Transforming the Duchy and the future: Part III

25 November 2013 - 11:10pm
Edited by Cindy Stockman - Spotted an Error?


The Duke and Duchess are shown some of the organic produce and products from Duchy farmers.

The Duke and Duchess are shown some of the organic produce and products from Duchy farmers.

As the last part in the Duchy series, we take a look at the Duke of Cornwall’s vision, changes made at the Duchy and the environment.

In 1952, Prince Charles became the 24th Duke of Cornwall upon Her Majesty’s accession to the throne. It was not until 1969, when he turned 21 that Charles was eligible to receive the full income of the Duchy of Cornwall as well as take over the management of the Duchy.

Charles uses a considerable portion of the Duchy income to cover the costs of his charitable and public work. In 2012 over £100 million was raised with help from Charles for his charities. The Duchy income also provides for the costs of the public, private and charitable activities of The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

As custodian of the land, Charles has taken an active role in the day to day running of the Duchy. His philosophy has been from the start to tend to what he has and make it stronger so the next generation has something to build upon.

During the 1980’s, Charles transformed the Duchy Home Farm into an entirely organic farming scheme. The Home Farm is now considered a model for the organic farming and the movement.

“In the mid-1980s, after an intense debate and having faced considerable opposition, I finally managed to convert Duchy Home Farm to organic production methods; to step off the chemical treadmill and put the land into the agricultural equivalent of a detox regime-literally. It was quite a shift to move just over 1,000 acres of the farm into a more sustainable and localised food system. The decision was controversial, and I have to say that back then not many people could see the sense of my plan. But the times have changed,” Prince Charles in his 2010 book, Harmony: A New Way of Looking Back at Our World.

There is also the success of Poundbury when discussing the changes and schemes Charles has successfully implemented. The area is part of the Prince’s Duchy of Cornwall and was “designed for people and not cars and has been created to enhance the social and environmental atmosphere,” Charles referenced in his book, Harmony.


Poundbury, which was planned and designed by Léon Krier, broke new ground in 1993. The whole purpose of the creation of the area was to build a fully sustainable town that one may access via foot rather than an automobile. Currently, 2,000 people reside in Poundbury. The town employs around 1,600 people and 140 businesses call the town home. By 2025, Poundbury is slated for completion. It is expected to provide housing for 5,000 people as well as employment for approximately 2,000 individuals.

The environmental running of Duchy woodlands has long been recognised by the Forestry Stewardship Council. The FSC is a global organisation that establishes worldwide guidelines for the sustainable managing of forests and woodlands.

Timber gathered from the forests is offered in several markets or is sourced to broader Duchy area. Duchy Originals uses the wood from these surrounding areas in their furniture and tools. Wood-chips are also utilised for smoking some of the consumable offerings.

It cannot be reiterated enough that Charles has certainly shown strong and unyielding support for environmental issues for over 40 years now. Ensuring a sustainable environment and the practice of conservation amongst the Duchy’s tenants is at the core of the Prince’s vision for the future.

As Charles looks ahead to the future of the Duchy and his son William’s place as the future Duke of Cornwall commented in Harmony: “It is vital that we pass on ideas about sustainable agriculture to younger generations. I am delighted Prince William has an interest in farming.”

From Williams involvement in the past few years attending meetings, gatherings and learning about the day to day operation of The Duchy, one may confidently say it will passed onto good hands Your Highness.

photo credit: bill braasch via photopin cc

To receive the latest Royal Central posts straight to your email inbox, enter your email address below and press subscribe.

Join 452 other subscribers