IS IT A BIRD? IS IT A PLANE? IS IT AN ENTITY? NO, IT’S THE DUCHY OF CORNWALL
1 August 2013
I have recorded the toing and froing of Cornish nationalism as it tries to prove that the duchy of Cornwall, or that part of it coterminous with the county of Cornwall, is really an independent country with the duke as head of state; what it grandly calls the constitutional status of the duchy of Cornwall. The government has consistently rejected these claims. I put at the foot links to the numerous posts on the blog for those who wish to wander in the foothills of medievalism.
The other day the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons looked at the finances of the duchy and the taxes it did and did not pay and touched on its status. It seems to have been a fun time. You can read it all here.
I think what emerged is a repetition of the official view that the duchy is a private estate of the duke but it has financial privileges, that is advantages, other private estates do not have. As the committee chair said, “A bit muddled” (Question 16).
I think in 2013 the duchy is a private estate providing a large income for the duke and his family. It is not a separate kingdom. However, as I explained in my last post, there are contemporary issues raised by Tony Berkeley in his bill about the ownership and distribution of the assets and income of the duchy.
Oh, and there’s this from the Lords in answer to a question from Matthew Oakeshott about stamp duty and the duchy (Lords Hansard 29 July 2013 column 260W).
EARLIER DUCHY POSTS
Curate’s egg duchy bill 16 April 2013
Gender-blind duchy of Cornwall 27 June 2012
Future of the duchy 27 June 2012
Groundhog duchy 27 February 2012
Questions, answers 9 December 2011
Medieval middens 8 December 2011
Premature hosannas 17 November 2011
Stannary law defunct 14 July 2011
Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate 13 May 2011
Government: ‘Cornwall is part of England’ 12 January 2011
Duchy of Cornwall 20 November 2010
Crown Estate owns sea and seabed off county of Cornwall 12 October 2010
Stannary law obsolete 21 May 2009
Cornwall today 11 April 2009
Who owns the Cornwall foreshore? 11 February 2009
Cornwall is part of England – and staying put 9 October 2008
Cornwall today 11 April 2007
– and Aristotle’s teeth
See also the Lords Hansard 18 January 2012 column 623 where Berkeley had an amendment that the duchy and Crown Estate should be defined as public bodies; the government response is at column 634. The amendment was not moved.