Prince Charles’s passion for the countryside is well known. And now the future king has been described as a “powerful voice” for the farming community in a new documentary about the heir and his estate. The program Prince Charles: Inside the Duchy of Cornwall also features the prince voicing his concerns over climate change, saying that he hopes its effects won’t “completely destroy” efforts to preserve the countryside.
The two-part ITV documentary follows the Prince of Wales as he makes visits to Duchy land and highlights the lives of its farmers and tenants. The 135-acre estate which spans 23 English counties exists to provide an income for the heir to the throne. It currently generates more than £21 million per year in profit, money that Charles uses to fund his official duties and charity work as well as the work of his children.
The prince is well-known to the Duchy tenants across generations. Farmer of 32 years Mervyn Keeling told Prince William about Charles’s efforts for the farming community: “He’s definitely a voice first, and he’s a powerful voice, and he’s done a very good job.”
Prince Charles’ endeavors to increase Duchy woodland are also highlighted in the program, with some 200,000 trees planted. “I love planting trees and trying to improve and enhance the environment to restore lost habitats and all these things,” the prince says. But he adds, “I just pray that climate change and all the horrors we are facing now if we don’t do something about it, won’t completely destroy all this effort.”
Charles inherited the Duchy when he was 21 and, as the longest-serving heir to the British throne, has now been at its helm for more than 50 years. During that time, he has used his passion for nature and the environment to inform a philosophy for Duchy land. He is also now preparing son William for the day he will inherit the estate when Charles becomes king.
“It’s not just a business. It encompasses everything he’s passionate about,” Charles’ wife Camilla told documentary makers. “It’s the environment, it’s sustainability, it’s looking after the land for small rural communities he minds a great deal about. I think it’s generations of families who I think feel sort of looked after and cared for.”
For his part, Charles sums it up by saying, “The commercial side of commercial property is, provides half the revenue. The rural side is always less productive, you get a far lower return, so obviously others will say, well you should sell the whole, all the rural. But I wouldn’t dream of that, because the rural areas consist of communities of people, and that’s what I feel is the vital part of this long term investment.”
Prince Charles: Inside the Duchy of Cornwall, premieres on Thursday 24th October, 9 p.m. on ITV. At this point, it's unclear if or when the documentary will air the the U.S.
You Might Also Like