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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.
Inside the Duchy also looks at the lives of the estate’s farmers and tenants. The 135-acre tract, which spans 23 English counties, generates more than £21 million per year in profit (nearly R400 million), money that Charles uses to fund his official duties and charity work as well as the work of his children.
In the documentary, the Prince also reveals he was nearly reduced to tears when Prince William praised his hard work on the Duchy and says he was “deeply touched and moved” when he heard his eldest son say he had been thinking about how to maintain the estate when he was no longer around.
“It practically reduced me to tears because I suddenly thought just hearing that from him has made the last 50 years worthwhile. Confronting your own mortality is a very good thing if I may say so – it’s quite good for the soul.”
William also describes his passion for farming and is learning as much as he can on the Queen’s estate at Sandringham: “I’ve started to think about how I will inherit the Duchy one day and what I do with it.”
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.
“It’s not just a business. It encompasses everything he’s passionate about,” says Charles’s wife Camilla. “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 looked after and cared for.”