Monstrous hypocrisy: Duke Charles and the greening of Cornwall

Incensed to read a recent article in the Independent newspaper – ‘Prince warns of planet in crisis’ Independent The News Matrix: Thursday 26 February 2015 – the people of Cornwall responded in kind.

Duke Charles of Cornwall – not to forget Prince of Wales and Duke of Rothesay; Prince and High Steward of Scotland and Lord of the Isles; Admiral in the Royal Canadian Navy, General in the Canadian Army and General in the Royal Canadian Air Force*; and Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle – is reported to have addressed the Royal Society in London on Feb. 25 warning that global warming is “already causing ecosystem collapse, loss of habitation, poverty, starvation, migration and conflict.” The prince declared: “Actions which are good for the planet are also good for human health.”

This announcement by the duke of his High Ideals runs contrary to his policies of green belt eradication in Cornwall and the recent letters sent out by his office to thousands of Cornish people warning that he retains the complete right to exploit land for minerals and other commodities under their homes and properties.

Legacy of heirs to the British throne since 1337, the Duchy of Cornwall is more than 135,000 acres (55,000 hectares) of mostly rural land. In 1777 Cornish was considered to be extinct, but there are ongoing efforts to revive the Celtic language. (Click to enlarge)

Legacy of heirs to the British throne since 1337, the Duchy of Cornwall is more than 135,000 acres (55,000 hectares) of mostly rural land. The map above shows Duchy property and foreshore. Not bad for a private estate! But what arguments were used to obtain the rights over the Cornish foreshore marked in blue? (Click to enlarge)

Such “actions” “are also good for human health”! The feudal Windsor Royal family exploit tens of millions of pounds every year from the pockets of the people.The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall at the time of his birth, or of his parent’s succession to the throne. On a good day, the estate is worth more than £763m.** The government considers the duchy to be a crown body and therefore exempt even from paying corporation tax. The Windsor consider the duchy to be private property and therefore its business dealings are exempt from disclosure and confidential. The official expenditure of the Prince of Wales is not audited by the National Audit Office. Earlier, we reported:

Charles receives the income from the Duchy of Cornwall – £16m in 2007 … Some of this was considered as “official duties” while the rest was his to spend as he pleased. The Duchy’s land holdings include the 70,000 acres of Dartmoor. The Duchy of Cornwall, from which Charles draws most of his income, and the Duchy of Lancaster that funds his mother, are both exempt from corporation and capital gains tax.

In 2007, Charles spent £1.16m on travel by plane and train.

The Windsors even boost their incomes by taking from the dead. When someone dies in Cornwall without leaving a will, their estate is taken by the Duchy of Cornwall if they have no surviving relatives entitled to inherit from them.

Along with West Wales, Cornwall is the poorest region in Northern Europe. (Eurostat, the data agency of the European Union. The full data is available here. Please also see article below.)

A letter responding to the article was sent to the Independent:

“The Editor
The Independent Newspaper
2 Derry Street
London W8 5HF

26th February, 2015

Dear Editor

We had to laugh in Kernow (Cornwall) when we read of Duke Charles’ dire warnings about the planet – “Prince warns of planet in crisis‚, Independent The News Matrix: Thursday 26 February 2015.

We have to admit that he talks a good talk and he presents himself as an Old Testament prophet warning of dire consequences of other people’s behaviour.

What he neglected to mention, though, was that everything he says is utterly contradicted by everything he does in our little country of Cornwall.

Duchy of Cornwall nursery

Duchy of Cornwall nursery

Here in Cornwall, Charles is Duke and “by right of the Duchy of Cornwall”, a quaint phrase, he can decimate communities, carry out rapacious developments out of all control and kill the planet he claims to represent.

His “private estate” has had laws enacted in its favour, and Charles enjoys Crown Immunity as a result. He continues to take money from Cornwall, one of the poorest regions of Europe, but still fails to support any of our communities!

Please hear the groans of the Cornish and expose this monster for the hypocrite he is!

Yours faithfully

Tony Leamon
Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League”

(Cornish is a branch of the Celtic languages, along with Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic (or Irish language), Welsh, Manx, and Breton. Deemed a “dead” language in the early 1700s, it is the subject of a revival. The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic countries. – TS ed.)


*And Colonel-in-Chief of six Canadian regiments. At the highest level, the Command-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Canada is vested in Her Majesty The Queen, as declared by the Constitution Act 1867, as it had been vested in all her predecessors.

**“Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall estate condemned over non-disclosure of ‘private’ property deals – including £38.4m Waitrose warehouse,” Independent, October 20, 2013. Also see here. According to the Guardian, the Queen has personally increased her wealth by £10,000,000 as of 2014.

