Prince William inherits this ‘unusual’ property as the Prince of Wales

Ever since Prince William has become the Prince of Wales, he’s become Britain's largest private landowner – which also includes a Prison.

Prince William inherits a Jail
Prince William inherits a Jail

King Charles’ eldest son, who is now the Prince of Wales and the 25th Duke of Cornwall, became the heir apparent when he ascended to the throne. Along with his title, Prince William also automatically inherited the Duchy of Cornwall.

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Dartmoor Prison

The Duchy of Cornwall was valued at more than $1 billion in March. The estate covers more than 28,000 acres across England and Wales, The Guardian confirmed. This area includes commercial properties, homes, forests, rivers, and coastline along with the Oval cricket ground in south London.

Aerial photograph of HM Prison Dartmoor, Devon David Goddard/Getty Images

Edward III established the Duchy of Cornwall in 1337 as a private estate, and a charter specified that the monarch's eldest surviving son would succeed him as Duke of Cornwall and inherit the estate.

An interesting property that is also on the estate is the Dartmoor prison. Dartmoor prison is a Category C prison for men located in Princetown. BBC reports that the prison is for prisoners who are not expected to make a determined escape attempt. It currently holds around 640 criminals.

The Duchy of Cornwall owns the jail, which is run by His Majesty's Prison Service. It was announced in 2013 that the prison would be closed but the decision was shelved due to the rising number of prisoners in England and Wales.

The prison was built in 1806 when the UK was at war with Napoleonic France and the country wanted to hold French prisoners. Now a new lease is expected to be signed that will keep Dartmoor open ‘beyond 2023 and for the foreseeable future.’

Duchy of Cornwall

The Duchy also owns Poundbury, a housing estate in Dorchester, Dorset. King Charles built Poundbury on his principles of architecture and urban planning. It has about 3800 people living in a mix of private and public housing.

Entrance doorway to Dartmoor prison, Princetown, Devon Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Duchy provided King Charles more than $24 million last year and he paid a tax of 45% on the estate’s earnings. Since the Duchy is not a registered business, he was not required to pay tax, but King Charles chose to do so.

The Prince of Wales is not entitled to the earnings or profit from the sale of assets, which is one of the rules established in the charter and is still upheld today. Only the annual income that the assets produce is given to Prince William.

Sources Used

The Guardian: Duchy of Cornwall estate worth £1bn passes to Prince William

BBC: Dartmoor Prison to stay open 'beyond 2023'

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Prince Harry and Prince William inherited different sums due to their separate situations Prince Harry and Prince William inherited different sums due to their separate situations