Former royal butler shares fond memories of King Charles III at Highgrove House

  • Royal butler Grant Harrold shares a memory of his former boss, the King

King Charles III's former butler has been talking fondly about his employer and about his job, which he described as a dream come true.

Grant Harrold worked for Charles III from 2004 to 2011, when the King was Prince of Wales.

He also looked after William and Kate during his time at Highgrove in Gloucestershire and continues to be based in nearby Tetbury, where he runs an etiquette and butler school.

What does it take to be a butler to the royals?

The 44-year-old said: "It's a bit like a personal assistant. Look at Downton Abbey. Butlers were there to organise dinners, meals, look after the wines, look after the guests.

"It's still what a butler does but butlers also have to turn their hands to everything.

"So, one minute, you might be serving a meal or serving drinks but the next minute you might be running an errand, you might be taking the dogs for a walk.

"There's all sorts of thing you could be asked to do and I went into that job because I liked the idea of helping. I know it sounds strange but helping others and to work for that family was for me a dream come true."

Grant Harrold also got to know the late Queen during his time with the former Prince of Wales.

He said: "You could talk to her. You could have conversations. She did things that would make you laugh. You know she was quite a special lady".

Prince Charles at a hedge-laying event on the Highgrove Estate in December 2021. Credit: PA

What is Charles like?

Grant Harrold says he has a passion for hedge-laying and walking.

He said: "Often I'd be driving between the local town and Highgrove and you would see this gentleman on the side of the road. Just looks like a farmer out for a walk and it would be Prince Charles and that's what he loves doing.

"He loves just going out, enjoying just a walk, as is his hedge-laying which we all know he loves. Obviously he's talked about that and that's his passion.

"And painting. I mean the lithographs. You know his painting's important to him. That's his downtime, his painting, his walking.

"Those are the things that he enjoys and I think he'll still make time for those."

Highgrove House and gardens near Tetbury. Credit: ITV West Country

What about Charles' home at Highgrove House?

Grant believes Highgrove holds a special place in King Charles's heart. The 18th Century home was bought by the Duchy of Cornwall in 1980 and Charles, with the assistance of expert gardeners, transformed the grounds, which are now open to visitors.

The former butler said: "Prince Charles loves Highgrove. I don't see him totally walking away from it.

"I don't know if you're aware but the Prince's Foundation now runs Highgrove, it runs the gardens."

"I think going forward you'll find that Prince William as the head of the Duchy, Prince of Wales, I think he will be the one looking after that side of it, through the Foundation because I think he'll take that on.

"And then Prince Charles will use it as a base. He'll come in. He can still enjoy the garden and everything."

Charles and Camilla arrive at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in his beloved Aston Martin. Credit: PA

What's the feeling in Tetbury?

Grant is based in Tetbury himself and has the finger on the pulse of Highgrove's local town. He says the townspeople are proud of the royal family - and protective.

He said: "Often you'd see them driving through Tetbury in his car, is it the Aston Martin?

"I've been in convoy with him when he drives in that and people suddenly catch a glimpse of him and suddenly almost fall over trying to look at him because they're a bit shocked that there's the Prince of Wales."

The former butler adds: "It's difficult for him though even as Prince of Wales you go into the local town people are going to recognise you all the time now.

"I'm saying that it wouldn't surprise me if you were to go into a shop in town and you happened to bump into a member of the royal family.

"It wouldn't surprise me one iota."