Prince Charles' Magnificent Gardens Have Suffered 'Significant Damage' in Storms, PEOPLE Confirms
The royal "is being kept personally updated about flooding across the whole of the country," a Clarence House spokesperson tells PEOPLE
The splendid gardens at Prince Charles‘s home in the Scottish Highlands have been hit by the severe flooding that has struck much of northern Britain.
Few details are being released about how the flood water from the River Muick has affected the gardens at Birkhall on the 50,000-acre Balmoral estate, but a source has confirmed to PEOPLE that it has “suffered significant damage.” A mile away, the River Muick joins the severely swollen River Dee that sweeps through Balmoral.
Palace sources will not go into further detail but say that Charles is more focused on those who have sustained severe damage to their homes across the country.
“His Royal Highness is being kept personally updated about flooding across the whole of the country and is looking at ways in which he can help both now and in the future,” a spokeswoman at Clarence House tells PEOPLE.
The gardens at Birkhall were the pride of Charles’s late grandmother the Queen Mother, who died at age 101 in 2002. The home, always a favorite of the prince, was given to him by his mother, Queen Elizabeth. Keen horticulturalist Charles, 67, has been instrumental in building on the Queen Mum’s legacy.
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“It is such a special place, particularly because it was made by my grandmother,” he told Country Life in 2013. “It is a childhood garden, and all I ve done, really, is enhance it a bit.”
Among the garden’s charming features: a terrace that serves as a sun-trap and a heather-thatched “Wendy” playhouse built for the then-Princess Elizabeth and her late sister, Margaret Rose.
Last week, Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (though the couple is known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland) visited the nearby village of Ballater, where some storm-hit residents have been temporarily housed at an army barracks.
The future king is being kept informed of the flood damage across Britain, and he has been using his contacts to help those in need in Scotland and further south.
Charles’s Countryside Fund has been helping support local communities and has launched two appeals. The first, in December, sent out $60,000 from its emergency fund to support rural communities, farmers and businesses affected by the severe weather conditions.
Aid has also come from the Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG), which Charles set up five years ago to help businesses and communities across the U.K. in case of emergencies such as flooding, cyber-attacks and civil unrest.