• July 3, 2015


Many residents of Cornwall continue to receive official notices from the Duchy of Cornwall and the Land Registry informing them of applications by the Duchy to register mining and mineral rights.

The reason for this correspondence from both the Duchy and Land Registry is given as a change in the law.

The applicant’s details are fully given as‘His Royal Highness Charles Philip Arthur George Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay Earl of Chester and Carrick Baron Renfrew Lord of the Isles and Great Steward of Scotland in right of his Duchy of Cornwall’.

The application made gives notice to register mines and minerals – whole, powers of working and was lodged by the Duchy of Cornwall of The Old Rectory, Newton St. Loe, Bath BA2 9BU.

All those in receipt of the notice may either consent to the application but may choose to object setting out legal details for so doing.

The notice from the Duchy of Cornwall ends by adding that the ‘application is solely to protect those rights, and does not indicate that the Duchy has any present intention to work the minerals’.

Local landowners some of whom grow crops and keep cattle and other livestock on the land have expressed their concern at this notice describing themselves as feeling both bullied and confused.

Some are worried that the implication of a‘whole powers of working’ implies a right of way to gain access to any prospective workings in order to mine minerals.

They say the notice does not rule out any future intention to work the minerals.

There is also a concern that property values may be adversely affected as the legal notices and papers have even been sent to owners of terraced houses many of whom are extremely worried at the consequences of Prince Charles’ extraordinary powers.

Many thousands have now received these notices from the Duke’s office which is set against the recent news that Charles made almost £20million from his Duchy of Cornwall estate in the last tax year, as the Royal family prepare to get a taxpayer-funded pay rise.

Charles’s income from the private Duchy of Cornwall 677 year old estate of various properties rose 1.7 per cent to £19.8million in 2014/15, latest figures show.

He pays higher rate income tax on a voluntary basis on the profits provided by the Duchy which has assets of £949million with reserves estimated at £835million.

Capital investment was up 49 per cent over the past year to £15.1m and the estate could be set to grow further with plans to buy one of Cornwall’s grandest and oldest estates for £10 million for Charles is now making enquiries regarding the purchase Port Eliot House, a 123-room estate owned by the Earl of St Germans having already used vast swathes of green belt, agricultural land outside Truro and Newquay in Cornwall for housing and commercial development.

It comes months after the Duchy bought more than 800 acres of land at Port Eliot for£4.7million.

The Duchy was established in 1337 to provide income for the male heir to the throne. Charles who also adds Prince of Wales to his long list of titles, became Duke of Cornwall on the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952.

Hundreds of historical assets, including castles such as Restormel, Tintagel and Launceston belong to the Duke (not English Heritage which merely administers the cash cows for him) as do a third of all residential buildings on Scilly.

Mike Chappell, Convener of the Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League who has received such a notice himself said, ‘I have seen the receipt of these letters from Duke Charles reiterating and enforcing his feudal rights over the people of Cornwall bring some to tears. They are frightening and cause immense upset. Folks just can’t believe that this man is completely above the law in Cornwall and has the right to intervene in anything which affects his considerable income and that includes court cases. The Kernow Branch Celtic League’s advice to its members is not to sign the form, to enter objection by letter as allowed, citing fear of damage to property and land, expressing concern regarding rights of access and loss of property value. We also strongly recommend that recipients take legal advice from a solicitor or Citizens Advice Cornwall if they cannot afford to pay. This is particularly important as events and statutes dating from 1337, 1844 and
1846 are referenced in the notice. We know that we have no rights against this man and his family but we can at least take a principled stand.

We have been warning people about this for years. We ask everyone to remember this when he and his second wife next visit us. If, as the documents state, there is no present intention to dig under our properties and to access those workings over our land, then why is he spending thousands of pounds sending them out, instructing his very expensive lawyers and working the Land Registry hard in dealing with them? He is not a green, environmentalist as widely portrayed, but a destroyer of much that we hold dear. He is not one to wave Union Flags at and cheer on.

Many years ago, when I met his father at Buckingham Palace, I told him about the plight of people in Cornwall at the hands of his son. That message wasn’t well received!’



J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League was established in 1961 and 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

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