Coronation for the Countryside
On Saturday 6th May the Coronation of King Charles III will take place. Much royal regalia will accompany this ceremony. He will wear the crown made for King Charles II in 1661, he will be handed two sceptres; one with an enamelled heart representing temporal power and associated good governance, the other represents his spiritual role, featuring a dove which represents the Holy Spirit. The golden Orb represents the world; King Charles is head of the christian church but the orb is a reminder that the power is derived from God. The Coronation ring is made up of colours of the british flag and is nick-named 'the wedding ring of England'. It was first worn by William IV and symbolises the king's marriage to the nation.
And of course that nation includes much countryside, something as a prince, Charles has shown great care, interest and love for. King Charles has been a dedicated supporter of native breeds of livestock throughout his life and he wants to recognise this in the year of his coronation. The new king is patron of the Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) and has championed an idea to boost rare native farm breeds. A £10 million coronation Fund has been proposed and is currently being considered by the government. Funding could be used to preserve genetics, provide branding amongst other things and breed societies were asked to write to MPs and the Secretary of State showing their support for this coronation fund. Don't worry: ACS sent their letter off straight away! There are currently 235 native farm breeds, with 3/4 of these being at some risk of extinction; Albion cattle are categorised as 'priority' or 'critical'.
It couldn't have come at a better time; a time where, at last, we are considering biodiversity, sustainability and carbon footprints for our world. In December, 2022, an historic deal was signed 'the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Conference Agreement'. Nearly 200 governments took part, seeking to address threats to biodiversity & ecosystems. It has been described as a 'once in a decade deal to halt the destruction of Earth's ecosystems,' Included in the deal is 'where genetic diversity within populations of wild and domesticated species is maintained, safe-guarding their adaptive potential.' It means that the government could well implement measures that encourage rare farm breeds to play a more serious part in this policy of sustainability and biodiversity, moving them into a more mainstream demand for farming in the UK.
So God save the King and God save the Albions!