Talk:Duke of Cornwall

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Duchy of Cornwall estate and Cornwall (territorial duchy)[edit]

If the Duchy of Cornwall is the only one left, when did the Duchy of Lancaster end, please? -- isis 3 Sep 2002

The Duchy of Lancaster exists -- it forms a distinct part of the Crown Estates -- but there is no associated dukedom. The last Duke of Lancaster was Henry "of Monmouth", sometime Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester, and Duke of Aquitaine. When he became king (as Henry V) on 21 Mar 1412/3, the dukedom of Lancaster became merged in the crown - that is, it ceased to exist as a peerage title until such time as the monarch sees fit to grant it to someone. The duchy exists: its income goes to the monarch, but as the monarch cannot also be a peer, the Queen is neither Duchess of Lancaster nor -- as is sometimes asserted -- Duke of Lancaster. Someone else

I thought Prince Charles had been assigned the income from the Duchy of Lancaster; was whoever said that wrong, then? -- isis 4 Sep 2002

Nope --he gets the income from teh lands, but doesn't hold the title. JHK 21:20 Sep 3, 2002 (PDT)

I think they may have oversimplified. The income from the Duchy of Lancaster is part of the (private) income of the Queen, the income from the Duchy of Cornwall is part of the income of the Duke of Cornwall. The Queen uses this income to fund the Privy Purse, which defrays the expenses of the Royal family, including her son ('assigning' some of its income to him, if you will) but she can do so only because it is hers to dispose of. It also pays for the upkeep of Balmoral. The accounting is complex, and people/politicians/etc. fight about which income should be taxed, which expenditures should be reimbursed, what's part of the Civil List, what's not, who should live where and at whose expense, seemingly without end. But at least at present, and at least in the first instance, the income of Lancaster goes to the Queen, while the income of Cornwall goes to the Duke of Cornwall. -- Someone else 4 Sep 2002

Explanation of changes:

  1. . The statement that "The Dukedom is the last extant in the United Kingdom" is simply wrong. There are plenty of Dukes in the United Kingdom, but only one is associated with a Duchy.
  2. . A duchy is not necessarily autonomous. The dukedom and duchy of Cornwall was created by the English Parliament! There are in fact two duchies still extant in the UK, the income of one (Cornwall) goes to the Prince of Wales, the income of the other (Lancaster) goes to the Queen. Someone else 20:40 Sep 6, 2002 (UCT)

According to my dictionary the words duchy and dukedom are coterminous.

The legal status of Cornwall is a matter of considerable debate. It is not proven whether Cornwall is in England or not, and the balance of evidence is to the contrary. You will also kindly note that "English" Heritage have now refrained from using the word "English" on sites in Cornwall in deference to local sensitivities. user:sjc

Duchy and dukedom are not coterminous in the British Peerage. Except for the Duke of Cornwall, the 'territorial designations' are not duchies. Such Dukes have dukedoms, but do not have duchies. There is no Duchy of Gloucester; there is no Duchy of Kent, but the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent hold dukedoms. The term refers to the title and not the territory. The peerage system's territorial designations have nothing to do with holding any sort of power in the territory designated (as is most vividly seen by turning one's attention to Lord Mountbatten of Burma...)

Perhaps you would like to add a discussion of the various views of the legal status of Cornwall to the page, or create a page for the Duchy of Cornwall. Someone else

I think you ought to advise the OED of this oversight on their part. These are probably however obviously specialised usages of the word, and I bow to your knowledge in this area.

We have done the "Is Cornwall in England" debate to death, Someone else. We have a form of words which (until this got raked over again) was satisfactory to all players. I do not propose to go over this ground again. I can reinstate the pages but frankly you will just find pages of ill-tempered vituperation on all sides with a conclusion which resulted in the present compromise. I have acquired the skills and I can round up the players to fight this as a guerilla edit-war without any difficulty at all. Let us just be pragmatic about this and not say that Cornwall is in England, because frankly I find it deeply insulting to be thought of as English. I am Cornish and I have my own language. user:sjc

Oddly, my OED contains the following as a definition of duchy: "In Great Britain, applied to the dukedoms of Cornwall and Lancaster (the two earliest in England) vested in the Royal Family, and having certain courts of their own, in which respect they differ from ordinary peerage dukedoms." Perhaps yours does not.

As to the geographical localization of Cornwall, the British Isles is fine by me. I have no intention of arguing one way or another about Cornwall and England. Someone else

Phew, that's a relief. I had this horrible sense of deja vu. I am "happy" about Cornwall being listed as an English county since it is a description of realpolitik; however the political and judicial complexity surrounding Cornwall's status truly is horrendous and it is far safer not to muddy the water by including it directly in England, but referring to it in relation to Britain. It is a very Orwellian piece of doublethink but it works. user;sjc

PS: the qualification isn't in the Concise Edition, do you think I should write and complain, or ask for my money back? :-) user:sjc

I'd say go ahead and sue them for infliction of pain and suffering, but I don't think it would do much good! <G> Someone else
Nice idea. I'll sue 'em for every penny...

