Prince Charles shakes hands with trees after he plants them to ‘wish them well’

The funny ritual came to light when British comedy quiz show QI tweeted about the future King's habit, and royal fans can't get enough.
prince charles planting a treeGetty Images

It’s no secret that the Prince of Wales cares deeply about nature and the environment, so we shouldn’t be surprised that he pays the same respect to plants as he does to people.

Taking to Twitter, researchers from the popular British comedy quiz show QI shared a fun fact about Prince Charles: he always closes a tree-planting ceremony by giving a ‘handshake’ to one of the tree’s branches to “wish it well”.

The tweet has garnered hundreds of replies (and a lot of tree puns) with one person saying: “That’s the most British thing I’ve ever heard.”

While others commented the ritual was “surprisingly cute”.

Clarence House, the office of Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, confirmed the tradition to The Daily Mail, saying it was, in fact, one of the 70 facts published on the heir’s personal website.

Prince Charles ‘shakes leaves’ with a tree during a tree planting ceremony in Wales. (Image: Getty)

As a keen gardener, Prince Charles, who celebrates his 71st birthday next week, once famously said in an interview in 1986 that he helps his garden grow by talking to it.

“I just come and talk to the plants, really – very important to talk to them.

“They respond,” he said.

And when asked during the special 25th-anniversary edition of BBC1’s Countryfile if he still planted trees, the future King joked: “No, now I instruct them instead.”

The fun fact about the Prince has royal fans commenting how “cute” the ritual is. (Image: Getty)

The Prince recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and celebrate the British and Japanese connection.

Next week he will travel to India solo, where he will carry out engagements in New Delhi with a focus on sustainable markets, climate change and social finance over two days.

He will then make his way down to our shores with the Duchess of Cornwall for seven days, with the couple visiting Auckland, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Christchurch and Kaikōura, undertaking engagements that focus on the areas they are committed to supporting.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla will be visiting New Zealand next week. (Image: Getty)

Following the announcement in June that the royal couple were heading to Aotearoa, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “I know that the couple have enjoyed New Zealanders’ warm hospitality and manaakitanga when they visited previously.

“The Prince of Wales has been a strong advocate for the environment, conservation and sustainability for many years.

“This visit will provide opportunities for him to engage with New Zealand on those subjects, and to learn more about the ways in which New Zealand is preparing for the future.”

Related stories

Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.