Prince William receives private £6m salary from Duchy of Cornwall estate

Estate reported record profits of £24 million in 2022-23 – up about £1 million from the year before

Usually Prince 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 halfway through the financial year. PA
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New accounts from the Duchy of Cornwall show the Prince of Wales received a private income from the estate of nearly £6 million ($7.6 million) this year.

Following the death of the late queen and the accession of his father King Charles III, Prince William inherited the landed estate and is now entitled to its surplus profits every year.

The estate reported record profits of £24 million in 2022-23 – up about £1 million from the year before.

Usually Prince 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 halfway through the financial year.

The king, as the former Prince of Wales, was entitled to £11.2 million of the surplus before his accession, while Prince William, who spent about six months of the last financial year as the Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales, to £12.7 million, Kensington Palace said.

But the palace said as a “one-off associated with the change in Dukes of Cornwall”, the Duchy of Cornwall team asked to retain a proportion of the surplus for “working capital purposes” – the day-to-day running of the estate – this year.

The Duchy kept £6.8 million, leaving Prince William with an income of £5.9 million.

As the Prince of Wales, the king released a separate annual Clarence House review each year, detailing his broad income and expenditure of the Duchy money.

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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 – Prince 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.”

Prince William, in the Duchy’s own detailed financial accounts, paid tribute to his father for leaving an “indelible mark” on the estate and being passionate about driving forward change.

He described wanting to make a difference in this new role himself.

“I am committed to the cause of tackling climate change and I am proud of the estate’s efforts to contribute to this challenge,” Prince William said.

“If we can also help respond to social challenges such as mental health and homelessness, I will feel my term as duke has been worthwhile.”

“I recognise that I have taken the helm at a challenging time for many Duchy tenants, businesses and communities.”

Prince William said, like his father, he “will support the Duchy family through this, seeking to ensure the estate continues to evolve and move forward as a modern enterprise that delivers on our vision of sustainable stewardship – for communities, enterprise and nature”.

Next year Prince William is expected to receive the full £24 million Duchy profit.

But Alastair Martin, the Duchy’s secretary and keeper of the records, suggested the estate may not reach those record figures again.

He put the boost from £23 million to £24 million down to some additional one-off income.

“This will not continue and the surplus for 2023/24 will not be at this level,” he said.

“Income will return to ongoing levels, there will be significant cost increases and a full repairs programme to finance.”

Prince 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.

King Charles’s bill for the activities of the Prince and Princess of Wales and their family as well as other costs including capital expenditure and transfer to reserve, was £4.3 million in 2021-22.

But the figure has not been disclosed this year, nor has any tax bill for King Charles relating to the Duchy.

Prince William’s tax bill for any Duchy money would be due in January 2024. He pays income tax on the surplus after official costs have been deducted.

The Duchy income covers the cost of Prince William’s public and private lives.

The Duchy is valued at more than £1 billion and is one of the largest and oldest landed estates in Britain.

It was created in 1337 by King Edward III to support his son and heir Prince Edward, known as the Black Prince, and all his subsequent heirs.

It extends across 23 counties in England and Wales and includes the Oval cricket ground and 27,000 hectares of Dartmoor.

Harry and Meghan have vacated Frogmore Cottage, palace confirms

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have vacated Frogmore Cottage, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Prince Harry and wife Meghan were asked to move any remaining possessions out of their UK home close to Windsor Castle weeks after the duke criticised his family in his memoir Spare.

The cottage, which was refurbished by the couple and is a Crown Estate property, was their last remaining foothold in the UK. The couple now live in California.

At the annual Sovereign Grant account briefing on royal finances, Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said: “We can confirm that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have vacated Frogmore Cottage.

“We will not be going into any detail on those arrangements here.

“Safe to say that, as has previously been stated, the duke and duchess have paid for the expenditure incurred by the Sovereign Grant in relation to the renovation of Frogmore Cottage, thus leaving the Crown with a greatly enhanced asset.”

Prince Harry was last in the UK earlier this month when he gave evidence at the High Court over his claim of alleged hacking by Mirror Group Newspapers. Before that, he had returned briefly for his father the king’s coronation in May.

Prince Harry and Meghan moved to the US in 2020 after stepping down from the working monarchy.

Grade-II listed Frogmore was a gift to the couple from Prince Harry’s grandmother, the late queen.

In 2019, royal accounts showed Meghan and Prince Harry paid £2.4 million to cover the refurbishment and rental of Frogmore Cottage, on the Home Park Estate, a property they have only used a handful of times since relocating to the US.

A palace official did not specify who would live in the cottage in the future.

“I have nothing to add,” the official said. “Any future occupancy will be determined and communicated in next year’s report.”

Updated: June 28, 2023, 11:01 PM