His Majesty The King to continue royal patronage of the National Trust

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His Majesty The King and Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust, visit Erddig, Wrexham, Wales | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

His Majesty The King will be continuing his royal patronage of the National Trust, acting as the charity’s patron.

He previously held the role of President of the Trust from 2003 until the death of Her Majesty The Queen and his ascension to the throne in 2022. 

Director-General Hilary McGrady said: “We are honoured that His Majesty The King has chosen to continue his royal patronage of the National Trust. For decades, His Majesty has been a dedicated champion of the natural world, an ambassador for the countryside and for rural communities, and a passionate advocate for heritage buildings, skills and crafts. His inspiring leadership in tackling environmental issues, including climate change, has galvanised support for these pressing challenges, and continues to do so today when it is needed more than ever.

“The King has shown a keen interest and passion for the many and varied areas of our work – from meeting volunteers at the former home of Sir Winston Churchill at Chartwell to planting a rare oak sapling at Erddig, a property he helped open to the public over 40 years earlier.

“We are immensely grateful for his continued support as our patron.”

During his many years as President of the National Trust, His Majesty took a personal interest in various aspects of the Trust’s work, hosting fundraising events and meeting staff and volunteers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He visited several Trust properties – most recently Erddig in Wales in 2022, and Tattershall Castle in Lincolnshire in March 2018, where he met staff, volunteers and local school students, and heard about the work involved in looking after the buildings, collection and wildlife. 

In 2020 His Majesty kindly wrote a special foreword in the National Trust magazine to commemorate the Trust’s 125th anniversary. He was also interviewed for the magazine’s autumn 2008 issue on food and farming, areas that His Majesty is passionate about. The King has been equally supportive of the Trust’s work to conserve the hundreds of historic buildings and 1 million collections items in its care. 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’. 

When he became President in 2003, the then Prince of Wales shared his own reflections on the National Trust: ‘As President of the National Trust, I never cease to be amazed by the uniquely varied activity with which it 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, Pattersons, 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.’

The royal patronage of His Majesty The King is highly valued by the Trust, which has also been delighted to welcome Her Majesty Queen Camilla to places in its care over the years, most recently to Lacock village in January 2023. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was also a guest of honour to several National Trust sites including Runneymede in 2015, where she attended an international event along with The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of Cambridge, The Princess Royal and many other dignitaries from across the world to mark the historic 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.

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