The Prince of Wales can legally set off nuclear bombs as a result of an obscure law according to a new study.
Prince Charles holds the title of Duke of Cornwall, with his wife Camilla being the Duchess of Cornwall. As he holds this title, the prince is excluded from punishment from a variety of laws, including the Nuclear Explosions Act meaning he can legally set off a nuclear bomb.
Other laws that the holder of the ‘Duke of Cornwall’ title is immune from include the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The heir to the throne also has more legal protection over his properties than other landowners in the country.
The ‘Duke of Cornwall’ is a title in the peerage of England that is traditionally held by the eldest son of the reigning British Monarch and comes with a 700-year-old estate that grants the Prince an income, the Duchy of Cornwall.
The research into this study was conducted by John Kirkhope, a fellow at Plymouth University, who looked into Prince Charles’ legal benefits.
The Sunday Times reports that Dr Kirkhope conducted the research for his academic paper “Is the Duchy free to break the law without criminal sanction?”
Dr Kirkhope gathered his research through a variety of methods including examining government archives, meeting with officials as well as using the Freedom of Information Act which focused on the “Duke of Cornwall’ title.
The law which Dr Kirkhope claims to have discovered is very obscure. He argues the Duchy was given immunity to the selected laws in 1913 because its lands were sometimes held by Britain’s monarchs when there was no heir to the throne.
Dr Kirkhope says that the draughtsmen who wrote the legislation over 100 years ago ‘fundamentally misunderstood’ the Duchy and argued the Royals should have no rights to its lands or properties and only the income it generates.
A Clarence House spokesperson said that statues were a Parliamentary matter.