PRINCE CHARLES is to buy his first home in Wales, it was confirmed today.
Aides at Clarence House have revealed to the Western Mail that the Prince has exchanged contracts on a 192-acre estate in West Wales.
The three-bedroom farmhouse at Llwynywormwood, Myddfai, near Llandovery, will be used by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during their visits to the nation and, surprisingly, may even be let out to holidaymakers in their absence.
Today's announcement is expected to bolster the Prince's Welsh credentials and also provide a tourism and jobs boost to the Carmarthenshire and West Wales economy when the sale is completed in March 2007.
The purchase is said to be the result of the Prince's long-standing desire to buy a home in Wales. The price has not been revealed but a valuer estimated it at between £800,000 and £1.2m.
A Clarence House spokeswoman said, "The property will be used regularly by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall when they are in Wales. The Duchy [of Cornwall] will be applying for planning permission to enable the property to be used as occasional holiday lets when the Prince and the Duchess are not there.
"His Royal Highness, as Prince of Wales, has for some time been keen for the Duchy to purchase a property in Wales."
The farm, known as "Home Farm" stands at the heart of the historic estate and is a relatively modest three-bedroom period house by royal standards.
But the whole estate comprises about 192 acres of land, 150 acres of which is grazing and parkland and about 40 acres of woodland.
The spokeswoman added, "The picturesque grounds include a walled garden, and the remains of a lake, within an 18th century former parkland, all of which require further restoration on top of the good work already having been done by the current owners.
"There is also some conversion work to be done to the property, subject to planning permission, including extending the existing house to provide more catering facilities and additional accommodation. The Duchy hopes to take advantage of local expertise when renovating the property, and it is also hoped that renovation work on the property could be used as an opportunity to train young people."
Current owners John and Patricia Hegarty are noted for having pioneered organic techniques in the area for the past 20 years while Mr Hegarty is known for his conservation work in his role as a director of the Aberglasney Restoration Trust, which helped transform the fortunes of one of Wales' grandest gardens.
'It's hoped it will bring tourists to the area and stimulate the local economy' - page 2
A foothold in every part of the kingdom - page 3
Home to tragedy, extravagance and acrimony - page 4
Charles's official residences - page 5