Royal Tours at Brogdale


We’re commemorating the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla by celebrating rare and heritage fruit with royal connections.

Throughout the Coronation Weekend, Orchard Passholders will be able to enjoy guided tours of the Collections with a royal touch!

Brogdale Collection’s Royal Tour of the Defra National Fruit Collections will  highlight some of the varieties which may (or may not) appertain to the occasion.

A small Union Jack will mark the location of each tree.

Below is a list of some of the fabulous fruit trees visitors can enjoy as part of the Royal Tour.  Perfect timing to see some stunning blossom too.

Click here for more information on how to buy an Orchard Pass.

Fruit trees with a royal touch

KING GEORGE V               ROW 12/51             UK              LATE DESSERT

Raised in 1898 by Lady Thorneycroft, Isle of Wight. A Cox`s O.P. X.

King George V is King Charles 111 maternal great-grandfather

Blanche Thorneycroft was the daughter of Sir John Thorneycroft founder of the shipbuilding and engineering business. Blanche was born in 1873 and became an outstanding mathematician overseeing marine test-tanks sited on the family estate at Bembridge. The Coronation of George V was in 1911 and subsequently the era saw significant developments including the First World War.

QUEEN                                  ROW 22/75                      UK                   MID CULINARY

Raised in1858 at Billericay, Essex by a Mr Bull and exhibited in 1880 by nurseryman William Saltmarsh .Queen Victoria was of course on the throne of England and maybe this fruit refers to her monarchy. However if we indulge in a different line of thought, we find our new Queen Camilla contributes a considerable link to the Collections at Brogdale and its heritage. Philip Morton Shand was born in the reign of Queen Victoria in 1888 in Kensington, London. He is the paternal grandfather of Camilla. He was a linguist, architectural writer, wine and food critic with a deep passion for English apples and their heritage. He raised significant public awareness of the need to conserve old cultivars and created a considerable army of contacts who supplied a wealth of old cultivars for identification. This was primarily achieved by Mr Harry Lock, semi-retired from Long Ashton, the famous cider research HQ at Bristol. Graft wood would be obtained from promising varieties and sent to Wisley where the fruit trials and Collections were located prior to their establishment at Brogdale in the 1950`s under the direction of Jock Potter. Morton Shand is hugely credited as the initial source of much material from the near continent and without doubt therefore, a considerable portion of Brogdale`s apple history can be associated with the new Queen of England, as the grand-daughter of Philip Morton Shand !

Queen Variety

SANDRINGHAM           ROW 21/53                       LATE DESSERT                 UK

Raised by Mr Perry HG at the Estate, and exhibited in 1883, and believed to be a seedling of Winter Pearmain. The Estate has been linked to the British monarchy since  1862 and built for King Edward V11 and Queen Alexandra. The Jacobean  style premise swith extensive gardens and parkland are open to the public. It houses treasures from the Victorian era to the present day. Details can be accessed on-line.

QUEEN CAROLINE      ROW 22/77                       MID CULINARY                  UK

Raised at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leics. The apple first fruited in 1820. Princess Caroline was a member of the British Royal family; the fourth child and third daughter of George 11. Born in Hanover, Germany and moving to Britain in 1714 when her grandfather succeeded to the throne as George 1.Caroline of Brunswick (May 1795-Aug 1821 ) was Princess of Wales from 1795-1820 and Queen of the United Kingdom and Hanover from Jan 1820 until her death in 1821. She was the estranged wife of King George 1V.

QUEEN ALEXANDRA     ROW 26/71                     LATE CULINARY              UK

This fruit was raised in Malvern, Worcs; and received in 1919 from the prominent HG William Crump at Madresfield Court and exhibited in 1902. Alexandra of Denmark was Queen of the United Kingdom and the Dominions, and Empress of India from Jan 1901- May 1910 & wife of King-Emperor Edward V11. Albert Edward was the son and heir of Queen Victoria and was married to Alexandra in 1863. It was he, as Albert, who granted Royal Charter to the Horticultural Society of London and its Chiswick Garden in 1861. This then became the RHS and subsequently the fore-runner of the Commercial Trials and Collections at Wisley in 1922, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fish and Food (MAAF). This is the origin of today`s National Fruit Collections at Brogdale. The Fruit Trials sadly closed in 1989/90 as a result of government cutbacks within the Ministry of Agriculture. William Crump was an examiner at the RHS and was one of seven horticulturists to receive the  prestigious Victorian Medal of Honour in 1887 from Queen Victoria at her Golden Jubilee. His name remains prominent for the `William Crump` cultivar, a late dessert cross between Cox`s Orange Pippin x Worcester Pearmain (Row 23/61 in the NFC).

