Prince William Is Now One Of U.K's Biggest Landowners: Inside His $1B Estate Inherited After Queen's Death

Zinger Key Points
  • Prince William has inherited the titles of Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • As Duke of Cornwall, William now oversees one of the largest real estate portfolios in the United Kingdom.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, Sept. 8 has been one of the most talked about news items in the United Kingdom in recent history. Her majesty’s passing has changed the royal family order of succession and placed a new monarch to reign over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries for the first time in 70 years.

What Happened: Elizabeth passed away at the age of 96, after serving the role of queen of the United Kingdom for 70 years.

Prince Charles has ascended to the role of King Charles III, the new leader of the British monarchy and royal family.

The ascension of Charles has changed the title and role for his oldest son, Prince William. With the new roles for his father, Prince William has become the Prince of Wales, with his wife Catherine taking the title of Princess of Wales. William has also inherited the title of Duke of Cornwall, a title previously held by his father.

One early item bestowed upon William is the inheritance of the Duchy of Cornwall estate, a real estate portfolio valued at over $1 billion, according to The Guardian.

Related Link: Queen Elizabeth II Dies At Age 96: Looking At The Legacy Of Longest Reigning British Monarch 

About the Land: The Duchy of Cornwall estate owns over 128,000 acres of land, which now makes William one of the largest landowners in England.

Property owned by the Duchy of Cornwall includes land in 20 countries, including England and Wales. The property is primarily farmland, but also includes residential homes, commercial properties, national parks and mining properties.

More famous holdings owned by the Duchy of Cornwall include the Oval cricket ground in London, which is leased to the Surrey county cricket club and the Dartmoor prison.

The Duchy of Cornwall traces its beginnings back over 700 years ago. Edward III established a real estate holding in 1337 that he could pass on to his son and heir, Prince Edward. The real estate property holding is now ruled by the Duke of Cornwall as the eldest surviving son of the current monarch.

King Charles III served as the Duke of Cornwall for over 50 years and took over running the estate at the age of 21, when he was eligible to receive income from the estate.

The estate earned income of tens of millions of dollars annually that were used to help fund Charles’ “public, private and charitable activities.”

Charles created several villages using the estate and also launched food company Duchy Organics, which sells fruit, vegetables and meat. Duchy Organics was licensed to retailer Waitrose and now operates independent of the estate.

What’s Next: As the Duke of Cornwall, William will be tasked with managing the estate and in some cases determining the direction of the properties owned.

The Duchy of Cornwall includes a residential development product that could build over 4,000 homes near the town of Newquay.

Charles voluntarily paid taxes on the earnings from the Duchy of Cornwall, something he did not have to do since the estate is not a company. William will now have to decide if he wishes to do the same.

William is eligible to receive annual income from the properties, but under a strict charter cannot profit from the proceeds of the sale of assets.

Elizabeth had over $500 million in assets, according to a 2021 report by Forbes. The assets will be spread out amongst the royal family, with Charles and William likely inheriting many assets and revenue-generating items thanks to their new roles as the king and next in line to the throne respectively.

Photo: Courtesy of St John's College Cambrid on flickr

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