For your information; The two faces of Cornwall – A time for anger and for questions

A new report setting out that many people in Cornwall have to subsist on below a living wage has sparked anger. In the article below, Michael Chappell of the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League* says it is time for people to become angry about “The two faces of Cornwall”:

“When thinking of Cornwall, most from elsewhere in the British Isles think of broad sandy beaches, chic celebrity chef restaurants, beautiful scenery, holiday homes and more recently, a playground for the wealthy Westminster set such as the Prime Minister, who choose the Duchy for their well publicised summer vacations where they are often photographed enjoying caviar and other expensive foods in quaint sea side villages.

The truth however is rather different.

Recent research by Trades Unions with representation in Cornwall reveals that no less than 40% of jobs are paying less than the living wage which is set at just£7.85 an hour outside of the London ‘bubble’.

A breakdown of the research reveals the following below living wage areas:

South East Cornwall 40%
Newquay and St Austell 36%
St. Ives 35%
North Cornwall 35%
Camborne and Redruth 25%

This is in stark contrast to just over the border into Devon where the situation is better. Sadly, the figure for women in Cornwall is even worse.

Duchy of Cornwall (Click to enlarge)

Click to enlarge

Tourism has long been held aloft as a solution to all of Cornwall’s economic woes but, important as it is, it has singularly failed to boost earnings and some would say has even added to the low wage, insecure employment economy. Cornwall’s traditional industries of agriculture, food production and fishing are bigger industries in terms of GDP but are no longer mass employers. Meanwhile, a substantial proportion of Cornwall’s GDP haemorrhages across the border and the Duchy receives back far less than it pays out to London.

Cornwall has long called for direct control over European funding, which is administered and squandered by quangos far away that have eaten away large sums in bureaucracy and administration costs leaving the ordinary Cornish person seeing little direct benefit.

In 2001, Kevin Cahill of ‘Business Age’ published a hard hitting article entitled ‘The Killing of Cornwall’. He asked, ‘Why is Cornwall getting poorer?’ and gave this answer:

‘One very simple and easily provable answer is because the Government in London is raping the county fiscally. Out of a tiny gross domestic product of £3.6 billion, the Government takes over £1.95 billion in taxes, and puts back into the county less than £1.65 billion, a gap of over £300 million. That latter sum, by itself, all but completely explains the increasing pace of impoverishment in Cornwall. That and the banks and insurance companies.

On the back of the government take, the insurance companies absorb about £200 million of Cornwall’s capital each year and most of them put nothing at all back by way of investment. The banks and building societies soak up what is left of Cornwall’s inadequate capital and at most put back 70p for every £1 they take in deposits. At least that’s what Nigel Blandford, a senior executive of Cornish Enterprise and former Lloyds branch manager in Cornwall thinks.’

In the years which have passed, matters have worsened and Cornwall is now the centre for uncontrolled housing development without any increase in public infrastructure. Already, we are seeing virtual states of emergency declared at our hospitals and by the overstretched public services. This with more cutbacks to come.

Kevin Cahill was correct back in 2001 and he is correct now. Government is raping Cornwall fiscally and this has to stop.

We need more control over our own affairs. After all, those who live here know better of the issues than Westminster Ministers who briefly drop in by helicopter and are then gone again.

Elections are approaching. The Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League calls upon everyone to ask their candidates at Westminster level, what they intend doing about this growing crisis.

Members of the Celtic League whose membership comprises some local Councillors, emergency service workers, writers, teachers, mechanics, agricultural workers, retired people, students, musicians, care workers, businessmen and many others, most of whom work in the community and some of whom assist with emergency food provision, will certainly be doing so.

You can start by writing to your MP completely free of charge via this website:

If you receive electoral leaflets in your letter boxes or speak with candidates, then ask them what they are going to do for Cornwall and in particular, examine their literature to see where it has been printed. If printed locally, it has provided local jobs. If it hasn’t, then ask why not!

The time has come for the people of Cornwall to speak out in the clearest possible terms and to demand a reply to the question of why we are being consistently let down.”

Link here to related article in the Cornishman newspaper:

*ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE. The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

Internet site at:


1 Comment

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One response to “Monstrous hypocrisy: Duke Charles and the greening of Cornwall

  1. Tony,
    On the correct track going after the British royal family. The heat must be placed on them and next the Rothschilds, fair to say? It feels like the time is right to zero in on the people who “pull the strings” on this planet, step it up a notch, and get the real-deal “show on the road”. In other words, while millions of words are written in very good articles, nothing will move until the battle for justice, peace and truth becomes intensified to the extent necessary for real change to occur. After three years of reading thousands of articles, one’s patience over propaganda, war, and greed invariably comes to an end. Thanks for all your efforts.


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