The Duchess of Cornwall visited Jamie’s Farm, a Box charity which supports vulnerable children from urban backgrounds, on Tuesday.

Camilla toured the grounds of the farm, at Hill House Farm, Ditteridge, which offers children aged between eight and 18 a chance to swap inner city life for a rural environment.

Former teacher Jamie Feilden, 31, who set-up the charity in 2008, was delighted to welcome royalty to the farm.

Mr Feilden, who grew-up near Bradford on Avon, said: "When I first set-up Jamie’s Farm I never had any idea it would take off as well as it has and to have the Duchess visit, and stay a lot longer than expected, was such a huge compliment to me and our great team who all work so hard.

"I was so excited about having her come to visit us and she was just fantastic.

"She was really interested in speaking to the children and learning about their experiences here.

"She was also such a good sport and wasn’t afraid to meet the animals we have on the farm."

During her visit the Duchess was shown the 14th century farmhouse and converted barn children use during their stays, which typically last about a week.

She said: "It is a pleasure to visit the farm and see some of the brilliant work you and your team do here."

The Duchess also got up close to some of the farm’s animals which include pigs, sheep and horses.

Ahmed, 15, from Burlington Danes Academy, London, who handled horse Cracker, said: "The Duchess was really nice and said that she’d arrange riding lessons for me in Brixton which was really unexpected."

Children are referred to Jamie’s Farm by schools to improve their self-esteem and confidence in a family environment through farming and therapy.

Former St Laurence School student Mr Feilden works closely at the farm with his mother, Tish Feilden, a trained psychotherapist, whose farm originally housed the charity before it moved to Hill House Farm, two years ago.

She said: "I really hope today will enable us to spread our net further and allow more children to benefit from Jamie’s Farm.

"In my 30 years in teaching I’ve never been involved with a project like this where you see such a great transformation in the children."

A year after visiting Jamie’s Farm, 82 per cent of children are involved in fewer behavioural incidents and 68 per cent are no longer at risk of exclusion.