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King Charles III, City Maker

A passionate critic of architecture, the former Prince of Wales has strong opinions about the built environment — and he’s applied them to some real-world communities in the UK.

Prince Charles surveys plans for Poundbury, an experimental community he helped design, with planner Léon Krier (left) and developer Andrew Hamilton in 1999.

Prince Charles surveys plans for Poundbury, an experimental community he helped design, with planner Léon Krier (left) and developer Andrew Hamilton in 1999.

Photographer: Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the former Prince of Wales took the throne on Thursday. At age 73, Charles Philip Arthur George has already earned his own royal superlative: He’s the oldest person to accede to the crown in British history. He assumes the mantle with no small degree of scrutiny over his investiture.

One subset of subjects may be following King Charles III particularly closely: residents of the village of Poundbury, an experimental planned community of 3,500 in Dorset, along England’s southern coast, whose fate Charles has been shaping for decades.