How Prince Charles 'stuck to his guns' against 'endless criticism and carping and shouting and screaming'

Prince Charles filmed for his Duchy of Cornwall documentary
Prince Charles filmed for his Duchy of Cornwall documentary Credit: ITV

The Prince of Wales has spoken of how he triumphed over “endless criticism and carping and shouting and screaming” to prove his once-controversial methods of organic farming and town planning can work. 

The Prince, who appears in a two-part ITV documentary about his Duchy of Cornwall to be broadcast later this month, said he was “determined to stick to my guns” even in the face of strident and very public criticism.

Speaking of the success of his organic farming methods and Poundbury, the Dorset village he designed, he said he had “always believed in the long-term” and was proud to do things in a “more sustainable way”. 

The Prince and his elder son will appear together in the television programme, in the first glimpse of a transition period at the Duchy which will one day see the Duke of Cambridge inherit. 

In particular, it details the building of Poundbury, where the Prince hoped to found a community based around traditional styles of architecture rather than "another housing estate".

Poundbury, Dorset Credit: ITV

“Everybody was against it,” he said.  “Having seen what had happened in the past, land had been sold and a developer had come along and built in a way that I felt was no longer appropriate. 

“I wanted to make sure we, that this time we did it in a more sustainable way.

“I was told it was completely uneconomic, so everybody was against it, from the treasury to everybody else. In the end I was determined to stick to my guns. 

“I’ve gone on regardless of the endless criticism and carping and shouting and screaming, because I’ve always believed in the long term.

“I hope I’ll see the end of Poundbury [being built], because I want to be able to potter round on a stick in my dotage saying 'Gosh look at this'."

The Prince of Wales, interviewed at Highgrove Credit: ITV

Of converting to organic farming 35 years ago, he added : “It was an unusual thing to do , so that attracted all sorts of, as you can imagine, attention.”

Speaking of the importance of maintaining “the things that are of timeless value, the Prince said the Duchy is “a family exercise above all”. 

The programme will tell the story of the Prince’s 50 years running the Duchy, and how the Duke of Cambridge is beginning to make his own mark in preparation for the new generation.

“I’ve started to think about how I will inherit the Duchy one day,” Prince William tells tenant farmers. “Well rest assured I’m not going to rock the boat; I’ll do much the same as what my father’s doing.”

He joked: “I’m not so into the architecture that’s the only thing.”

The Duchess of Cornwall said:” It’s not just a business – it encompasses everything he is passionate about.

Prince Charles at Highgrove with Diana, Prince Harry and Prince William, who will one day inherit his lands  Credit: Tim Graham

“It’s generations of families who I think feel sort of looked after and cared for, and I think he minds desperately about that.”

The Duchy of Cornwall is a private portfolio of land, financial investments and property covering more than 130,000 acres across 23 counties.

Established by Edward III to provide a private income for his son and heir, it today funds the Prince of Wales, his sons and their young families as well as generating income for his charity work. 

The first part of the documentary will air on ITV at 9pm on Thursday, October 24.