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Royal connections in nature

With the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the arrival of little Prince Louis, we’re getting royal fever and we have uncovered some fascinating royal connections in the natural world.


    1.RED SQUIRRELS - have Prince Charles on their side. Patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, he describes the red squirrel as “one of the most utterly charming and irresistible of British native mammals.”

    2.AFRICAN WILDLIFE- benefits from Prince William’s patronage of the charity, Tusk, which protects many threatened species in Africa, including elephants, rhinos and chimpanzees.

    3.BATS - in the Great Hall at Balmoral are protected by the Queen herself, who reputedly spends time catching them with a butterfly net to release them in to the gardens.

    4.MUTE SWANS - in open waters in England and Wales are famously owned by the Queen, who still has a Swan Keeper. It is a little-known fact that she shares this ownership equally with the Worshipful Companies of Vintners and Dyers.

    5.FORESTS - are being given the VIP treatment under The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project, which you may have seen her talking about on TV to Sir David Attenborough. Covering all 53 countries of the Commonwealth, its aim is to raise awareness about our indigenous forests and to create a network of forest conservation projects.

    6.THE ROYAL CORGIS - are famous throughout the world. The queen has bred and owned over 30 corgis in her life, all descended from a corgi called Susan, who was a childhood birthday present. She has announced that her current three dogs Willow, Candy and Vulcan will be her last.

6 animals and plants named after (or by) royals

1.THE PRINCE CHARLES STEAM TREE FROG - Hyloscirtus princecharlesi, was discovered in Ecuador in 2012. It was named to recognise the prince’s support in protecting the rainforest.

2. AN OKAPI - in London Zoo has been named after royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle after being born there in December.

3.‘GEORGIE BOY’ DAFFODIL - is one of many flowers named after members of the royal family. This two-tone daffodil honours the latest generation, with young Prince George.

4..THE ‘PRINCESS OF WALES’ ROSE - is perhaps one of the best known royal flowers. The beautiful creamy white petals remind us that Diana was a true English rose.

5.KING CHARLES SPANIELS - were popularised by their namesake, King Charles II in the 17th Century and were allowed to roam freely in Whitehall Palace. Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist of the time, wrote, “All I observed there was the silliness of the King, playing with his dog all the while and not minding the business."

6.PERSEUS - a 9-year-old shire horse, was recently named not after the queen but by the queen. A member of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, Perseus is the most senior animal in the British Army, with the rank of Major.

A royal tour of Forest Holidays locations

Keeping with the royal theme, we have a few royal connections of our own.  Stay at any of our locations this spring and celebrate the royal wedding and baby with a royal visit of your own.

Stay at Strathyre and explore the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park – look out for Prince Charles’s beloved red squirrels. Over at Ardgartan Argyll, nearby Inveraray Castle is home to the Duke of Argyll. The Duke’s predecessor, the 9th Duke of Argyll, married Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Louise in none other than St. George’s Chapel at Windsor, the venue for Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

If you are heading for Cropton or Keldy, make sure you pay a visit to nearby Nunnington Hall, which houses a fragment of the tartan of Bonnie Prince Charlie and a lock of his hair set into a ring. Forest of Dean are both Royal Forests. Royal Forests were designated in the 11th-13th centuries to protect the ‘vert and venison’– green spaces where royals could hunt deer and boar. 

Thorpe Forest take a trip to North Norfolk to see Sandringham House. This stunning country retreat has been enjoyed by four generations of British monarchs. And who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of Prince William and his family, as they have a home on the Sandringham Estate.

Down in Hampshire and just a few miles from Blackwood Forest, follow the Royal Blood Trail around Winchester to find out just how well-connected the city is to royals, from King Alfred in the 9th Century right up to the present day.

Finally, head west to Deerpark. Prince Charles is the Duke of Cornwall, which means that he owns the Duchy of Cornwall – only 13% of which is actually in Cornwall! For a royal day out, visit the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, café and shop, with spectacular views across the Fowey Valley.

Royal congratulations!

We offer our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of Prince Louis. And we offer our congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their forthcoming marriage.