Why Did the Queen Call Prince Charles a Duchy Original in His 70th Birthday Speech?

The proud mom referred to her eldest son as a "Duchy Original."

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(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

At a private Buckingham Palace dinner party to honor Prince Charles on his 70th birthday, the Queen lovingly raised a toast to her eldest son, congratulating him on his parenting, charitable work, and business efforts.

“Over his 70 years, Philip and I have seen Charles become a champion of conservation and the arts, a great charitable leader—a dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history—and a wonderful father," she said. “Most of all, sustained by his wife, Camilla, he is his own man, passionate and creative. So this toast is to wish a happy birthday to my son, in every respect a Duchy Original."

Duchy Originals is actually the name of a company the Prince of Wales set up in 1990 (named after the Duchy of Cornwall) to sell organic food products. The company's first and most well-known item is an oaten biscuit made from organically grown wheat and oats.

Duchy Originals 

Duchy Originals

(Image credit: Johnny Green - PA Images)

The silly aside from the Queen during the toast might have been a testament to how sweet Charles is (sweet as a British biscuit!) or perhaps a reference to his dedication to Duchy Originals. In 2010, the brand went into partnership with Waitrose, a chain of British supermarkets, according to a website for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Today, there are over 300 organic Waitrose Duchy products available, including vegetables, milk, ales, and biscuits, according to the Waitrose website. Sales of products also provide a donation to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.

Duchy Originals announce partnership with Waitrose

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visit a Waitrose store in Belgravia, central London.

(Image credit: Johnny Green - PA Images)

At the birthday event, the Queen went on to commend Charles, even calling it a "privilege" to raise him.

“It is a privilege for any mother to be able to propose a toast to her son on his 70th birthday,” she said. “It means that you have lived long enough to see your child grow up.

“It is rather like–to use an analogy I am certain will find favor—planting a tree and being able to watch it grow."


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(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Rose Minutaglio

Rose is a Staff Writer at ELLE covering culture, news, and women's issues. She is an accomplished and compassionate storyteller who excels in obtaining exclusive interviews and unearthing compelling features.