Currently, Prince Charles is the largest land-holder in the UK. The real estate and farm land is not held by him personally – the bulk of “his” land is held by the Duchy of Cornwall, which is where Charles makes most of his money. The Duchy owns everything from commercial properties, historic mansions, farms, villages, etc. Charles has used his position to force Duchy farmers to go organic, to combat urban sprawl and go green in many cases. At some point, Prince William will take over the Duchy. That will happen concurrently at William’s investiture as Prince of Wales, which will happen after Queen Elizabeth passes. No one really knows if William will keep up with all of Charles’ many projects and visions for the Duchy estates. But the Telegraph reported that William does have one little scheme he’d like to work on: using some of the property to house the homeless.
Prince William is reportedly interested in using royal properties to help the homeless when he becomes the Prince of Wales — a title he’ll inherit when his father Prince Charles becomes King. The royal, 39, has asked his team to explore how buildings that are part of the Duchy of Cornwall — the estate that was set up around 700 years ago by Edward III to provide funds for the heir to the throne — could be used to combat homelessness, according to The Telegraph.
A source told the outlet that the idea was currently in an investigative stage but confirmed, “The Duke is interested in finding ways to help alleviate the homelessness situation in any way he can.”
Under Prince Charles, the Duchy of Cornwall has been turned into a multi-million dollar enterprise, providing income to run the Prince of Wales’s office as well as Prince William’s family. It currently includes property in London and more than 130,000 acres of land — with 160 miles of British coastline — in 23 counties of England and Wales.
“I’ve started to think about how I will inherit the Duchy one day,” William told farmers in Prince Charles: Inside The Duchy of Cornwall, which aired in 2019. “Well, rest assured I’m not going to rock the boat; I’ll do much the same as what my father’s doing. I’m not so into the architecture — that’s the only thing.”
I mean… I’m not a homelessness expert, but I think the priority (in general) should be on affordable housing and better-paying jobs and making real estate investments accessible to middle-class and low-income families. All of which is antithetical to the Duchy of Cornwall – those are rental properties, and people are not able (in many cases) to “own” the land they farm, or own the homes they’ve lived in all their lives. It’s a bigger issue than simply shuffling some homeless peeps into Duchy apartments.
Photos courtesy of Instar.