The Prince of Wales’s annual income from the Duchy of Cornwall has risen by nearly 3% to £22.2 million, accounts show.
However, it is expected to fall “by a significant amount” next year due to the coronavirus pandemic,
As heir to the throne, Prince Charles is entitled to the surplus generated by the Duchy’s vast portfolio of land, buildings and financial investments.
In 2019-20, the prince’s annual private income from the hereditary estate rose by £617,000 – 2.9% – from £21,627,000 in 2018-19 to £22,244,000.
In the Duchy’s annual report published on Thursday, Alastair Martin, the secretary and keeper of the records, predicted a drop income for Charles next year.
“The lockdown resulting from Covid-19 was only in place for one week of the financial year that this report covers,” he said.
“There is therefore very limited financial impact on these results.
“As to 2020-21, it is too early in the new financial year to be able to say with any confidence what the impact on our financial performance will be, but, despite having a particularly well-diversified asset base, we fully expect the revenue surplus to be down by a significant amount, in large part due to our trading enterprises being closed.”
He added: “We have not availed ourselves of the various government pandemic support schemes but have continued to pay all staff.”
What is the Duchy of Cornwall?
The Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate established by Edward III in 1337 to provide independence to his son and heir, Prince Edward.
A charter ruled that each future Duke of Cornwall would be the eldest surviving son of the Monarch and heir to the throne. The current Duke of Cornwall, HRH The Prince of Wales, is the longest serving Duke in history.
The revenue from his estate is used to fund the public, private and charitable activities of The Duke and his children.
The Duchy’s estate extends beyond the geographical boundaries of Cornwall – covering 52,789 hectares of land across 21 counties, mostly in the South West of England.
It comprises arable and livestock farms, residential and commercial properties, as well as forests, rivers, quarries, and coastline. Under the guidance of the current Duke of Cornwall, it is the Duchy’s responsibility to manage this estate in a way that is sustainable, financially viable and of meaningful value to the local community.
Each year the Prince earns an estimated £20 million from the Duchy, mainly coming from residential and commercial property rents on the land he owns. This income is in addition to Sovereign Grant money his households receive for the prince’s official activities.
In the financial year 2018-19, Duchy land and its assets were worth over £1billion.
Although Prince Charles is entitled to the annual income of the Duchy, he is not allowed to sell its assets for personal gain, meaning that all property transactions with a value of £500,000 or more must be approved by the Treasury.