 Alexandra was Princess of Wales from 1863-1901. On the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 Albert Edward became Edward V11. He died in 1910 and their son George V ascended the throne. Alexandra died in 1925 at Sandringham.

ROYAL JUBILEE                     ROW 23/109                  MID CULINARY                UK

Raised in Hounslow , Middx by  John Graham in 1888 and introduced by the prominent nurseryman George Bunyard in 1893 in Queen Victoria`s Jubilee year. The fruit  was also popular in Germany ( known as `Graham`) in colder regions and well received for its cooking qualities. George Bunyard was Master of The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers in 1906 and was a prolific writer of horticultural books and articles. His business was in Maidstone, Kent. He was responsible for the inclusion of cherries in the developing Fruit Collections and for their introduction into the Kent Farm Institute at Borden ,Sittingbourne in the 1930`s, prior to their eventual propagation at Brogdale.

ROYAL GALA    ROW 63/11 also mutations in ROWS 62 and 63   LATE DESSERT

Gala was raised in 1934 by James Hutton Kidd; a cross between Kidds Orange Red x Golden Delicious. On 10th Feb 1963 the Royal Yacht `Britannia` sailed into Hawkes Bay NZ anchoring at Napier. On board were HM Queen Elizabeth 11 and the Duke of Edinburgh who were making their second visit to the country, following on from ten years previously after the Coronation. The Royal party visited an apple packhouse on the 50 acre farm of the Wake family. The Queen watched apple grading, and saw wooden  box making facilities . At Marineland, Napier she was presented with a basket of apples which were Gala. Further samples were provided in 1969 of the redder sport which had been grafted and propagated by Bill ten Hore at Matamata. The red sport was named Royal Gala because of the Queen`s delight of the Gala fruit. Gala is the world`s third most grown apple variety and has now outstripped Cox`s Orange Pippin in UK 

CORONATION                 ROW34/7                MID DESSERT                          UK

This handsome ,exhibition apple was raised at Buxted Park, Sussex and introduced by Mr Pyne of Topsham, Devon being recorded in 1902 and celebrated  in recognition of the Coronation of Edward V11 and Alexandra on 9th Aug 1902 at Westminster Abbey (see `Upton Pyne ` raised by George Pyne of Denver nursery, Topsham, which was in production up to 1939. ROW 31/35)   

PRINCE CHARLES                ROW 28/19                    MID DESSERT                      UK

Raised at Burbage , Leicester in the early 1940`s by Herbert Robinson of Victoria Nurseries. This cultivar is complex with an attractive skin colour and quality of taste. The parentage is Lord Lambourne  x  Cox`s Orange Pippin and the parentage of Lambourne is James Grieve x Worcester Pearmain .The only Prince Charles of that era was the Count of Flanders, a member of the Belgian Royal Family. Lord Lambourne was president of the RHS from 1919-1928.

ALKMENE                     ROW32/1.3.5              LATE DESSERT                GERMANY

Raised in the 1930`s at the Institute of Horticulture, Muncheberg-Mark, it is a cross between Geheimrat Dr. Oldenburg x Cox`s Orange Pippin and was introduced in 1962. To find favour in the English market it was renamed EARLY WINDSOR in 1996. It is grown commercially across Europe and has generated several sports. It was given the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS IN 1998 . Further name changes have occurred  and it is known as Sweet Lilibet or Ceval

KING CHARLES PEARMAIN             ROW 34/111          LATE DESSERT              UK         

This accession PRESENTLY remains in the old portion of NFC 2 having been de-accessed from NFC3. It is indistinguishable from RUSHOCK PEARMAIN ROW27/41 . (A personal comment from Alan Rowe suggests `Charles` name may well refer to Charles Taylor who was responsible for raising this cultivar) In any event, Brogdale does still have reference to the King ahead of his Coronation !

PRINCE WILLIAM       BITTER SWEET CIDER   ( location adjacent to Perry Pears)

Liz Copaz and Ray Williams from Long Ashton Research Station, Somerset were responsible for the development of 29 new Bitter Sweet/ Bitter Sharp cider varieties between1985-2003. These varieties are in place at Brogdale under a generalised term ¬` The Girls` the names of which refer to ladies associated with the cider industry.  One assumes (probably erroneously) that Prince William visited this development and subsequently had his name added !






MIKE ROSER –27th April 2023

The National Fruit Collection is one of the largest fruit collections in the world and is located at Brogdale Farm, near Faversham, Kent.

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