Record sales of Prince’s Charles bacon has helped to, well, save his bacon after a fall in donations to his charitable initiatives.
The royal’s charitable foundation was last year gifted more than £2.8 million by supermarket Waitrose, who took over the once loss-making Duchy Originals brand two years ago and have turned it into an international success story.
In 2011 their total royalties donation was just £645,000 - amounting to a staggering 348 per cent increase in just 12 months.
Sales increase: A selection of Duchy Originals products which are sold at Waitrose
It also helped offset a fall in public donations to Charles’s charities, which supports organisations working to combat everything from climate change to youth unemployment, from £12.2 million in 2011 to £10.5 million last year.
The donation also meant that the prince was able to invest £6.2 million in good causes, up from £4.7 million from the previous 12 months.
Duchy Originals was set up by Charles in 1990 as a means of raising money for deserving causes by selling organic produce grown at his Highgrove estate.
It quickly branched out, selling everything from bacon to soap, biscuits and cordials, but was hit hard by the recession and at one point saw annual losses of £3.3 million.
In 2010, however, the prince did a deal with Waitrose, giving it excusive rights to sell the Duchy range - which has expanded to more than 260 products including a gardening and beauty line - in return for a substantial donation to his charitable foundation initially set at £1 million.
Good causes: Prince Charles, set up Duchy Originals to raise money for charity, but the brand struggled to make a profit until the supermarket took over
Benefits for all: Thanks to Duchy Originals' success sales, Waitrose donated 2.8million to charity in 2012
The range has become a huge success - it now exports to more than 25 countries across the globe including Japan and Taiwan - and led to a significant increase in royalties, as revealed in its annual accounts published yesterday.
Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, said: ‘These figures reflect an extremely successful year for Duchy Originals from Waitrose, meaning that we have significantly exceeded our original £1 million commitment’.
Charles’s charitable coffers were also swelled by a doubling of the monies raised by opening up the gardens at Highgrove to paying visitors and by selling a range of themed gifts including napkins, boot racks and even gin. This leapt from £312,000 in 2011 to £618,000 last year.
The accounts also revealed that The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation has managed to pay off a controversial £20 million loan taken out in 2007 to support the purchase of Dumfries House, a stately home in Ayrshire with a world-class collection of Chippendale furniture, which is now open to the public.
Charles personally stood by the deal, despite being accused of putting his entire charity empire at risk by taking out such a substantial loan.