Principality of Cornwall explained

When King Charles III ascends the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, his son Prince William will take over Charles’s previous title of Duke of Cornwall, while retaining his title of Duke of Cambridge.

Along with William’s new title is the Principality of Cornwall, the nearly 700-year-old, $1.5 billion mansion of the Royal Family.

Origins of the Principality of Cornwall tries to provide money for the heir to the throne as a means of independence. The estate continued to report high revenue streams, much of which was controversial under then-Prince Charles’s direction. With Prince William currently serving as Duke, the title is more than just property.


The Principality of Cornwall’s private estate dates back to 1337 when King Edward III established it as a way to provide independence for his heir, Prince Edward. According to the Duchy of Cornwall website, the charter has since been enacted, with the estate going to Monarch’s surviving eldest son and subsequent heir to the throne.

Contrary to its name, the estate spans 20 counties across England and Wales, with only 13% of the land located in Cornwall. Combined, the properties cover 52,450 hectares of land including fully furnished farms, commercial and residential properties.

Stephen Brooke, professor of British political history at York University in Toronto, explains: “It was no small thing and it generated a lot of money. In a phone interview with on Thursday, Brooke said that stocks like the Principality of Cornwall are what make up the foundation of wealth to the throne.

“For many years, the Queen was the richest woman in the world because of these stocks and I’m not sure people are really talking about that; It’s not just a symbol but the Crown has a lot of money,” he said.


While Charles pays voluntary income tax on the estate, the Principality of Cornwall is not subject to corporate tax as it is considered Crown property. According to the property’s annual financial statements from 2022, Charles earned £21 million (US$31.8 million) at the end of the financial year.

In 1990, Charles founded the organic food company Duchy Originals, now known as Waitrose Duchy Organic, which since 2010 has partnered with the British supermarket group Waitrose. According to the Prince of Wales website, the company’s profits have been channeled to charities and operate separately from the Principality of Cornwall.

Brooke says the Royals’ investments show their drive for financial growth. “

“Modernization of the monarchy also seems to include much more modern approaches to this private wealth. It’s not like they’re just weird landowners, it’s a modern corporation,” he said.


Brooke said that with the Queen’s departure, all eyes worldwide are on the future of the Monarchy, as this new era will open the door to discussion about how the modern monarchy will continue. how it develops.

“I think a challenge for Prince William, if he accepts it, is to think about ‘is this (the Principality of Cornwall) what a modern monarch should have’?” he say.

Brooke said that Prince William, along with other members of the Royal Family, could face close scrutiny over their inheritance and new titles because of their prominent status; unlike the Queen, who has shied away from any connection with being a celebrity.

“I think Queen Elizabeth took the British monarchy so seriously, largely because of her personality. She’s someone who doesn’t attract the limelight, always being very charming in an unusual yet very ordinary way,” he said. “I’m not sure King Charles and the others have the same gift.”

Ultimately, the relationship with the monarch to those in the Commonwealth remains strong enough that even those who may be aware of the Royal’s wealth lines may not be interested enough to dispute it.

“I guess he (Prince William) won’t question this too much not out of greed, but simply because he won’t have to; There has been some criticism, but it hasn’t become a mainstream issue, so I think the royal family will probably be able to continue this tradition.”

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