Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have gone through massive lifestyle changes, dating and then marrying their respective British princes. While Middleton had years to prepare and transition to royal life, Markle had more of a crash course. Whether they’re in Kensington Palace, traveling with the Queen or on one of many other royal appearances, they both seem to fit right in.
The royal life is not all palace perks. There is some serious work to do, and some sacrifice is required. Still, they make it look easy — straight out of a fairytale.
With Prince Harry at sixth in line to the throne, most of Markle’s royal transition is now complete. However, Prince William and Middleton both have big changes in their future. When Prince Charles ascends to the throne, they will assume a new duchy (a territory belong to a duke or duchess), its vast fortunes and new titles.
They likely will also likely become Prince and Princess of Wales, the traditional title of the heir apparent.
Prince Charles is currently the Duke of Cornwall, and when he becomes the king, Prince William will automatically replace him. In addition to a change in title, Prince William and Middleton will be entitled to the profits of the Duchy of Cornwall.
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Created in 1337 by Edward III, the Duchy of Cornwall encompasses 135,000 acres of land in southwest England and an investment portfolio. The land estate includes farms, residential and commercial properties, as well as natural resources, such as quarries, rivers, forests and coastal areas. The current net value of the duchy is $1.2 billion.
Originally, Edward III intended the duchy as an income for his eldest son, Prince Edward. That still remains its purpose today. The duchy has been passed to the eldest son (daughters aren’t beneficiaries) of the British monarch at birth, or when his parent succeeds to the throne. For Prince William, it will be the latter.
Though he cannot sell it, he can live quite comfortably off the profits, like the 24 Dukes of Cornwall preceding him. In 2017, Prince Charles earned around $27.3 million from the duchy.
Prince Charles is the longest-serving Duke of Cornwall. He was given the title when Queen Elizabeth assumed the throne, in 1952. He was a toddler then, and it wasn’t until after his 21st birthday that Prince Charles took over management and began receiving its income.
A Helping Hand
It’s not just about the money. During his tenure, Prince Charles has taken an active, hands-on approach to managing the estate. He and the whole family visit the estate regularly, and Prince Charles has helped implement sustainable initiatives, including renewable energy and organic farming, to improve it.
Both Prince William and Prince Harry have already had a taste of the duchy’s riches. In addition to funding his charity the Prince’s Trust, Prince Charles has used the fortune to support his sons. They have benefitted from its annual income and watched their father manage it their whole lives.
If Prince William continues his father’s legacy of nurturing the estate, there will be many prosperous years to come. And we’ll certainly have adorable photos of family visits to the communities and farms to look forward to as well.