Charles's annual income rises to £22.2 million – but he's warned growth won't last

Rebecca TaylorRoyal Correspondent
Yahoo News UK
Charles runs the duchy to provide an income for his charitable work and his family. (Getty Images)
Charles runs the duchy to provide an income for his charitable work and his family. (Getty Images)

Prince Charles’s income from the Duchy of Cornwall estate rose by 3% in the last year, but is likely to be hit next year by the coronavirus pandemic, according to accounts released on Thursday.

The surplus, which provides Charles’s annual income, rose to £22.2m in 2019-20, up from £21,627,000 in 2018-19.

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But the £617,000 increase comes with a warning not to expect the same again next year, as the estate will be hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Alastair Martin, the Duchy’s Secretary and Keeper of the Records, said: “The lockdown resulting from Covid-19 was only in place for one week of the financial year that this report covers.

“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.”

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The report also reveals some of the charitable donations which were made from the duchy, mostly to charities in Cornwall. Among them was £25,000 to Islands Partnership, a body dedicated to the promotion of the destination of the Isles of Scilly and £12,000 to the Dartmoor Hill Farm Project.

Prince Charles, 71, inherited the Duchy of Cornwall and took over running it in 1969. The duchy has existed since the 1300s and provides an income for the heir to the throne.

Prince Charles at a reception to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his chairmanship of the Duchy of Cornwall Prince's Council. (Getty Images)
Prince Charles at a reception to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his chairmanship of the Duchy of Cornwall Prince's Council. (Getty Images)

Prince William will inherit it when Charles becomes king.

Charles, the Duke of Cornwall, does not have direct access to the capital value of the duchy and pays income tax on the surplus, which he uses to fund his family’s work.

Graham Smith, of the pressure group Republic, said: “The Duchy is public property and this year’s financial report just underlines the need for the Government to take back control of the estate and stop letting Charles keep the surplus.

“Charles’s personal income from the Duchy is twice that of the BBC’s top 25 earners combined and almost as much as the combined income of all the world’s heads of state and government.

“There is simply no justification for this ludicrous amount of money to be thrown at Charles when public services are stretched and local communities are impacted by the coronavirus.

“It’s time the Duchy was rolled back into the Crown Estate and its income served the British people, not one prince.”

Prince Harry and Meghan were thought to receive 95% of their annual income from the duchy, via Charles, and are likely to be receiving help from him in LA too.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex used the money to run their offices.

Read more: Prince William wears face mask to visit those testing coronavirus vaccine

The duchy estate extends across 23 counties and has a net value of £909m. Charles is the longest serving Duke of Cornwall, marking 50 years last year.

Early on in the lockdown, Charles offered his tenants a rent deferral, as they braced for a quiet spring with no tourism allowed.

It came amid some criticism from tenants about an increase in their ground rent, but the Duke of Cornwall does not have a say on how the calculation is made.

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