Prince William has been immersing himself in a key part of his future – the vast estate that he will one day inherit.
When his father Prince Charles becomes King, William, 37, will become the Duke of Cornwall and be the head of the Duchy of Cornwall — the estate that was set up around 700 years ago by Edward III to provide funds for the heir to the throne.
William gave insight into his philosophy as he prepares to follow in his father’s footsteps, revealing that he will not “rock the boat” and do things much differently. However, he might not be as obsessed with buildings and design as Charles has famously been.
“I’ve started to think about how I will inherit the Duchy one day,” William told farmers in Prince Charles: Inside The Duchy of Cornwall, which airs on ITV later this month. “Well, rest assured I’m not going to rock the boat; I’ll do much the same as what my father’s doing. I’m not so into the architecture — that’s the only thing.”
And why would William — who has a home in the country and has a keen connection with farming — want to change things too much? Under his father’s leadership in the last 50 years, the Duchy has been turned into a multi-million dollar enterprise, providing $27 million a year income to run the Prince of Wales’s office and those of his sons and their wives. It is now a business empire that includes property in London and more than 130,000 acres of land — with 160 miles of British coastline — in 23 counties of England and Wales.
The two-part show on ITV1 takes at the farms, which have 700 tenant farmers, and estates from Bodmin Moor in the southwest of England to Charles’s homes in Wales and at Highgrove (where he is seen laying hedges ) and the prince’s brainchild new town of Poundbury, in Dorset.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, says on the show: “It’s not just a business – it encompasses everything he is passionate about, you know, it’s the environment, it’s sustainability, it’s looking after the land, which I think it’s generations of families who I think feel sort of looked after and cared for, and I think he minds desperately about that.”
Episode one of Prince Charles: Inside The Duchy of Cornwall airs on ITV1 on Thursday, October 24.