There is a good article in the telegraph today about Williams work with the Duchy. It’s behind a pay wall but I read parts of it on twitter.
Love the pub visit. Heads Together had great pics and snippets.
Prince William on making his mark on father’s Duchy of Cornwall legacy: ‘I’ll never know as much as he does, but I’ll try my best’
by: Hannah Furness
A royal visit is a curious thing. Jittering excitement, weeks of preparation, and a last-minute panic about how exactly to pronounce “ma’am” are par for the course, while a wise man once observed the Queen may well believe the world smells of fresh paint.
As Prince William arrives in Newton St Loe, Somerset, on a picturesque summer’s day, the atmosphere is a little different. Not because staff aren’t excited, of course, but because his presence in the Duchy of Cornwall is no longer a remarkable novelty.
Quietly, over the last year or so, the Duke of Cambridge has become a feature of Duchy life, as father and son enter a period of gradual transition which has seen them work closer than ever before. After 50 years at the helm of the Duchy, Prince Charles has left a legacy of a business worth nearly £1bn, with his own passion of farming at the heart of it. The Duke, as he puts it, must now find his own way, taking the best of his father’s expertise and taking it on for a new generation.
If he is conscious of the countless tenants relying on the Duchy’s success - not to mention the small matter of one day being Prince of Wales and then King - Prince William wears it remarkably lightly.
Joined by the Daily Telegraph for a day of Duchy work, he issues warm greetings and self-depricating jokes to staff old and new, moving seamlessly into a cheery “jambo!” for Kenyan charity workers joining them briefly via Skype. Under sunny skies, it is not hard to see why his father is so fond of his rural estate, with its whitewashed cottages, wildflower gardens and rolling countryside as far as the eye can see, and why William too has fallen for its charms.
For Prince William, the day is one of an increasing number spent on Duchy duties: listening to local farmers, liaising with senior staff on the latest developments and hearing how they hope to navigate the 21st century challenges they will face under his watch in years to come.
Off camera, William is refreshingly honest about his limitations compared with his father’s decades of experience, and the farmers who have been in the business their whole life.
“I know a tiny amount,” he says candidly of farming. “I’ve got the interest and the passion. The countryside is deep in my heart.
“I want to learn and know more about farming, but the countryside and the way of life and the best people in the countryside is what I grew up with. I’m not a London boy.
“My father knows so much about farming. He’s in that sector and knows it so well. My interest isn’t really appearing yet, but it will do in the future.”
Of how he has learned from the practical estate management of his grandfather Prince Philip, and the more romantic organic ideals of Prince Charles, he said: “My grandfather has done it one way, my father has done it another way and I’ll probably do a little bit of both.
”That’s not to say he won’t bring ideas of his own. His charity work on homelessness, mental health and the military will no doubt lead to new ideas about what the Duchy can do, particularly in urban areas where it owns swathes of land.
In the meantime, he has been to Sussex to learn about rewilding, to France to see how land left alone has become a haven for wildlife, and to Cumbria where hill farmers are deeply concerned about the uncertainty of Brexit.
While his father is steeped in the forensic detail of his key passions, William prefers to talk: to experts, to his patronages, to any member of the public he comes across. His day-to-day life sees him read and reply to two boxes of paperwork a day, mixing his father’s ink letters with texts, emails and calls to staff across the way at Kensington Palace.
The school run is sacred, palace insiders say, with William and Kate each dropping off or picking up Prince George and Princess Charlotte from Thomas’s school every day. He has frequent meetings with the Queen and now speaks to his father regularly about work, making them “the closest they’ve ever been in that sense” said a source.
While Prince Charles had, as he puts it, a “baptism of fire” in inheriting the Duchy, William has been able to ease towards the next major transition of his adult life with his father, grandmother and grandfather on hand.
Those around him have noticed a deliberate period of “stepping up”, with words like “statesmanlike” appearing in coverage of his work and a clear plan of action about the projects he wants to make a lifelong cause. If it seems like a never ending to-do list, from the art of international diplomacy to figuring out what people all over Britain want from the monarchy, well, it is.
But while other parts of the Royal Family hit the headlines, the Cambridges may be the firm hands at the tiller. The Duke’s relationship with his father, the next king, will become a new axis which will come to define the monarchy for the coming generations.
He doesn’t yet enjoy the limelight, instinctively shying away from being the star of any public engagement, but has reconciled himself to using his platform to make public statements about the things that matter to him. Closer to home, the influence of the Duchess is clear as the steady, supportive backbone to the family life with three boisterous children he has always craved.
Next week’s tour to Pakistan will be another step yet: a massive diplomatic test under tight security to cement Britain’s relationship with the country and learn about world affairs on the ground.
“It’s not a case of learning the ropes, it’s mastering them,” a source said. “This is about putting into practice what he’s learnt now he’s in his second year as a full time working member of the royal family.
"His work on the environment, the emergency services and supporting those who serve as well as the most vulnerable in society has been strong evidence of that.”
For now, he is happy to give his father his dues.
“He really knows his stuff,” William says. “I’ll never know as much as he does, but I’ll try my best.”
For Prince Charles, who wants nothing more than to see the Duchy in safe hands, that will be quite enough. .