King Charles will spend his 75th birthday working on his big issue: food waste

King Charles turns 75 years old on November 14th. He’s a Scorpio King. As I mentioned before, there was a moment when the British media was trying to make “Prince Harry must come back to England for his father’s birthday” into a thing, but the issue was quickly buried by Buckingham Palace. For assorted reasons, one of which is that Charles doesn’t want to remind people that he’s 75, and he also doesn’t want to be seen as the kind of frivolous monarch who would throw himself a big birthday party while people struggle to pay their bills. So, the palace has created a big new strategy: Charles will spend his birthday working on one of his big issues, food waste.

There are many ways to celebrate a big birthday, but the King has a novel one for his 75th next month — instigating a new initiative to tackle food waste. The King has told aides he wants his birthday to be a “normal working day”, which he will start with an engagement outside London to mark the official start of the Coronation Food Project. Charles has made a “substantial” personal donation, understood to be a six-figure sum, to the Coronation Food Project. He will set this in motion on November 14 because he is “very concerned” about the impact of the cost of living crisis on people’s lives.

It will be the King’s first significant project as monarch and follows other key passion projects, including decades of environmental campaigning and his work supporting disadvantaged young people through the Prince’s Trust. The five-year programme aims to radically reduce waste and help those most at risk of food poverty with the creation of eight new hubs and depots — redistributing up to 200 million meals a year that would otherwise go to waste.

Charles’s project aims to “supercharge” food distribution networks with the new hubs, which will have warehouses, fridges, freezers, vans and drivers. The first four will be built in London, Glasgow, Merseyside and Northern Ireland — with a further four to be built in the locations deemed most at need from a list including Cardiff, Leeds, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, the northeast and the southwest.

The King is meticulous about not wasting food in his own homes. He has tea and cake with his wife most days and insists on being served slices of the same cake, on successive days, until it is finished.

While the initiative to help those without enough food is a “current priority”, courtiers stressed that it was not a political move by the King, who was accused of meddling in government policy as heir to the throne. A royal aide said: “The King has been aware of the huge problems facing people because of inflationary issues and the cost of living. Addressing that is not a political position to take.” Buckingham Palace has briefed the government and the Labour Party on Charles’s project, and aides said “both are supportive of the plan”.

A royal source said: “His Majesty has chosen to make the launch of this project the focus of his landmark 75th birthday. He would prefer to use the occasion to shine a light on an important cause rather than on himself. If friends, family and well-wishers would like to similarly support the cause, that would be the most welcome way to celebrate the occasion.” The King will also host a “low-key” private party for close family and friends.

[From The Times]

As I’ve said before about this particular topic, I wish this was being branded as “Charles tackles food insecurity” as opposed to “food waste.” They’re two sides of the same coin, but there wouldn’t be a dire need to “redistribute” food if there wasn’t such a huge issue with food insecurity. As for Charles making a six-figure donation to Coronation Food Project… the man inherited everything, lock, stock and barrel. His “personal” wealth is easily in the billions. Donating $100,000 so that a few food banks can buy new refrigerators seems like putting a bandaid on a gushing wound. But whatever, at least he’s not throwing himself a giant party while his people starve (except he did just that in May, with his coronation).

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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51 Responses to “King Charles will spend his 75th birthday working on his big issue: food waste”

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  1. Flowerlake says:

    At least this is better than another party.
    Guess someone realized that this would look ugly after the coronation.

    • equality says:

      Don’t worry. Old Charles isn’t forgoing a BD party. It’s just that now he is king, his big party is at Trooping.

    • Wannabefarmer says:

      Yes, but isnt this the guy for whom dozens of eggs go in the garbage because of some nonsense about having it just right the minute he walks in the door except no one ever knows when that is? Or some nonsense like that?

    • nona93 says:

      A ‘low key’ party? Billionaires like Charles don’t know the meaning of those words. Caviar, Grouse pie washed down with Dom Perignon? I only hope his party friends don’t include Camilla’s disgusting buddies at her pre-Christmas wing-a-ding – Jeremy Clarkson who wanted beautiful, talented Meghan paraded through the streets naked while people threw excrement at her or Piers Morgan who, after describing her as a ‘perfect princess’ and wife for Harry then turned on her when he wasn’t invited to their wedding. Now it’s “Who the f**k does she think she is?”. Nice friends who say all the things the Royals want them to say.
      Meanwhile the Windsors hide behind their epigram “don’t explain, don’t complain’ which translates to “Bribe others to say it for you so we always look squeaky clean.”
      Bah humbug!

