The Canal & River Trust, the charity caring for the 250-year-old canal network in England and Wales, is honoured that His Majesty King Charles III has announced his Patronage following a review of Royal Patronages conducted after His Majesty’s accession to the throne.

As the former Prince of Wales, His Majesty had previously been the Canal & River Trust’s Patron since the charity was founded in 2012.

His Majesty has had a long interest in waterways and even rolled up his sleeves to work as a volunteer, helping to revitalise seven miles of the Montgomery Canal nearly 50 years ago.

Over the years His Majesty has officially visited the canal network several times, from a visit to the National Waterways Museum in 1988 to meeting young volunteers taking part in conservation work on Stoke on Trent’s canals in 2014. Most recently, the Canal & River Trust hosted him on the revitalised Coventry Canal in 2021.

Long dedicated to canal restoration, in 2001 His Majesty officially opened Standedge Visitor Centre following the renovation of the Standedge Tunnel. He visited the Kennet & Avon Canal in 2003 to celebrate its completed restoration, and, in 2018, represented the Canal & River Trust by opening the first phase of the restored Cotswold Canals.

David Orr, chair at Canal & River Trust, said: “We are delighted that His Majesty will retain his Patronage of the Canal & River Trust. As a passionate advocate for British heritage, nature and communities and a long-standing supporter of the nation’s waterways, His Majesty’s support will be welcomed by our supporters as we continue in our mission to Keep Canals Alive.”

For more information on the Canal & River Trust visit: Canal & River Trust (

Image: His Majesty King Charles III taken by Hugo Burnand at Buckingham Palace