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Duchy of Cornwall

About the Duchy of Cornwall

The Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate which funds the public, charitable and private activities of The Prince of Wales and his family.

The Duchy consists of 53,408 hectares of land in 23 counties, mostly in the South West of England. The Duchy estate was created in 1337 by Edward III for his son and heir, Prince Edward, and its primary function was to provide him and future Princes of Wales with an income from its assets.

A charter ruled that each future Duke of Cornwall would be the eldest surviving son of the Monarch and the heir to the throne.

The current Duke of Cornwall, HRH The Prince of Wales, is actively involved in running the Duchy and his philosophy is to improve the estate and pass it on to future Dukes in a stronger and better condition.

His Royal Highness has said of his long-term approach: “Across all our estates, and in all of our business operations, I will continue to try and ensure that the Duchy makes a real and lasting contribution to the communities in which we live and work.

“Diversity is perhaps the Duchy’s greatest strength – and its continuation is one of the most important things we can hand on to the next generation."

Quick facts:

  • The Prince of Wales became the 24th Duke of Cornwall on The Queen’s accession to The Throne, in 1952. When he was 21, in 1969, he became entitled to the full income of the Duchy and took over its management.

  • The income from the Duchy funds the public, charitable and private activities of five members of the Royal Family – The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

  • The Duke of Cornwall chooses to use a substantial proportion of his income from the Duchy to meet the cost of his public and charity work. Last year, he helped to raise more than £100 million for charitable causes.

  • The Prince has helped to increase the Duchy's capital value – to which he has no access – by 30 per cent in the last six years.

  • The Duchy now has 3500 individual lettings, including arable and livestock farms, commercial units and residential properties.  It runs its own nursery in Lostwithiel which sells more than 4000 varieties of plants and the Duchy also rents out holiday cottages in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

  • Conservation is particularly important to The Duke of Cornwall and the Duchy encourages its farming tenants to pursue practical conservation measures alongside commercial farming. The estate invests considerably in environmental projects.

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