  2. Tessa says:

    A valet who worked for charles wrote that Charles liked hard boiled eggs just right so a dozen had to be boiled and Charles would find the one that was just right and the others would be tossed away. Charles is so hypocritical to preach about food waste.

    • Libra says:

      I can’t imagine the staff throwing out 11 perfectly good eggs. They were hopefully repurposed, maybe for egg salad for the staff lunch.

    • Wannabefarmer says:

      Yes, I just wrote this above but couldnt remember exactly what sort of eggs.

  3. Tessa says:

    Charles should stop making those ugly faces

  4. Ok so he is outfitting some of the food banks with things to store and keep food but how about stocking those food banks and hubs with actual food. I’m sorry but the comment about him eating the cake not just once but every day till it’s gone just reminds me of the (correct me if I’m wrong) Marie Antoinette who said “let them eat cake”. Good for you Chuckles eat the cake.

    • Flowerlake says:

      Marie-Antoinette did not say that.
      It’s something her enemies said she said.

      It was a story that went round about French royals well before she was even born. Marie-Antoinette is just the most famous one this quote was blamed on, because she was deeply unpopular with many.

      Agreed with the rest of what you said 😉

      • @Flowerlake: Thank you! I’m not well versed in French history so always thought it was hers. I like this comment section because I do learn things.🙂

      • Flowerlake says:

        No problem at all 🙂
        I used to believe that too as it’s such a common rumor that still persists.

        French history is lots of fun, with lots of drama and twists and turns. It’s sometimes difficult to find very detailed books about earlier kings and queens in English, but Louis XVI (the one Marie-Antoinette married) and his two predecessors have quite some material.

        I recommend this series on Youtube. It’s about the three kings who lived at Versailles.

        So, it’s Louis XIV, who had the palace built:

        And two more parts about Louis XV and finally Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.
        Trust me, these are colorful characters and it’s not boring history or anything like that.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Getting back to the cake thing (though authentic Marie Antoinette history is always welcome): are they trying to suggest the usual royal/aristo way of doing things is to bake a cake, serve a slice to however many people are at the table for that one meal, and then— what, throw it out? Does Charles want applause for that or something? Do they think that’s the equivalent of TQ turning off lights whenever she left a room? My parents grew up dirt poor during the Depression (as so many did) & I cannot imagine the waste that this implies in the royal & aristo households to believe eating cake every day is exemplary.
      And really, Charles, cake every day? Not good for the health.

  5. equality says:

    So Copy Keen isn’t the only one emulating M. Except in KC’s case, he is at least copying the working aspects instead of clothing. Or is it just that now he is king his big BD celebration will be in the summer with Trooping? Bet he doesn’t cancel that one. And, imagine, he eats the same cake until it is gone like a normal person. (eyeroll)

    • Cessily says:

      Addressing food waste 🤔, you mean like Meg did in Toronto when she was allowed to live her life without a racist hate campaign targeting her?

  6. JMOney says:

    All I can think of when I see Charles with the word “food” in the same sentence was the story of how he lost his sh*t when he saw food wrapped in cling film (Americans call this ‘saran wrap’) for the first time (he was old too) b/c his brain couldn’t compute why food was wrapped like that. His mistress wife had to explain the concept to him but that story always stuck despite the fact his mother had used tupperware to store her food at that point.

    It’s one of the many stories that show just how out of touch he is.

  7. ML says:

    It is good that he’s donating fridges and such to combat food waste.
    However, this is the same man who goes (went?) through multiple eggs for breakfast and wastes (wasted?) the eggs that aren’t (weren’t?) to his liking. The fact that he and QCC eat a cake until it’s eaten up as opposed to tossing it is not a flex?! It’s normal. If he didn’t want to finish the cake, he could offer people at work for him some and that cake would not be wasted either.
    And yes, food waste needs to be tackled. However, as stated, food insecurity is a greater problem. Where I live, restaurants and supermarkets are more efficient and waste less: this has lessened the amount of food donated to food banks and increased food insecurity.

  8. Afken says:

    So like Meghan marked her milestone birthday with a giveback project, so too will Charles mark his milestone birthday with charity.

  9. LocaLady says:

    Id be chuffed as all get out to hear of a real celebration from the crown 👑 consisting of 75 donations of 75k each to 75 charities, ones which support those in need of food on the 24/7/365. Or else send it thru to the pubs and let the people drink a gratis toast to their King on his bday? Have a Share the wealth Birthday Bash Babe ok. Just my 75 cents. . Must be still dreaming 💭 😂

  10. ABritGuest says:

    Charles launching a birthday charity initiative on food insecurity & food waste& working with charity the Felix Project. Meghan really did show them how to do it & they drove her out only to copy her.

