Prince William 'very much taking an active role in' the Duchy of Cornwall

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Prince William is ‘fully immersing himself’ and ‘very much taking an active role in’ the Duchy of Cornwall, a royal source has claimed.

The new Prince of Wales, 40, now controls the estate and its £345million property portfolio – which includes 128,000 acres of land – after inheriting it from his father, King Charles III.

On Monday, William met with Alastair Martin, the secretary of the estate at Kensington Palace, the court circular, a record of royal duties, revealed.

A royal source told PEOPLE: ‘[William] is going to very much take an active role in it. He is fully immersing himself in it.’

The Duchy, which reportedly had a £21million income last year, is passed to the eldest son of a reigning British monarch. 

Inheriting the Duchy has made the new Prince of Wales the biggest private landowner in Britain, with a £1.2 billion holding across 23 counties, including farms, housing developments, seven castles, woodland, coastlines and commercial property. 

Prince William (pictured with King Charles) is'fully immersing himself' and'very much taking an active role in' the Duchy of Cornwall, a royal source has claimed

 Prince William (pictured with King Charles) is ‘fully immersing himself’ and ‘very much taking an active role in’ the Duchy of Cornwall, a royal source has claimed

The new Prince of Wales (pictured recently), 40, now controls the estate and its £345million property portfolio - which includes 128,000 acres of land - after inheriting it from his father, King Charles III

 The new Prince of Wales (pictured recently), 40, now controls the estate and its £345million property portfolio – which includes 128,000 acres of land – after inheriting it from his father, King Charles III

The Duchy owns most of the 200-plus Scilly Islands and rocks off the Cornish coast, including almost a third of the homes on the five inhabited isles of St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martin’s, St Agnes and Bryher. 

Tourism accounts for more than 85 per cent of the local economy with visitors attracted by the seals, dolphins, puffins and rare flowers. The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust pays the Duchy a rent of a single daffodil a year.

Elsewhere, among the Duchy’s 70,000 acres in Devon is the freehold of Dartmoor prison, whose inmates down the years have included London gangsters Frank ‘The Mad Axeman’ Mitchell and Jack ‘the Hat’ McVitie.

What is the Duchy of Cornwall? 

The Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate established by Edward III in 1337. 

The revenues from the estate are passed to the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall, who historically has chosen to use them to fund his public, charitable and private activities and those of his family. 

The Duchy consists of around 53,000 hectares of land in 23 counties, mostly in the South West of England. 

The principal activity of the Duchy is the sustainable, commercial management of its land and properties. 

Source: duchyofcornwall.org 

The impressive property portfolio also includes the Oval cricket ground in south London.

Although Prince William is new to the role, over the past few years he has been learning about the Duchy in preparation.

He has reportedly visited the estate a number of times and even investigated whether empty homes on the land can house homeless people.

Charles took over management of the Duchy when he was 21.

While it may be a new responsibility for William, he is no stranger to Cornwall, and has grown up visiting the county.

The Duke visited Tresco island with his brother Harry and parents Charles and Diana as a child in June 1989.

A photograph from the break captured a seven-year-old William as he prepared for a bike ride alongside his family, with Diana seen standing behind him in a fuchsia jumper. 

Over the years, he has also made several trips to the Duchy with his father, and Charles has long encouraged William to take an interest in its workings and its portfolio of land, financial investments and property.

The Duke first attended a meeting of the Prince’s Council, which oversees the management of the Duchy, in 2011. 

In 2016, he visited Duchy projects in Cornwall and the Scillies with the Duchess of Cambridge. 

On Monday Prince William held a meeting with the estate's secretary and keeper of records Alastair Martin (Pictured with the then Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, in July this year)

On Monday Prince William held a meeting with the estate’s secretary and keeper of records Alastair Martin (Pictured with the then Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, in July this year)

Prince William may have only just become the Duke of Cornwall - but his connection to the county stretches back many years to his childhood (pictured aged seven, with his father Charles, brother Prince Harry and mother Diana in 1989)

Prince William may have only just become the Duke of Cornwall – but his connection to the county stretches back many years to his childhood (pictured aged seven, with his father Charles, brother Prince Harry and mother Diana in 1989) 

The new Prince of Wales, who is also the Duke of Cambridge and Cornwall, took part in his first Duchy of Cornwall finance committee meeting since he was granted the title last week (pictured, visiting the county for engagements in 2016)

The new Prince of Wales, who is also the Duke of Cambridge and Cornwall, took part in his first Duchy of Cornwall finance committee meeting since he was granted the title last week (pictured, visiting the county for engagements in 2016) 

Images showed the pair boarding a boat to St Martins after visiting the Tresco Abbey Garden.

In November 2017, he received two officials from the Duchy of Cornwall at Kensington Palace. He had a private audience with Alastair Martin, secretary of the Duchy, and Keith Willis, the finance director. 

In 2018, it appeared Prince William’s interest in the Duchy was ramping up.  He went on a private visit to Poundbury, Charles’s model village.

Over the past couple of years William has accompanied his father to Duchy of Cornwall meetings and immersed himself in the estate’s business.

Talking about the success of Charles’s stewardship, he previously said: ‘I’ve started to think about how I will inherit the Duchy one day and what I do with it. I think it’s really important, about the family angle, I really do.’

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