Prince Charles Wears Muddy Clothes as He Works on Queen's Sandringham Estate

For many royal fans, the image emblazoned in their minds of the British royal family has them dressed to the nines in suits and dresses, but Prince Charles shattered that image this week when he donned muddier attire. As he recently got to work at Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham Estate, Charles, who is first in line to the throne, got his hands and clothes dirty.

In new images of the 72-year-old royal published in the latest edition of Country Life magazine, Charles can be seen taking a hands-on approach to tidying up the Norfolk estate, where the royal family traditionally gathers for Christmas. Wearing a flat-brim cap and safety googles, Charles lays hedges, dirty work that resulted in his tweed coat and pants getting covered in mud. For the past three years, the royal has been working to convert Sandringham Estate to a fully organic operation, something that he told the outlet has been a main focus of his for decades.

"Since the beginning of the 1980s, when I first had responsibility for managing some land in my own right at Highgrove, I have wanted to focus on an approach to food production that avoids the impact of the predominant, conventional system of industrialized agriculture, which, it is increasingly clear to see, is having a disastrous effect on soil fertility, biodiversity and animal and human health," he said. "It has always seemed to me somewhat logical to embrace a farming system that works with Nature and not against her, thus restoring the lost fertility and carbon-sequestration capacity of the soil on which we rely for our very existence upon this planet."

While roughly 10% of Sandringham has been run organically for the past 24 years, Charles told Country Life he is working towards converting the rest of the land. Having long been an environmental advocate, he said it is "becoming ever clearer to me that the very future of humanity may depend to a large extent on a mainstream transition to more sustainable farming practices." He said 'it's a delight to see British native breeds grazing on the land once again."

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Charles began his work at the country home in Norfolk in 2017, which is when he took over operations from his father, the late Prince Philip. Philip passed away on April 9 at the age of 99 as the longest-serving consort to a British sovereign. Following his death, the Queen entered a period of mourning, in May carrying out her first major engagement since her late husband's funeral when she opened a new session of Parliament.