When bonnie Prince Charles becomes king this Saturday there will be loyal royal breeders satisfied to know that their new monarch will continue his family's interest in livestock.
Angus for beef was a favourite of the Queen Mother, who managed a herd on the royal Scottish estate. Her daughter was equally fond of Jerseys for milk, imported directly from the Channel Isle.
Grant and Jo Watt, Mundoo Angus, formerly of Grahams Valley via Glen Innes and now at Ellangowan south of Casino, recall an earlier time when the prince was patron of the Tweed River Agricultural Society's Murwillumbah show.
This was in 1977, during his mother's silver jubilee, celebrating a quarter century in her role as Queen of the British Empire.
Mr Watt was photographed with the heir in waiting - one of the longest in history - leading supreme interbreed champion of the show, a two-year-old Angus bull named Mundoo Charger from line-bred Mundoo blood on both sides.
"Everybody knew we had a chance of winning and the feeling when it happened was wonderful," Mr Watt recalled.
"We met Prince Charles and we talked about cattle. "He was very interested in the Angus breed."
Mr Watt remembers a conversation around the Queen mother's Scottish herd manager, Tom Brewis, who established the Eastfield herd at Lempitlaw Farm near Kelso in the Borders district and later travelled to judge at Melbourne Royal Show in 1988, when Mundoo's fully-imported Canadian sire Saratoga Quebec, 1127 kilograms in under 30 months, was awarded supreme Angus exhibit.
Pat McDonald, brother of then Murwillumbah show society president Ken McDonald, recalls clearly the Royal occasion at Murwillumbah.
Along with Ken, in the same photograph, there was the ring steward Bernie Keneally, a former dairyman of the Tweed Valley who was among the first to transition to beef.
Ken was a dairyman through and through, from parents who ran the Jersey stud Kendonvale, which was well known throughout the district.
Pat, who with his wife Trish, started Kenarie Jersey stud 59 years ago using their first herd sire Eurarie Influence recalls how Prince Charles was equally enamoured with the milking breed, as the royal stables also managed a cohort of champion Jersey cows, with foundation blood imported from the island of the same name.
The Queen's interest in Jersey extended to New Zealand, having struck up a friendship with highly respected kiwi breeder Don Ferguson when he travelled to England to prepare the Royal Jersey show team.
"They became friends," recalled Mr McDonald. "They had a mutual respect to the point that she gave him her private number."
Royal watcher and agricultural show historian Helen Trustum, Bentley via Casino, was also on the grounds at Murwillumbah for that hot November day in 1977.
She recalls well the sheer volume of livestock that had been prepared by so many to turn out in the main ring.
With her husband Allan she showed an Appaloosa mare and assisted her father in law John with the presentation of his champion pony stallion Grey Rock. These days they breed Charolais.
"There were thousands of people at the show that day," she recalled. "It was amazing the number of horses and cattle parading in the ring before his arrival. Everyone really put their foot forward."
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