Prince William made his first trip to Cornwall in the southwest of England since becoming the Duke of Cornwall on Nov. 24. William took the title after his father, King Charles III, became monarch in September following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. During his trip last week, William met with organizations in Newquay that support the local community.
The Duchy of Cornwall was established by King Edward III in 1337 and provides an income for the heir to the U.K. throne. When King Charles was Duke of Cornwall, he used the income to pay for his royal lifestyle and public work. The estate includes farmland, property, and businesses worth a combined $1.3 billion, notes PEOPLE. In 2021, Charles' income from the Duchy was around $25 million.
By the community, for the community, @NewquayOrchard isn’t just about sustainable – and tasty! – produce, it supports its volunteers and local people with everything from environmental education to employability training, and physical and mental wellbeing. pic.twitter.com/SZOrYmLGRQ— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) November 24, 2022
During his first trip as Duke, William stopped at Newquay Orchard, an urban green space and community project established in 2015, notes BBC News. He also met volunteers at An Lowart (Cornish for 'garden'), where people are taught skills to improve physical and mental health. The community also has a market to sell produce grown on the land.
Luke Berkeley, the chief executive at the orchard, was "really, really proud" that William visited during his first official engagement as Duke of Cornwall. "We had a visit from the King a couple of months ago and we feel enormously privileged to be thought of in this way," Berkeley said. "We have had a lot of support from the Duchy which we are very thankful for. The King has always been very supportive and clearly, without him we would not be here."
William also met with students, who were "very excited" to see the heir to the U.K. throne. "We look after lots of students with different learning needs, maybe different mental health needs, and he had a nice chat with us about what we've been doing," Gemma Lewry, the garden's education officer, told the BBC. "He had a nice chat with [one of our students] who cheekily asked him for a selfie, and he of course obliged."
In October, a source told PEOPLE that William plans to pay close attention to the Duchy of Cornwall after visiting the area several times with his father in recent years. "He is going to very much take an active role in it," the source said. "He is fully immersing himself in it."
William will also fully immerse himself in Boston soon. The new Prince of Wales and his wife, Kate Middleton, will arrive in Massachusetts on Wednesday to present the second annual Earthshot Prize Awards. The Prince and Princess will also attend an event with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and plan to visit the JFK Presidential Library and Museum with Caroline Kennedy, who serves as the U.S. ambassador to Australia, reports WCVB. This will be William and Kate's first trip to the U.S. since 2014.