    Meghan coordinated the hubb community kitchen working with the felix project to feed Londoners during the pandemic in 2020. Plus this seems similar to Harry & Meghan’s support of World Central Kitchen & funding of mobile kitchens to tackle food insecurity.

    It’s actually good that royals are keen (😜) to make more impact & not just be decorative & to be fair Charles has been more impactful than most of his relatives. But I see reports on 1m children being destitute in the uk & it’s annoying how much funding is wasted on the royals & especially on their “charity” visits & projects to make them look good & like they have a purpose when the resources could just go to those in need

  11. BeesRule says:

    King Charles: “Let them eat waste!”

  12. Amy Bee says:

    I could be wrong, maybe the Queen did something for her birthday besides hold lavish parties, but did anybody in the Royal Family have initiatives for their birthday before Meghan joined the family? I agree with Kaiser the issue should be about food insecurity instead of food waste. Foodbanks already take unused and near expired food items from supermarkets and restaurants. Furthermore the tidbit about Charles and Camilla eating cake everyday so it won’t go to waste is just tone deaf. And boasting that billionaire Charles donated a 6 figure sum is not great either. He may not be having a big bash for his birthday but his low key private party gives the press the leeway to run stories about Harry being invited or snubbed by Charles for weeks on end.

    • LRB says:

      And how many dodgy people will attend his private party where I suspect they eat steak and lobster type food and very very expensive wines…different for each course. So hardly a little family party. White tie and tiaras? Food waste and food insecurity go hand in hand… finding ways to reduce food waste going into landfill but going swiftly to those that need it is a good idea. For those in the UK interested my company works with Olio… they collect food at the end of the day and distribute that day to those in need…it is a really great organisation and there are others similar. This is the type of thing Charlie should support rather than 4 cities… people in small villages have problems too.

  13. Brassy Rebel says:

    Charles trying to convince us he cares about his suffering subjects. Sorry, it’s all I’ve got.

  14. Becks1 says:

    I think this is a good initiative. Is Charles necessarily the right person to promote it? Not sure. there’s always going to be some hypocrisy with projects like this for royals because there’s always going to be the issue of what the royals actually do in their own households etc. But as a threshold matter, I think this is a good project. And it ties into his environmental concerns as well.

    It’s not new for him – didnt he fuel the car from H&M’s reception with oil made from leftover potatoes or something? Does that ring a bell for anyone else? this just feels less gimmick-y, more just like a large scale but basic solution. I also like the statement from the aide saying that helping people during times of inflation is not political.

    Again though – is Charles the right person to be the face of this, because he eats the same cake for a few days in a row? What about the eggs?? or the food at state dinners, holiday parties, etc. i’m sure there’s a TON that gets wasted in the BP kitchens. I wish he was starting there. But at least this is something 🤷‍♀️

    ETA also, lol, he already made the british people celebrate his birthday with the Trooping in June, in addition to the coronation. So its not like this is all about Charles not wanting to celebrate his bday.

    • equality says:

      Maybe one of the perks of being a server at the parties or being a royal employee is getting to take home leftovers?

  15. @BelizeEmpower says:

    Charles worried about food waste? Is this the same man whose chef has to keeping boiling eggs so they’re just the right temperature for when he wakes up to eat breakfast? SMDH If hypocrite was a man!

  16. lucretias says:

    Amen! The book the Housekeepers Diary talk about the ton of food waste that happened at Highgrove! The hypocrisy! Supposedly he criticize diana’s bulimia as a a waster of food as well.

    • Aunt Agatha says:

      Yes! I had to look this up and it’s terrible:

      ‘I knew that Charles wanted his eggs cooked for three minutes exactly, and that Mervyn [the chef] usually had several lots on the go to ensure that at least one batch was perfect. The others were simply thrown away.’

      But yesterday it emerged Charles’ finicky attitude to his eggs had previously been documented in another book, The Housekeeper’s Diary written by Wendy Berry, a former housekeeper at Charles’ country home Highgrove for nine years until 1993.

  17. Monlette says:

    It’s not like a cake would be thrown out of they only had two slices. The staff would be happy to finish it. In fact “eating like royalty” is only of the very few perks of working for the BRF. The fact that he would rather eat stale cake then share it with the servants doesn’t impress me in the least.

    • Libra says:

      It was reported that the Queen did the same with her favorite chocolate wafer cake; a slice a day until gone. Never thought about letting it be served to staff to avoid going stale? Sharing is a form of waste management as well.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I know a lot of people who wouldn’t dream of you leaving their house without a food parcel, particularly if they were over for a meal or big get-together. It’s just standard practice to send food home with folks. The doggone it, we’re going to eat this cake every day until it’s gone! attitude just cracks me up. Such sacrifice!

