His Royal Highness Prince William, the Prince of Wales, has come under scrutiny from anti-monarchy groups in the UK for not publishing an annual household report this year, despite receiving over £6 million in private income. Organizations like the Republic have raised questions about the lack of transparency surrounding H.R.H Prince William’s finances, specifically his earnings from the Duchy of Cornwall which he inherited from his father’s ascent to becoming sovereign.
“William has some explaining to do because a change of monarch and heir is no excuse to row back on what little transparency there is. There is absolutely no reason why William’s household cannot provide a full set of accounts for this financial year. As the recipient of public funds from the state-owned Duchy, he should be reporting his income and expenditure,” commented Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic.
The anti-monarchy group, Republic, is advocating for the return of the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster to the public domain, arguing that as Duchy profits continue to grow, reaching a record £24 million, the revenue should be allocated to benefit local communities. Smith stated, “As Duchy profits appear to be growing to a record £24 million, it’s time we demanded the return of the Duchies to the people and for revenue to be spent on local communities.”
Responding to the criticism, Kensington Palace explained that Prince William and his household team are engaged in planning and prioritizing the Duchy’s activities, focusing on how these initiatives can support charitable causes, such as The Royal Foundation and its programs. The spokesperson for Kensington Palace stated, “Their royal highnesses have been working through with their Duchy and household team their plans and priorities for the Duchy and the household in the years to come, and how these support their work and charitable priorities, such as The Royal Foundation and its programs. And it’s why the household is not publishing a partial annual report.”
In the fiscal year 2022-23, the Duchy of Cornwall achieved an unprecedented level of earnings, reaching an impressive sum of £24.048 million. This significant figure represents a notable increase of £1.02 million, or approximately 4.5 percent, compared to the previous year’s earnings of £23.024 million. However, these developments come amid reports that the British crown has incurred a loss of half a billion pounds on its London property portfolio, following a decline in property values.
The debate surrounding the transparency of royal finances continues to gain momentum, as anti-monarchy groups demand greater openness and accountability from the royal family. As public interest in the financial dealings of the monarchy grows, pressure mounts for increased disclosure to ensure the responsible use of public funds and the allocation of resources to benefit wider society.