Prince Charles health: Heir admits back pain agony ‘I’d give anything to be more hands on’

Prince Charles 'won't be outspoken' as king says expert

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Prince Charles, 72, admitted his back is “not so good” during a special conversation with the Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage. During the chat, to be featured in tonight’s episode of Mr Armitage’s The Poet Laureate Has Gone to His Shed, the Prince of Wales enthused about planting trees and growing flowers.

But Charles was also candid about the small issues coming with his advancing age, which makes gardening a different experience than it used to be.

Asked if he is a hands-on gardener, the Prince said: “I’d give anything to be more hands-on. But it’s the time that’s always the problem.

“I love planting trees and plants but my problem now is my back’s not so good.

“So I spend my life trying to do it on my knees.

“Which is all very well but digging on your knees is an interesting business.”

Charles has involved his grandson and third-in-line to the throne Prince George in his love for planting trees.

In 2015, the Queen’s heir revealed he and the then two-year-old planted a Balsam poplar tree together at Highgrove, the Prince of Wales’ residence in Gloucestershire.

Speaking about that same tree, Charles told Mr Armitage: “The fun is to get grandchildren to plant a tree now and then so they can measure themselves, if you know what I mean, by the size of the tree.

“This thing has shot up. I mean It’s higher than this barn already, which for a child is quite satisfactory when you can say ‘look at it now’.

“It’s grown about three feet a year. Not many do that.”

In an interview with Gardeners’ Question Time in 2016, Charles admitted he got George involved in gardening at such a tender age hoping he would one day become fond of the activity.

He added: “I always like gardening from a child’s point of view because I have such happy memories of bits of garden from my grandmother’s house.

“So you think what would appeal to a child, it’s the paths and the interest, or a maze.

“You just put yourself in a child’s position and it works.”

During his candid conversation with the Poet Laureate, Charles recalled sweet memories from his childhood, during which he and his sister Princess Anne tended a vegetable patch at Buckingham Palace.

He said: “My sister and I had a little vegetable patch in the back of some border somewhere.

“We had great fun trying to grow tomatoes rather unsuccessfully and things like that.

“There was a wonderful head gardener at Buckingham Palace, I think he was called Mr Nutbeam, rather splendidly.

“He was splendid and he helped us a bit, my sister and I with the little garden we had.”

Charles is known for his love for nature and decades-long campaign for environmental causes.

The Prince of Wales first spoke about his concerns for plastic waste and air pollution more than 50 years ago.

Just a few days ago, he penned an article calling on business leaders to go green to help revert the climate crisis.

The Poet Laureate Has Gone to His Shed is on Radio 4 and BBC Sounds at 7.15pm on Saturday August 28.

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