Prince Charles and his Countryfile coat of many colours.
The Prince showed off a coat patched up with so many different pieces of leather he confided he could “hardly move” during his appearance as a guest editor on Countryfile on Sunday.
By Hannah Furness10:00AM GMT 11 Mar 2013 in The Telegraph / http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-charles/9920865/Prince-Charles-and-his-Countryfile-coat-of-many-colours.html
When it comes to fashion, the Royal family already has something of a reputation for thriftiness, famously recycling their clothes over the decades in respect for the public purse.
So it should be of no surprise that, when faced with a few rips and tears in his well-worn jacket, the Prince of Wales will simply make do and mend.
The Prince, who appeared as a guest editor on Countyfile on Sunday night, has shown off one coat patched up with so many different pieces of leather he confided he could “hardly move”.
The jacket, donned while he built hedges on his estate, is now made up of an array of green and brown shades, with rough holes and hanging threads.
Its modest appearance led presenter Matt Baker to comment the shabby coat “looks like it’s seen a bit of wear”.
“Well of course the trouble is it gets torn up,” the Prince conceded. “I got somebody to patch it up with leather and now I can hardly move”.
He went on to gamely stretch his arms out like a scarecrow for the camera, in order to demonstrate its unwieldiness.
His thrifty approach to his wardrobe appears to be in keeping with other members of his family, with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and the Duchess of Cambridge all noted for “recycling” their favourite outfits in public.
The Prince has previously spoken of his fondness for “vintage” clothing, telling Vogue magazine “the older some things are, the more comfortable and familiar they become”.
“I even have a pair of shoes made from bales of leather salvaged from an eighteenth-century wreck off the Southwest of Britain,” he said in 2010. “They are totally indestructible and will see me out."
The latest in his line of well-worn clothing appeared in BBC Countryfile on Sunday night, as the Prince of Wales took control of the schedule in celebration of its 25th anniversary.
Covering subjects from school dinners and farming to rare breeds and hedge building, he modestly introduced the show as “what some people say is a very special edition of Countryfile”.
He then explained why he felt drawn to the countryside, saying it “provides an essential link with the magic of nature” as well as being “full of some wonderful characters”.
“I just always have loved the countryside,” he said. “I think probably because I’ve always found myself happiest here, whether it’s in Scotland, at Balmoral, in Norfolk and down here [on Duchy Home Farm]. I just happen to love it and appreciate it and I love walking in it.”
The Prince went on to lend his support to Jamie Oliver’s campaign for healthy school dinners, as he visited a south London school transformed by boys growing their own vegetables.
“I think the key is to link the food and the cooking with the growing,” the Prince observed. “You’ve got to have a school ground or a school farm.
“How they transform the whole attitude and outlook and attention span and behaviour of all these youngsters because they’ve actually brought in a proper chef.”
He also disclosed something of his own approach to farming saying that relearning “old techniques” such as hedge building was “very valuable”.
“So the cunning part I think is to blend the best of the ancient and the best of the modern,” he added.
Disclosing he often spent his weekends building hedges, as well as running an annual competition in the skill on his estate, he enthused: “"I love it.
“I tell you why, because it's terrific exercise and at the same time it's a sort of hobby or interest to see if you can get better at doing it.
"When you first lay a hedge, if you do it well, it looks so marvellous and then the fun is to see three or four years later, it looks like a hedge that's always been there."
Speaking of his hopes for the future of farming, he added it was important for young people to adapt their skills to help.
“The difficulty at the moment I think is most of the farmers in the area are probably in their 60s now,” he said. “And so the succession is always a difficulty.
“And that’s where it’s so important to ensure there are always people to do it.”
The programme also featured presenters Julia Bradbury, Matt Baker, John Craven, Adam Henson, Ellie Harrison, chef Jamie Oliver and paralympian Hannah Cockroft.