Campaign group calling for abolition of Duchy of Cornwall
Campaign group Republic is calling for the abolition of the Duchy of Cornwall, which owns large sections of land on the outskirts of Bath.
The Duchy, which is run by Prince Charles, consists of around 21,000 acres of land in 23 counties, mostly in the south west, including most of Newton St Loe, and the Bath Spa University campus.
The anti-monarchy group Republic is arguing that the organisation generates millions of pounds a year for the Prince of Wales, yet the land is not his private property, and is used by him to interfere in politics and lobby on a range of his pet issues.
Chief executive Graham Smith said: “The Duchy does not belong to the royal family, there is no justification for millions of pounds of public revenue being handed to Charles every year.
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“Everyone knows Charles interferes in politics and he uses the Duchy as a power base for that meddling. The monarchy needs to be held to account, open to scrutiny and exposed for its meddling - abolition of the Duchy will be a step in that direction.”
He added: “This is the start of a rolling campaign aimed at raising debate about the future of the Duchy with the aim of having the institution abolished.”
Republic is organising a meeting in Cornwall this week to discuss what it believes should be done with the Duchy’s wealth, land and assets.
Ideas range from gifting all or part of the Duchy to the people of Cornwall, paying its profits to the Treasury or selling it off and allowing Duchy tenants the right to buy.
Clarence House has declined to comment on the matter, but the Duchy’s official website outlines the reasons why it exists and where the money it generates goes.
It was created in 1337 and a large proportion of its income is used to meet the cost of the Prince of Wales’ public and charitable work.
It also funds the public, charitable and private activities of the Duchess of Cornwall, Princes William and Harry, and the Duchess of Cambridge.