This coronation promises to be great fun for all, as long as the peasants remember the rules. You can block the streets to celebrate the rich and powerful. But it’s never okay to block them to draw attention to an impending climate crisis that could kill us all. Thus, the King’s hired henchmen have promised to “deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining the celebration”.
These same henchmen enforce the ruling elite’s strict cannabis prohibition, locking up anyone selling significant quantities of the plant. It’s unclear why the once wild-growing herb is banned, though some campaigners argue it’s because of its untold ability to reduce fear; aid relaxation and create feelings of euphoria, none of which are especially conducive to capitalism.
Yet – in the latest in this series of contradictions – there’s a longstanding rumour that the new King has a secret love of this controversial plant himself. It emerged in 1998 when he publicly asked a 36-year-old MS sufferer – Ms Drake – whether she’d considered using the plant. The British media widely-reported that he enquired, “Have you tried cannabis? I heard it’s good for MS.”
Law-abiding citizen, Ms Drake, pointedly told him she had never used the drug, as it was illegal.
This tale resurfaced in 2015 when MS sufferer, Michelle X – who starred in the TV show, 37 Years on the Dole – was busted with £40,000-worth cannabis plants. She told the Crown Court that she wasn’t guilty, flat-out denying that the stuff grown at her home was “cannabis”, instead insisting it was “medical cannabis”.
Unsurprisingly, the Crown Court didn’t buy into her legal argument that comparing “cannabis” and “medical cannabis” was like comparing “lager and moonshine”. Michelle lashed out at the jury when found guilty, reminding them of the unpalatable truth, “You’re just costing yourselves by paying my benefits and I’m going to keep offending until the law is changed.”
Yet Michelle escaped jail after telling the judge that King Charles inspired her green-fingered endeavour. She said, “In the 1990s, I saw Prince Charles on the TV and he was talking to someone who had MS. At this point, I thought if a member of the Royal Family knows about this plant, I should investigate it further.”
In 2007, King Charles was pictured next to a huge cannabis plant at the fairytale-like Alnwick Castle poison garden. Gardeners at this £35.1 million horticultural facility cultivate over 100 species of narcotic plant including cannabis, coca and opium poppies, ostensibly for research purposes. During the public visit, his Royal Highness took care to highlight his love of Mother Earth, plants and gardening.
It’s hard to reconcile that video of King Charles losing his temper with aides – at a royal ceremony – with the chilled environmentalist you read about in glossy magazines. But despite his rage at having to move a pot of ink, he’s regularly photographed outdoors whether it’s growing pineapples at the Lost Gardens of Heligan or hanging out at his upscale Duchy of Cornwall Nursery.
Like many “nature lovers”, King Charles has a long history of championing plant medicine. He launched a pricey range of herbal medicine in high street shops in 2009. Sold under his Duchy Originals brand, the tinctures were made from herbal extracts and promised to treat all manner of ailments. They were, however, discontinued due to low sales, with the University of Exeter professor of complementary medicine, Edzard Ernst calling the King “a snake oil salesman”.
Professor Ernst said, “He’s a man, he owns a firm that sells this stuff, and I have no qualms at all defending the notion that a tincture of dandelion and artichoke [Duchy Herbals detox remedy] doesn’t do anything to detoxify your body.”
It’s almost a surprise that the King hasn’t tried his luck in Britain’s CBD industry when you consider the proliferation of cannabidiol tinctures on the market and his keenness to profit from Mother Nature.
The Queen Consort showed a keen interest in CBD while visiting the Swiss Cottage Farmers’ Market, in north London during November 2019. Camilla made a beeline for the Hempen stall to browse their range of cannabis-derived products. She commented, “This oil is so fantastic. It helps so many people. I’ve spoken to people who have serious conditions such as epilepsy that have benefited from it.”
This [CBD] oil is so fantastic. It helps so many people. I’ve spoken to people who have serious conditions such as epilepsy that have benefited from it.