Not to pick at festering sores<G> but it occurs to me that perhaps it would be a good idea to point out that the Duchy of Cornwall is not the same thing as Cornwall, the southernmost county of Great Britain? Let me know if this is offensive or not, or if you think it is better left nebulous. (I think this is probably best done at the start of "Cornwall" but I don't want to >touch< that.) Someone else

Yes, probably a good idea and worth hiving off a separate article in its own right. This way we can do it without upsetting anyone (except perhaps old jug ears) user:sjc

Should this article be under "Dukedom of Cornwall", rather than "Duke of Cornwall"? To me, the term "Duke of Cornwall" suggests a person rather than an institution. -- Oliver Pereira 12:43 Nov 11, 2002 (UTC)

Er.. no if it is going to be moved it should be to the Duchy of Cornwall.
Er.. except it's about the Dukedom, not the Duchy. If someone feels a compelling need to move it, "List of Dukes of Cornwall" might suffice. Reverted erasure of two Dukes. With regard to the statement: "It is also possible to be Heir Apparent without being the Duke of Cornwall (if one is female, or is not the child of the reigning monarch.) ", it's redundant. No female can be heiress apparent if she IS the child of the reigning monarch, so "not the child of the reigning monarch" suffices. --- Someone else 18:07 Nov 11, 2002 (UTC)
It contains information about the dukedom and how it works, which takes up about as much space as the list itself, so I personally would prefer "Dukedom of Cornwall" to "List of..." -- Oliver Pereira 03:39 Nov 23, 2002 (UTC)
Sounds ok to me. I can't imagine anyone looking up "Dukedom" but they can always find it by searching for "Duke" -- Someone else 00:44 Nov 24, 2002 (UTC)
Thanks! (Hurray, I won! ;) -- Oliver Pereira 00:52 Nov 24, 2002 (UTC)

Er... just looked at the talk page after I moved this back to "Duke of Cornwall". In any event, I think that's a better place for it, as no other Dukedom has an article with the title of "Dukedom of such and such". Yes, the rules for who becomes Duke of Cornwall (and thus holds the Dukedom) are more complicated than for any other Dukedom (except the Dukedom of Rothesay, of course), but the discussion of the Dukedom here is not in any distinct way different from the treatment of the various Dukedoms of York at the "Duke of York" page. And, one might note, it's somewhat unclear as to how many "Dukedoms of Cornwall" there have been. The Handbook of British Chronology lists three creations before it seems to have stuck - one for the Black Prince in 1337, one for future Richard II in 1376, and one for future Henry V in 1399. And then future Edward V was created it in 1471, due to the fact that when he'd been born, his father had been temporarily deposed, and Henry VI's son had still been alive. To obviate the fact that there have been several Dukedoms of Cornwall, and for the simple reason that there's no particular advantage in having it under Dukedom, I moved it back. I do think that the Duchy of Cornwall ought to have a separate article, if it doesn't already, but another advantage of "Duke of Cornwall" is that it can discuss the Duchy as well as the Dukedom in the same article. john 04:52 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I agree with the move, all the more so having read the talk pages. Dukedom is patiently wrong in this case. Duchy would be more correct, Duke perfectly correct, as one can talk about the person, title and territory all in one. FearÉIREANN 06:57 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The Duchy and Cornwall[edit]

I have removed the text that states the Duchy is nothing to do with Cornwall because it is quite simple wrong. The office of Duchy was created to provide a source of income for the heir apparant, a training ground for a future King and as a form of Governance for Cornwall. To this day the Duke has some rights over the territory of Cornwall.

Such as:

The High Sheriff of Cornwall is appointed by the Duke, not the monarch, in contrast the other counties of England and Wales. The Duke has the right to the estates of all those who die without heirs (intestate) in the whole of Cornwall, outside of Cornwall such estates go to the Crown. This is known as Bona Vacantia and applies to treasurer trove as well. A sturgeon caught elsewhere in Britain is ceremonially offered to the monarch, while in Cornwall it is offered to the Duke. The Duke has right of wreck on all ships wrecked on Cornish shores, but in most of England this is the right of the Crown. Additionally, unlike a truly private estate the Duke does not have to pay income tax on Duchy profits including profits from the above rights over the territory of Cornwall.


In addition in 1969-71 the Kilbrandon Report into the British constitution recommends that, when referring to Cornwall - official sources should cite the Duchy not the County. This was suggested in recognition of its constitutional position.


In 1856 court case in which Sir George Harrison successfully argued that the Duchy enjoyed the rights and prerogatives of a County palatine, that it was extrateritorial to England and that the Duke has rights over the whole territory of Cornwall befitting a King.


Whence county was gradually adopted in English ( scarcely before the 15th century ) as an alternative name for the shire, and in due course applied to similar divisions made in Wales and in Ireland, as well as the shires of Scotland, and also extended to those separate parts of the realm which never were shires, as The Duchy of Cornwall, Orkney and Shetland. Part definition of the term County.Complete Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd Ed 1989 p. 1044.

