Prince Philip is believed to be the first person in the UK to sucessfully grow rare black truffles known as ‘black diamonds’.
The Royal has finally achieved his ambition of growing the delicacy at Sandringham after more than a decade of perseverance.
The gastronomic treats have been harvested from Philip’s organic ‘truffiere’ plantation on the Queen’s estate in Norfolk where he is spending much of his time during his retirement.
The 97-year-old is believed to have been sharing the delicacies, which have a market price of around £600 a kilogramme, with other members of the Royal Family to savour at meal times.
But some of his prized crop is thought to have found its way to the visitor cafe at Sandringham which has been serving a seasonal £7.95 starter of Sandringham game and Norfolk truffle terrine with pickled vegetables.
Philip spent £5,000 on buying special truffle-impregnated trees in 2006 after being told that the alkaline soil at Sandringham was an ideal environment for them.
He had the 300 oak and hazel saplings planted on a one acre plot beside the Royal fruit farm on the estate, which also produces blackberries for Ribena.
It was revealed in 2009 that two Italian hounds, specially trained to sniff out truffles, had failed to find any in the root systems of the trees.
But Philip who started overseeing the estate after marrying the Queen, carried on regardless and his patience has finally been rewarded in recent years.
Adrian Cole, a director of Truffle UK, which supplied the saplings to Sandringham, said: “They have been highly successful.”