Clearly worried that a 2:1 master’s degree in geography, a three-year career as a helicopter pilot and a great deal of gap year foreign travel might not quite equip him for running the 130,000 acres of land spread across 23 counties that make up the Duchy of Cornwall, Prince William is going back to college.
Almost three centuries after his ancestor George III was nicknamed Farmer George and mocked for his interest in agricultural improvement and his herd of pedigree sheep, William, second in line to the throne and heir to the Duchy, will be heading for Cambridge University next week to become a full-time student of agricultural management.
The course, which does not lead to a formal qualification, is specifically designed to help him with running his estates, but will also take in wider agricultural issues.
“The executive education programme of seminars, lectures and meetings will draw on the strengths of academics across the university,” the spokesman said. “It will start in early January and run until mid-March, and has been designed to help provide the duke with an understanding of contemporary issues affecting agricultural business and rural communities in the United Kingdom.”
The prince, whose mother Diana famously described herself as “thick as a plank” and left school at 16 after failing her O-levels, studied at St Andrews – where he met his future wife, Kate Middleton – from 2001 to 2005, eventually leaving left St Andrews with a 2:1 masters in geography. His father was the first heir to the throne to obtain a university degree, but only managed a 2:2 from Cambridge.
After university he completed 44 weeks of military training at Camberley in Surrey, and was commissioned as an army officer in 2006. He received his RAF wings in 2008, but left the service and his home on Anglesey in September, after completing his tour as Flight Lieutenant Wales, a search and rescue helicopter pilot. He is described by the palace as having “a transitional year” before deciding his next public service role.
Source: Excerpts taken from The Guardian Dec 31, 2013.
The Royal family also owns a herd of Jerseys, read our article “Royal Windsor Jerseys” printed in the 2013 Fall Special Issue here.