William makes first visit to Duchy as Duke of Cornwall

William makes first visit to Duchy as Duke of Cornwall

The Duke of Cornwall has made his first official visit to the county since taking on his new role – meeting staff, volunteers and young people involved in a community environmental project.

William visited the Newquay Orchard, which offers environmental education, employability training and community events.

The project was founded eight years ago by Luke Berkeley in the north Cornish town on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

The orchard currently works with over 120 volunteers each week, who take stewardship of the land, and as well as growing a range of fruit vegetables there is a community cafe that sells much of the produce.

William was shown around the site by Mr Berkeley and met staff, volunteers, children and young people during an hour-long visit.

He was taken on a tour of the workshops, shown around ‘An Lowarth’ – Cornish for ‘garden’ – and walked through polytunnels containing produce.

The Duke also met staff working in the educational area where people are trained in cooking, gardening and other practical skills.

Duke of Cornwall
William met a number of staff and volunteers (Hugh Hastings/PA)

Mr Berkeley, who is chief executive of the orchard, said he was “really, really proud” William had chosen the project his first official engagement in Cornwall in his new role.

“We had a visit from The King a couple of months ago and we feel enormously privileged to be thought of in this way,” Mr 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 was very interested in hearing about the work we do and is passionate about young people, the environment and mental health.”

He added: “It really was a lovely visit and William spent the time to speak with people who have supported the project and those that engage with the work we do here.

The Duke of Cornwall
Newquay Orchard provides environmental education, employability training and community events (Hugh Hastings/PA)

“The reaction he got from people – the enjoyment and the smiles – will stay with me for a long time.”

While in Cornwall, the Duke visited Duchy offices to meet staff as he takes forward the stewardship of the estate.

William became the heir apparent and became known as the Prince of Wales, after the death of his grandmother and the accession of his father, Charles, to become the King.

William also inherited the title Duke of Cornwall and is now the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.

Kate is now known as the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.