Prince Charles has paid £35million to buy the Milton Keynes B&Q branch.
B&Q PLC, formerly known as Block & Quayle, is a British DIY and home improvement company.
The shop, located on 117,000 square feet of land will be part of the Duchy of Cornwall’s portfolio.
The Duchy was launched by Edward III in 1337 and owns some estates that fund the Prince of Wales including a Holiday Inn, Dartmoor Prison and the Oval cricket ground in Lambeth.
The Duchy of Cornwall was created by Edward III in 1337. He created the Duchy to afford an income for the King’s heir. At the time, it was Edward of Woodstock, who later became the Black Prince and made Duke of Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall has been in effect ever since.
The titles of Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall do not necessarily always come together. The title of Prince of Wales is given by the Sovereign upon their discretion whereas the Dukedom of Cornwall is a hereditary title and is either taken at birth or upon the accession of a new King or Queen.
Prince Charles became the Duke of Cornwall when Her Majesty acceded in 1952. He was given the title Prince of Wales in 1958 but not invested until 1969.
The Prince of Wales is now the 24th Duke of Cornwall and has held the title for one of the longest periods in history. The Prince of Wales celebrated his 50th year as Duke in 2002. Only two others have held this Dukedom for extended periods of time. The first, George Augustus Frederick, who would become King George IV and was the Duke of Cornwall from 1762-1820. The second was Albert Edward, who would become King Edward VII and was the Duke of Cornwall from 1841-1901.
The Duchy covers a vast 53,154 hectares of land, with the majority in the South West of England and is managed by the Duke of Cornwall.
Many wonder what monies the Duke of Cornwall is entitled to and what he may spend. “The Duke of Cornwall is not entitled to have or to spend any of the Duchy’s capital (but is only entitled to its annual income),” states the Duchy website.
With those monies being utilised, The Prince of Wales does not receive funding from the Civil List. The Prince of Wales uses the bulk of the Duchy income to further his charities and work. The income from the Duchy is subject to taxation, and, therefore, contributes to the income of the country.
Charles opts to use his income from the Duchy, rather than public money to cover the vast majority of the cost of the public duties of both himself and the Duchess of Cornwall. The income from the Duchy also includes the expenses from public duties The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry incur.
As for the Prince of Wales Duchy Originals business, this is a separate entity from the Duchy of Cornwall. The impetus for starting the company in 1992 was to not only raise funds for the Prince’s charities but to create new approaches to sustainable farming. 100% of all proceeds from Duchy Originals goes to the Prince’s charities.
As Charles is well known for his environmental endeavours and love of botany, starting The Duchy Originals was rather a genius scheme. Duchy Originals also aids farmers who in the current climate face uncertain times.
Unfortunately, the Duchy is currently only handed down to a male heir. Changes made in the laws of succession have occurred, but the Duchy remains the same as it has since its beginning. If no male heir exists, The Duchy reverts to the monarch that then reduces the amount of the Civil List funding by the earnings from the Duchy’s Income.
Photo Credit: Andy Gott via Flickr