The Duchy estate was created by Edward III in 1337 for his son and heir, Prince Edward. According to an ancient charter, the Duke of Cornwall is the eldest surviving son of the monarch and heir to the throne. Today, the Duchy funds the public, charitable and private activities of each Prince of Wales and his family.
The current Duke of Cornwall, HRH The Prince of Wales, is actively involved in running the Duchy. His philosophy is to improve the estate and pass it on to future generations in a stronger and better condition. The Duke chooses to use a large proportion of the income from the Duchy to meet the cost of his public and charitable work. The estate also funds the public, charitable and private activities of The Duchess of Cornwall and Princes William and Harry.
The Duchy of Cornwall’s agricultural estate encompasses extensive woodlands and arable and livestock farms, including some smallholdings.
Where possible, the Duchy converts its redundant farm buildings to alternative uses, including holiday cottages or workplaces, to encourage small businesses within the countryside and support rural communities.
Conservation is particularly important and the Duchy encourages its farming tenants to pursue practical conservation measures alongside commercial farming. The estate invests considerably in environmental projects, and the Duke of Cornwall has made the organic Duchy Home Farm at Highgrove an example for others to follow.