The Prince of Wales became the 24th Duke of Cornwall on The Queen’s accession to the throne, in 1952. When he was 21, in 1969, he became entitled to the full income of the Duchy and took over its management.
The current Duke chooses to use a substantial proportion of his income from the Duchy to meet the cost of his public and charitable work. Last year The Duke helped to raise over £100 million for charitable causes. The income from The Duchy funds the public, charitable and private activities of four members of the Royal Family - The Duke and The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Throughout his years of stewardship, The Duke has been actively involved in running the Duchy and his philosophy is to nurture and improve the estate in order to pass it on to the next generation in a stronger condition.
His Royal Highness has said of his long-term approach: “Across all of our estates, and in all of our business operations, I will continue to try to ensure that the Duchy makes a real and lasting contribution to the communities in which we live and work.
”Diversity is perhaps the Duchy’s greatest strength - and its continuation is one of the most important things we can hand on to the next generation.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall care deeply about the land and people of the Duchy and tour Devon and Cornwall frequently, providing support to local organisations, businesses and communities.
Overall, The Duke believes in a long-term stewardship approach and has proved that environmental and agricultural best practice are compatible with a sound financial return.
Some changes The Duke has implemented include:
Twenty years ago, The Duke converted the Duchy Home Farm to a completely organic farming system. The farm is now a showcase of the organic movement.
His Royal Highness has also put into practice the architectural principles he espoused in his book A Vision of Britain at Poundbury, the urban extension of Dorchester built on Duchy land.
The Duke’s interest in the preservation of heritage buildings and local buildings has been evident in many of the conservation projects undertaken within the Duchy such as Harewood End.
The sustainable management of Duchy woodlands has long been recognised by the Forestry Stewardship Council, an international body that sets global standards for the sustainable management of woodlands and forests.
The Duke cares deeply about farmers in the south west. For example, The Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund donated £100,000 to farmers specifically in the South West after the devastation of Foot and Mouth disease.
Among the 360 organisations The Duke is affiliated with, as Patron or President, are the Duchy Health Charity, Cornish Club 1768, Cornwall Crafts Association, Cornwall Garden Society, Cornwall Heritage Trust, Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.