overuse of antibiotics. And I felt that if you overdo it, you end up with resistance. Anyway, that’s happened. I was told I was a complete idiot for even suggesting going organic.”

The King farmed organically at Home Farm near his Highgrove residence in Gloucestershire, but in 2020 it was announced that he would not be renewing the lease as he prepared for greater royal responsibilities. He continues to farm organically at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Speaking at a global allergy symposium at Dumfries House in Scotland, the King said he was concerned by expert evidence that western lifestyles may have contributed to the reported global increase in allergies.

He said: “It seems to spread further and further as people take up a western lifestyle. And what’s so sad is that people are still are adopting this lifestyle when we’ve discovered what damage it has already been doing.”

King Charles suggested he supported concerns that modern homes could be over-sanitised, potentially reducing exposure to microbes that can be beneficial to health. He said: “When I was small if I dropped my food on the floor I was encouraged to eat it. I was told ‘it was good clean dirt, it won’t harm you at all’. Now, it’s gone berserk, I think, the other way.”

Sources: Metro & The Guardian


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