Game of Homes!: It’s all change for the royals as William inherits vast £1.2BILLION Duchy portfolio

King Charles will never be short of a place to live, with at least nine prominent palaces to rest.

But in a proprietary merry-go-round dubbed the ‘Game of Homes’, the Monarch also handed over the 130,000-acre Duchy of Cornwall to his eldest son. It means that William is technically the owner of his father as long as the King continues to live in his beloved Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire.

The inheritance has made the new Prince of Wales Britain’s largest private landowner, with a £1.2bn stake in 23 counties, including farms, estates, seven castles, woodland, coastline and commercial property.

For his part, Charles has inherited a sizeable portfolio, either directly from the Queen, including Balmoral and Sandringham, or as part of the Crown Estate, such as Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.

These join those he already owned, including Birkhall in the Balmoral estate, inherited from the Queen Mother; Dumfries House and the Castle of Mey, the Scottish landmarks held by his charitable trust; and two Romanian shelters.

Here we outline some of the more unusual properties Prince William has acquired as part of the Dukedom, while the panel below features some of the King’s possessions.

William’s acquisition of the dukedom raises the possibility that he may collect rent on the 18th-century Highgrove residence from his father. Pictured: William on his pony at Highgrove with Princess Diana

PUFFIN ISLANDS

The dukedom owns most of the more than 200 Scilly Isles and rocks off the Cornish coast, including almost a third of the houses on the five inhabited islands of St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martin’s, St Agnes and Bryher. Tourism accounts for more than 85 percent of the local economy with visitors drawn by seals, dolphins, puffins and rare flowers. The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust pays the Duchy the rent for a single daffodil a year.

The duchy owns most of the more than 200 Scilly Isles and Rocks off the Cornish coast.  In the picture: Santa Inés Island

The duchy owns most of the more than 200 Scilly Isles and Rocks off the Cornish coast. In the picture: Santa Inés Island

CATEGORY C PRISON

Among the duchy’s 70,000 acres in Devon is Dartmoor Prison, whose inmates over the years have included London gangsters Frank ‘The Mad Axeman’ Mitchell and Jack ‘the Hat’ McVitie. It currently has 640 prisoners.

‘TOY CITY’

The proud creation of Charles of Poundbury, a town in Dorset, reflects his traditional approach to architecture and urban planning. In accordance with his ecological principles, their homes are heated with biomethane gas. Critics have derided it as a vanity project and dubbed it ‘Toytown’ or ‘Feudal Disneyland’, but others have praised its simple and attractive aesthetic.

Built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, Poundbury (pictured) is currently home to around 4,600 people in a mix of private and affordable housing.

Built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, Poundbury (pictured) is currently home to around 4,600 people in a mix of private and affordable housing.

OVAL CRICKET PITCH

Originally a cabbage field and market garden, the London ground was the first in England to host international Test cricket, in September 1880, and the last Test match of the English season is still traditionally played there.

The site of the Kennington Oval used to be a cabbage orchard and market owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

The site of the Kennington Oval used to be a cabbage orchard and market owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

LEGENDARY CASTLES

Dating back to the 5th century, Tintagel Castle sits on a jagged Cornish headland and is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur. The duchy also owns Launceston and Restormel castles, as well as 270 ancient monuments, including the 12th-century Lydford Castle in Devon, Maiden’s Castle in Dorset, and the ruins of Berkhamsted Castle, Hertfordshire.

The dukedom also owns Restormel Castle near Lostwithiel in Cornwall (pictured)

The dukedom also owns Restormel Castle near Lostwithiel in Cornwall (pictured)

A WAITROSE STORE

The Duchy owns Tregurra Park in Truro, Cornwall, which includes a Waitrose store, a household waste recycling center and a 1,379-space car park.

SURFING HEAVEN

Plans are afoot for 4,000 new homes on 540 acres of land mainly owned by the Duchy near the Cornish resort of Newquay, which is loved by surfers.

GARDEN CENTER

A plant nursery in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, described as “a place of sanctuary”, was designed by Queen Consort Camilla’s sister, Annabel Elliot.

MILLIONS OF TREES

The Duchy owns 4,300 acres of managed woodland, including 2,200 acres in Cornwall alone. The wood is used to make lintels, window frames, and beams for reclaimed properties. Wood chips are collected to smoke locally produced food. And Greenscombe Wood in the Tamar Valley is one of four places in the UK where the rare Heath Fritillary butterfly is found.

The forests of the Duchy are largely dominated by conifers such as Douglas fir, larch and red cedar.

He also owns 11,370 acres of farmland and woodland on The Guy’s Estate in the Herefordshire countryside near Ross-on-Wye.

HOLIDAY HOMES

Included in the portfolio are 28 ‘attractive period properties’ in Cornwall, Wales and the Isles of Scilly, environmentally designed with lighting fixtures made from bottles and coffee tables made from old wooden chests.

RIVERS AND COAST

The Duchy owns the Salcombe-Kingsbridge estuary in Devon, as well as those of the rivers Dart, Avon (in Devon), Tamar, Looe, Helford and Camel. It also owns the coastal beach around Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The waters are used for fishing, as well as for the cultivation of mussels, clams and cockles.

HIGHGROVE

William’s acquisition of the dukedom raises the possibility that he may collect rent from his father on the 18th-century house near Tetbury. Restoring his gardens has been a passion project for Charles, who keeps bees there and sells jars of his honey for £25 a time.

Prince William is technically his father's landlord for as long as the King continues to live at his beloved Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire (pictured)

Prince William is technically his father’s landlord for as long as the King continues to live at his beloved Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire (pictured)

WELSH FARMHOUSE

The Duchy is believed to own Charles’s Welsh home at Llwynywermod, near the Brecon Beacons. Charles and Camilla often retreat to the country house on a 192-acre property that contains two vacation homes.

The Duchy is believed to own Charles's Welsh home in Llwynywermod, near the Brecon Beacons (pictured)

The Duchy is believed to own Charles’s Welsh home in Llwynywermod, near the Brecon Beacons (pictured)

EMPIRE OF EXTENDED OWNERSHIP OF KING CHARLES

  • BUCKINGHAM PALACE, London
  • SANDRINGHAM ESTATE, Norfolk
  • BALMORAL, Scotland
  • WINDSOR CASTLE, Berkshire
  • KENSINGTON PALACE, London
  • BIRKHALL, Royal Deeside
  • CLARENCE HOUSE, London
  • DUMFRIES HOUSE and CASTLE OF MEY, Scotland (owned by charities linked to Charles)
  • CABINS IN ROMANIA

Two properties, including a house in the village of Viscri, Transylvania, which he bought in 2006. Charles is said to have fallen in love with the area during a visit in 1998 and spends time here several days a year to paint landscapes. His rudimentary estate, the Blue House, on the right, is outfitted with traditional, handcrafted Transylvanian furniture.

Charles's rudimentary estate, the Blue House (pictured), is outfitted with traditional, handcrafted furniture from Transylvania.

Charles’s rudimentary estate, the Blue House (pictured), is outfitted with traditional, handcrafted furniture from Transylvania.

Leave a Comment