King Charles’ ‘dangerous’ hobby revealed, and it’s one that will keep the kids (and pets) in the garden

The Prince of Wales has a little-known surprising hobby that is useful at home

King Charles III
(Image credit: Getty Images)

King Charles' has a little-known hobby that's 'dangerous', but it helps keep the kids in the garden.

When it comes to hobbies and looking for things to do with the kids, the first activity most people think about is a sporting hobby like football or dancing, or for things to do with toddlers, crafting hobbies like painting or making things. 

But King Charles has a hobby that most people might not have heard of before - and while it can be a 'dangerous' task, it can be quite a useful skill.

It's no secret that the monarch loves the environment and gardens, having made his position clear on climate change, which has led to him calling for the country to be more proactive in accelerating climate action. 

But did you know that the King of England loves to lay hedges? Former royal butler  Grant Harrold, who worked for King Charles between 2004 and 2011 when he was a prince, has given an insight into his royal highness' favourite pastime.

Speaking on behalf of Spin Genie, he said, "I don't think it's that publicly known, but the King loves hedgelaying, which is a technique of laying a hedge and turning it into a pretty fence. It's an old skill and I think it's a little dangerous."

For anyone who has never heard of the hobby, Hedgelaying is a country craft which has been practised for hundreds of years. Hedge management is important because over-trimming hedges ultimately degrade the hedge so it is hollow at the base and provides little shelter for wildlife - and neglecting a hedge doesn't help either, as it will allow it to become tall and overgrown, eventually even to collapse.

So a laid hedge is beneficial because it provides a barrier for livestock, and children, if used in the garden, and a dense habitat for wildlife. But most importantly it encourages new growth that starts a new life cycle of the hedge.

And there's even a National Hedgelaying Society, and Grant explained how it's done.

He said, "You have to hack the branches of a hedge and weave them together. There’s pictures and videos of Charles doing it, but it's not a known thing. I think he even judges or gets involved in the national hedgelaying competition. I don't think people know that the King has that love."

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends a hedge-laying event at Highgrove Estate on December 4, 2021 near Tetbury, Gloucestershire

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But that's not all, King Charles has other interests that are centred around the great outdoors.

"He's also a lover of wildlife and the farm. I remember he once said that if he wasn’t King, he would be quite happy being a farmer. People often say to me they'll see him in local fields," Grant said. 

And behind closed palace doors, it's understood that he's a keen actor. Grant added, "Charles was also very good at acting and we’ve seen bits of that come out. He used to do a lot of drama. He loves Shakespeare as well." 

Whilst at Trinity College Dryden Society's revue called Revolution, he was pictured rehearsing his part in a sketch called 'Scoop' and he can be seen below standing inside a metal dustbin while he appears to be interviewed.

Charles, Prince of Wales rehearsing his part in a sketch called 'Scoop' for the Trinity College Dryden Society revue called 'Revolution', at Cambridge.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In other Royal news, there's Prince William's hobby that 'terrifies' Kate and we can totally see why she doesn't want Prince George to follow in his father's footsteps and Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet won’t be visiting the Royal Family ‘anytime soon’ for this sad reason.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is currently a Senior Entertainment Writer for, formerly Senior Entertainment writer for Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life and has more than 16 years of experience in newspapers, magazines and online. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including celebrity births, weddings and reality show line-ups including Strictly, Dancing On Ice and The Great British Bake Off, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories from baby names to store closures and product recall warnings. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.