So you are really going to have to address these points if you want to write that the Duchy has nothing to do with Cornwall.


In the following simplified family-tree:




| |




King A has two sons, the elder B, the younger C.

B becomes Duke of Cornwall at birth.

B has a son, D.

If B dies, his brother, C, would become Duke of Cornwall.

Now, let King A die. He would be succeeded as King by his grandson, D.

At this point, would C cease to be Duke of Cornwall? Would E become Duke of Cornwall? (Could there be two Dukes of Corwall under these circumstances?) If C were to retain the title Duke of Cornwall until his death, would he be succeeded by his son, F, or by his great-nephew, E?

Many thanks in advance! Phlogistomania 01:10, Jun 18,

2005 (UTC)

C wouldn't become Duke of Cornwall at all. Neither would D. Only the eldest son and heir apparent of the monarch can be Duke of Cornwall. Only if B dies without having legitimate children (male or female) C can become Duke. Also D can only become Duke of Cornwall if B becomes King. (Alphaboi867 03:21, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC))

It is my understanding that D would not be King. When B died that would make C, his brother, the new heir. When A dies then C would become King followed by any of his sons. When B dies before A (Therefore B was never King) then his son D loses his place in line. The sons of a King are ahead in line before the Grandsons. I could be wrong and please correct me if I am. NeuGye (talk) 17:13, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Nobody loses his place in the line of succession to the British throne, but people can cut in front of him by being born into a more senior branch. The line of succession to King A goes:
1. B, Duke of Cornwall, son of A
2. D, son of B, grandson of A
3. E, son of D, great-grandson of A
4. C, son of A
5. F, son of C
If any of them dies, the people below him each move up one space. If B has a second son G, he gets a spot between E (the last of his older brother D's descendants) and C (the head of the next most senior line descending from A). There's more information (a lot more) at Succession to the British throne. As near as I can tell, if B dies first, no one is Duke of Cornwall, but if B, D, and E all die first, C becomes Duke of Cornwall as both oldest surviving son and heir apparent of King A. --Kineticman (talk) 03:11, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Celtic Frontier or County Boundary?[edit]

Added the following link

Bretagne 44 14:44, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

What stops a grandson taking the title?[edit]

From recollection, Christopher Hibbert's biography of George III states that the young prince was not created Duke of Cornwall as George II preferred to keep the Duchy's income, as though it may have been possible to grant the title. Similarly the future Richard II was Duke of Cornwall despite being a grandson of the monarch. Is there anything fixed other than convention that stops the title being specially conferred on the heir apparent in such circumstances? And if not, could changes be made were, say, Prince Charles to predecease the Queen? Timrollpickering 09:32, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

More Succession[edit]

I'm not sure this article is correct in places. The Creation of 1337 and modifications of 1421 were often not observed in practice. It's all dependant on how you interpret the wording - the 1421 changes remove the heirs of the grantee clause of 1337 - because otherwise Henry V would not have met the terms of the grant. Another example being the Jacobite split in after the Glorious Revolution. William and his heirs fall outside the grant where the jacobites do not - though they can't claim the title for other reasons. I'm struggling atm to find the original acts in full as this article really needs them so we can be clear both what they said and the extent to which they were observed.

The terms of Act of Parliament 1337 are "eidem duci et ipsius et heredum suorum regnum Anglie filiis primogenitis et dicti loci ducibus in regno Anglie hereditarie successuris" which is heirs (no mention of legitimacy at all - not heirs male of the body lawfully begotten which is the usual remainder) firstborn of the kings of England. These terms were ignored by or regranted differently both before the 1421 changes and afterwards. The 1471 patent is to "habend. et tenend. eidem Duci et ipsius et heredum suorum Regum Anglie fil. porimogenitusu et dicti loci Ducibus" which is almost back to 1337 from the intermediate changes.

I'm by no means clear on this but this article is even less so at the moment and needs the help of someone who can work thorugh the charters and regrants to establish whats happening Alci12 17:46, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Loyal Toast[edit]

Is The Loyal Toast used in Cornwall? And what form does it take? "The Duke of Cornwall"? "The Queen"? Both or either? Just something I'm wondering // DBD 23:22, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Changes in succession[edit]

The Commonwealth realms have/are-in-the-process-of adopting full primogeniture, eliminating the male preference primogeniture previously used. What does this do to the titles like Duke of Cornwall? If Prince William's first child is a girl and some subsequent child is a boy, the girl is heiress apparent. Would she also become Duchess of Cornwall or would it still go to her younger brother, the spare? TheUnknown285 (talk) 04:13, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

We really won't know until either the laws are formally passed or William (or whoever) has a first-born daughter. Hot Stop talk-contribs 04:23, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Dukes of Cornwall, 1337 creation[edit]

I was amazed reading the article to discover that at least the last 5 Dukes have simultaneously held the title of Duke of Rothesay from1469 - 1540 , and I thought Charles was only born in 1948. I would do something about it myself but knowing nest to nothing about the subject I would probably make a hash of it. --wintonian talk 00:05, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

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