It’s certainly no secret that many trustafarians – or trust fund babies – have a weak spot for hemp. The industry’s dominated by wealthy, white blokes who wax lyrical about their wild, raucous gap year back in the 1980s. And as it happens, King Charles is a fan of this super plant too.
His Royal Highness proudly showcased his “innovative” hemp-insulated eco-house at the Ideal Home Show back in 2011. The design team reckoned anyone could comfortably live in this building without central heating, relying only on a wooden stove. But there was a catch, this wholesome home came at a significant financial outlay.
Not dissimilarly to a dealer shotting overpriced Cali weed, but smoking cut-price Thai Stick, King Charles has failed to insulate any of his 26 Cornish holiday homes with hemp. None of the properties in his self-designed eco-town – Poundbury – came fitted with hemp either. And while he loves to champion small family farms and a lost way of life, it’s inescapable that his estate, which spans 500 farm lettings, gives him a significant incentive to do so.
The jury’s clearly still out on whether King Charles’ passion for Mother Earth, agriculture and hemp is for real. If he gets baked on the regular, then he’s not done a bad job at hiding it. This secrecy would come as no surprise, however, as we all know the Royal Family managed to keep the fact that they’re all bloodsucking, lizard aliens hushed up for generations. Thus, it’s necessary to desperately clutch at that tool of last resort and consider whether he hangs out with weed lovers.
There’s his son, Prince Harry, who – at the age of 17 – got caught smoking cannabis at the posh Highgrove Estate, in 2002. Though he didn’t get busted, Harry recently admitted to getting high in a bathroom at Eton with his public school mates. Anyone who’s watched Roald Dahl’s Matilda will be aware of Miss Trunchball’s favourite phrase when faced with a challenging child or parent: “The apple never rots far from the tree.”
In his book, Prince Harry recalled smoking cannabis – while living with wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie – in movie director Tyler Perry’s California mansion during 2020. The Prince recalled sitting on the balcony or at the edge of the garden, while Meghan and Archie slept. He said, “The house looked down onto a valley, across a hillside thick with frogs. I’d listen to their late-night song, smell the scented air.”
There’s also the fact that Meghan provided the plant for guests inside party bags at her first wedding – to Trevor Engleson – in Jamaica, during 2011. And if the King is indeed a lover of all things green, he would’ve been intrigued to hear that her nephew Tyler Dooley runs a 1,000 acre cannabis farm in Oregon. Perhaps a Royal visit will be on the cards, post-reunion?
King Charles’ godson, Tom Parker Bowles, who also happens to be Camilla’s son, once had a fondness for cannabis. But unfortunately, he brought it into a south London nightclub with some ecstasy pills and ended up arrested in 1999. It wasn’t his first run in with the cops, as he’d already been caught with the dried herb at his old college.
Another of Charles’ godsons, Lord Nicholas Windsor, was arrested and cautioned for cannabis possession. Metropolitan Police officers stopped and searched him in St James’ Park during the 1980s. His parents – the Duke and Duchess of Kent – needn’t have worried too much about their kid’s criminality, as he’s now a special needs teacher and devoted catholic.
Not many people could get away with accepting €3 million cash inside Fortnum and Mason bags. But his Royal Highness is one of the few folk to pull off such a feat – and from a secretive Qatari politician linked to Osama Bin Laden at that. The rest of us could expect a knock on the door from the cops – brandishing a warrant obtained under the Misuse of Drugs Act – if a friend in, say, Dubai donated that sum of money to one of our own “personal charities”.
Based on this evidence, it’s difficult to know whether King Charles is the world’s most under-the-radar cannabis trafficker or an elderly environmentalist with a love of herbs. And is he the hero or villain in this acid-fuelled fairytale?
Yet one thing is abundantly clear: it’s his determination to turn a profit from nature. We would be far from surprised to see him lend his support to some venture-capital backed cannabis firm, as the European industry becomes more widespread. His financial ambitions are certainly on a par with some of the more profit-focused investors in this growing sector.