  18. Eurydice says:

    A six-figure sum could be 100,000 or it could be 999,999 – we don’t know. I’m not going to criticize Charles for not doing more or not doing something else when he’s at least doing something. But the part I thought interesting is that BP had to brief both the government and Labour on his plan. I wonder how much constraint the government can put on any of RF charitable plans.

  19. J McGraw says:

    AS\s someone else mentioned above, read “The Housekeeper’s Diary” if you want to see how KC really feels about waste. She was regularly appalled at the quantities of food that were thrown away or left to spoil at Highgrove—all bc the staff had to be ready at any moment to prepare spoilt royals and their entourage any dish they might crave.

    The stories of how many gifts, furniture, and clothing were regularly burned behind the house were also disgusting. This is a man who lectures the world about climate change and then has his Aston Martin FLOWN TO FRANCE on a private jet. He forgets an item at one of his nine homes and has aides drive 400 miles to retrieve it. He’s just trying to borrow a Meghan idea to look good.

    • BeanieBean says:

      BURNED??? I’m going to have to read that book!

      • kirk says:

        BURNED??? Right? Was debating whether the $2.34 bargain basement price was justified for historical fiction slanted pro Chuck. Sounds like she does a lot of relating details of conversations she heard second-hand. Apparently they burned stuff because they were afraid of exploitation in case they gave it away (?)

    • Aunt Agatha says:

      Oh, sorry, I commented on this above before I saw this comment.

      The book is well worth reading.

  20. India says:

    What’s up with his tongue sticking out all the time?

  21. yellowy says:

    It seems like a decent scheme to the naked eye. And is further proof that Charles has passions – unlike William. He has work ethic to follow through. I’ll give him credit that The Prince’s Trust gave out thousands of scholarships. And he paid for them by networking with monied banking barons, aristocrats and sheiks who financed his charitable schemes – and, quite disgustingly, himself.

    He’s a total hypocrite on food waste. The story of his production line of eggs is worthy of Marie Antoinette.

    ‘However, past stories about Charles demanding his eggs be cooked to perfection began to emerge again. One similar story was published in the 1995 book The Housekeeper’s Diary by Wendy Berry who worked for the prince and his first wife for years. “After the day’s hunting, Charles would usually be invited back to a fellow huntsman’s home for tea. Occasionally, however, he invited people he met out on the field back to Highgrove for boiled eggs and whiskey,” Berry wrote. “When this happened, his detective would ring ahead on the mobile phone to give us advance warning of the numbers expected.” She added, “I knew that Charles wanted his eggs cooked for three minutes exactly and that Mervyn usually had several pots on the go to ensure that at least one batch was perfect. The others were simply thrown away.”’

    In another context this would be fabulous – and I don’t even like egg yolks but a soft egg and a warm dram seems delightfully cosy as a post hunt snack – but it’s not, it’s disgraceful. I can’t only hope the wasted eggs were scarfed down by the staff.

  22. Robin Samuels says:

    Charles decides to launch an initiative on his birthday because it’s the only way to get attention. For weeks, British media focused on whether the Sussexes will join the toothless King for his 75th. It’s safe to say the photo with the American grandchildren will not happen. He plans to celebrate with close family members and friends. You can save space for the images.
    Donating funds (1 million pounds) to purchase refrigerators for food banks is a rinse-and-repeat story. Several media outlets, including BBC and Hello Magazine, reported this in December 2022, and the distribution was to be completed by Spring 2023. I suspect he became so involved with preparing for the coronation and Trooping of the Colors that he simply forgot to write the check. His heir and daughter-in-law visit food banks often empty-handed.
    Charles doesn’t care about the impact of the cost of living crisis on people’s lives. He turned his mother’s funeral into a 3-day social event with minimal focus on her life, spent millions on costumes for a coronation, and more millions on Trooping the Color. We are talking about the father who told the Spare he could not feed and clothe his wife because feeding the Heir and his family was already a financial burden.
    The money taxpayers will spend for his and Camilla’s trip to Kenya will balance out the money he will donate for the refrigerators he was supposed to buy last year!
    Charles needs to have a seat on his throne and eat his cake. The attention-seeking strategies are laughable.

  23. bisynaptic says:

    “The King is meticulous about not wasting food in his own homes. He has tea and cake with his wife most days and insists on being served slices of the same cake, on successive days, until it is finished.”
    —HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH what happened to the soft-boiled eggs?