bitchy | Prince William won’t publish an annual report for how he’s spending Duchy income

Prince William became the Duke of Cornwall the moment his grandmother passed away and his father became king. With the Cornwall title comes the spoils: the Duchy of Cornwall is a billion-dollar real estate portfolio which operated as a straight-forward business when then-Prince Charles held the Cornwall title. I have believed for some time that Charles took pains to William-proof the Duchy so that the heir wouldn’t run the Duchy into the ground, and that William couldn’t loot the funds for his own harebrained schemes. Well, as part of the Windsors’ annual financial disclosures and Sovereign Grant reporting, we now know that William… doesn’t want to disclose much about what he’s doing with the Duchy money now that he’s got his hands on all of it. From The Independent:

Duchy money: Prince William received a private income from the Duchy of Cornwall of nearly £6 million this year, but was criticised for not publishing an annual report in his first year as heir to the throne. The Duchy generated record profits of £24.048 million in 2022-23 – up £1.02 million from £23.024 million the year before, a jump of about 4.5%, the estate’s own accounts showed. Usually William would be entitled to the full £24 million as his private income, but his finances have been complicated after he became heir to the throne half way through the financial year. The King, as the former Prince of Wales, was entitled to £11.275 million of the surplus before his accession, while William, who spent about six months of the last financial year as the Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales, to £12.773 million, Kensington Palace said.

No report this year: The annual figures were published on Thursday, in the same week William launched Homewards, his five-year drive to eradicate homelessness in six locations around the UK. As the Prince of Wales, Charles released a separate annual Clarence House review each year, detailing his broad income and expenditure of the Duchy money. But Kensington Palace said that the past year had been a transitional one following the death of the late Queen and as such they would not be releasing a report this year – William’s first as the heir apparent. “Their royal highnesses have been working through with their Duchy and household team their plans and priorities for the Duchy and the household in the years to come, and how these support their work and charitable priorities, such as The Royal Foundation and its programmes,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said. “And it’s why the household is not publishing a partial annual report.”

Graham Smith from the Republic chimes in: “William has some explaining to do because a change of monarch and heir is no excuse to row back on what little transparency there is. There is absolutely no reason why William’s household cannot provide a full set of accounts for this financial year. As the recipient of public funds from the state-owned Duchy he should be reporting his income and expenditure. As Duchy profits appear to be growing to a record £24m it’s time we demanded the return of the Duchies (of Cornwall and Lancaster) to the people and for revenue to be spent on local communities.”

William also received money from his father last year, before QEII died: William will also have received money from his father for the funding of his official duties and his private life when he was Duke of Cambridge for the first six months of the 2022-23 financial year. Charles’s bill for the activities of William, Kate and their family, and other costs including capital expenditure and transfer to reserve, was £4.38 million 2021-22. But the figure has not been disclosed this year, nor has any tax bill for Charles relating to the Duchy.

KP did disclose the gender & racial background of staff: Kensington Palace did disclose the gender balance of its staff for the first time – 64% female and 36% male. And it disclosed that William and Kate’s household is made up of 50 people, but a breakdown of their roles was not given. Some 16.3% of their staff are from an ethnic minority background, compared with 13.6% last year.

[From The Independent]

Okay, so I think I’m getting this right – basically, the Duchy of Cornwall had to do two sets of accounts, one for when Charles was the heir and one for when William became the heir. The Duchy itself is releasing information about what money went to Charles and what money went to William, but William will not do the same kind of disclosure as to how the Duchy-surplus money is spent by his office. Am I getting that right? While Charles would give the public a somewhat general audit of how his income was being spent, Kensington Palace will not do that this year, and William has zero commitment to doing those kinds of disclosures in the future. William is such a secret squirrel – he always has been. I’m also curious about KP’s fifty-person staff, which is now 16.3% ethnic minority…

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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