When Queen Elizabeth died on September 8, her heir Charles, Prince of Wales, became King Charles III.
But what some longtime Seaside residents and visitors don’t realize is that the town has a royal connection, specifically to King Charles.
Seaside, founded in 1980 by Robert and Daryl Davis and, was considered “a radical proposition,” as it eschewed cars and instead focused on walkable, mixed-use properties. And King Charles, then Prince Charles of Wales, has always been a staunch supporter of the same New Urbanism ideals.
The current King of England founded the village of Poundbury, a New Urbanist enclave that implemented Seaside’s principles. The experimental planned community is on the outskirts of Dorchester and is currently in development.
It’s in the duchy of Cornwall, which is considered his “mini-kingdom,” according to “Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life.” A duchy is a territory traditionally governed by a duke or duchess per The New York Times.
According to Poundbury's website, The Prince of Wales appointed the well-known architect and urban planner, Leon Krier, to work on an overall concept in 1988. Construction work on the first phase commenced in October 1993, with the final section of the development, The North West Quadrant, supposed to be completed by 2025. Krier designed the first house of his career in Seaside, which is known as the Krier House today. Krier Plaza, designed by Dhiru A. Thadani, is also named after the advisor to the King.
King Charles has also spent much of his life focused on preserving historic buildings. He produced the book “A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture” in 1989, which focused on issues that were important to him, including organic farming, climate change and environmental conservation.
He also contributed to Thadani’s book “Reflections on Seaside,” showing his familiarity with the town.
So, the next time you're strolling through Krier Plaza or by the Krier House, you might want to pretend you're across the pond.