BERLIN – After schmoozing with Berlin's political elite in the morning, King Charles III headed to the German countryside for a down-to-earth afternoon visit at an organic farm, where Britain's monarch helped make an orange-colored cheese with a crown imprint.
“We heard that the king is a great lover of cheese,” said Katja von Maltzan, who with her husband runs the Brodowin farm 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Germany's capital.
“We took that as an opportunity to make our own creation for him," the farmer told German news agency dpa.
The Brodowin King is a Tilsiter-style cheese infused with carrot juice to give it "a little sweetness and an orange color, like British cheddar,” she said.
Charles' visit underlined his interest and commitment to environmental causes. His three-day visit to Germany — his first foreign trip as Britain’s monarch — also included a reception dedicated to building a more sustainable world.
During the reception at German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's Bellevue Palace, he met government ministers, experts and advocacy group representatives. He and Camilla, the queen consort, arrived in Berlin on Wednesday.
Brodowin farm was established in 1991 on land that used to be part of an East German agricultural cooperative. The 2,300-hectare (5,683-acre) farm produces vegetables, dairy products, flax and sunflower oil, fresh meat and sausages according to strict organic standards. Almost all of its electricity is generated on-site through a solar energy system.
At Brodowin farm, the British king met with young farming trainees and went on a tour of the property, which has 160 dairy cows, 300 dairy goats and 1,800 hens. Von Maltzan and her husband walked Charles through the entire cheese-making process.
Due to torrential rain, the king skipped a visit to the cowshed and sought shelter in the farm's dairy, where he filled cheese mixture into a mold and smoothed it out.
“We were sort of stuck in the dairy," von Maltzan told dpa. "But that gave us the opportunity to talk to the king a bit, which might not have been so possible otherwise.”
The farmers plan to produce a total of about 150 round loaves of the “royal cheese” which will have to ripen for six to eight weeks before they are ready to eat and sell.
Von Maltzan said it was an honor “that the king has chosen to come to Brodowin on his first state visit” and also “a statement for organic farming and sustainability.”
Charles, 74, who ascended the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September, is set to be crowned during a May 6 coronation ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey.
At Brodowin farm, he got a first taste of the experience when the farm’s pastry chef offered him a piece of a white chocolate cake with sugar icing gems and raspberries on top that was shaped like the crown he will wear on coronation day.
The king also talked shop with the employees and asked very informed questions about organic farming, Leonie Schierning, the executive assistant of the farm told dpa.
“We talked about cow manure and how good it is for the soil,” she added.