Queen Camilla and King Charles’s ‘competition’ at home is remarkably unroyal and it really kicks off this time of year

Queen Camilla once revealed that she and King Charles get 'competitive' over a hobby that many fans might not imagine them doing

King Charles III, wearing his Irish Guards uniform, and Queen Camilla watch an RAF flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after attending Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Queen Camilla and King Charles’s "competition" at home is remarkably unroyal and it really kicks off this time of year.

King Charles and Queen Camilla have been happily married for 19 years and although they are always working in harmony at royal engagements and occasions, it seems that they do have a competitive streak outside of their royal duties. The royal couple enjoy spending time in the great outdoors when they can and have several beautiful homes, including Highgrove House, which has especially stunning gardens. This time of year, gardens are teaming with life and Queen Camilla and King Charles’s competition at home tends to start kicking up a notch this season.

Speaking previously to You magazine with her son Tom Parker Bowles, Her Majesty revealed that she and King Charles grow their own vegetables at their royal residences. As per The Independent, Queen Camilla also explained how "competitive" she and the King can get.

King Charles and Queen Camilla travel in a carriage as they visit Sandringham Flower Show at Sandringham House on July 26, 2023

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

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This fascinating biography draws on access to members of the Royal Family, as well as friends of the King and Queen, officials and unpublished royal papers. It reflects upon King Charles's plans for the monarchy, his reign and his relationships with his family, as well as his determination to stay true to himself.

"I love the vegetable garden, and summer in particular," she shared. "I’m very proud of my white peaches. My husband is an excellent gardener, and we’re quite competitive about our fruit and vegetables."

For some people it might be difficult to imagine the King and Queen out gardening and growing their own produce rather than royal gardeners doing it all, but it seems this is a huge passion they both share. Queen Camilla clearly admires her husband’s gardening skills, though it’s intriguing to learn that she and King Charles can get so "competitive" over the fruits of their labour.

Whether or not the competition concerns the amount they’ve grown or the deliciousness and aesthetic beauty of the fruit and vegetables isn’t known. However, Her Majesty herself suggested that it’s summer "in particular" that she loves being in the vegetable garden and for many gardening enthusiasts out there the time has already come to harvest certain things. 

King Charles and Queen Camilla are presented with vegetables from the allotment as they visit the 'Dig for Victory' organic allotment in St James' Park on July 17, 2008

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

This could mean that if they’ve kept up their gardening hobby this year then King Charles and Queen Camilla have already started to get a little more competitive. Depending on when you planted them peas can already have started to grow and although Queen Camilla is proud of her white peaches, she’s also a huge fan of home-grown peas. According to Express she explained during a visit to Godolphin School in 2013 that she eats them raw and this is a family tradition.

She said, "I'll tell you what I really like, I like peas straight from the garden. If you take them straight from their pods they're delicious, really sweet. I take all my grandchildren into the garden and they spend hours and hours eating peas."

Meanwhile, King Charles previously disclosed on BBC Radio 4’s The Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed podcast how he used to tend his own vegetable patch as a child.

King Charles smells some herbs as he and his chef walk around his garden at Highgrove House

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

"My sister and I had a little vegetable patch in the back of some border somewhere," he explained, as per The Independent. "We had great fun trying to grow tomatoes rather unsuccessfully, and things like that."

His Majesty continued, "There was a wonderful head gardener at Buckingham Palace, he was called Mr Nutbeam, rather splendidly. He was splendid, and helped us a bit, my sister and I, with the little garden we had. There’s nothing to beat, is there, I think, eating what you have grown?"

Whilst it might not seem like the most royal of hobbies, King Charles and Queen Camilla seem to really value the time they spend outside gardening and competitively growing their own fruits and vegetables.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!