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What land does the Duchy of Cornwall own?

March 21, 2017

Who owns England?

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons CCO 1.0 licence.

Prince Charles – Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall & Rothesay, High Steward of Scotland, Lord of the Isles, etc – is the largest private landowner in England. In his capacity as Duke of Cornwall, he owns an estate of some 135,000 acres, spread across 23 counties.

The Duchy of Cornwall is one of the strangest beasts in England’s still quasi-feudal political economy. It’s not a company (and so doesn’t pay Corporation Tax). It’s not a charity. It’s not a public body (though it is accountable to the Treasury, and Parliament) and it’s not subject to Freedom of Information law (though it is subject to requests under the Environmental Information Regulations, in its narrow capacity as a harbour-master). It is, in short, something of an anachronism – but one that has survived for nearly 700 years and continues to grow…

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