The Duke of Cornwall himself takes a long-term stewardship approach and has proved that environmental and agricultural best practice are compatible with a sound financial return. For example, The Prince has helped to more than double the Duchy’s capital value – to which he has no access – in the last seven years.
However, because The Duke of Cornwall is not entitled to have or to spend any of the Duchy’s capital (but is only entitled to its annual income) the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall (Accounts Act) 1838 gave the Treasury a role to ensure that actions taken by any Duke when managing the Duchy cannot compromise the long term value of the estate. For this reason the Treasury must, for example, approve all property transactions with a value of £500,000 or more.
The Duchy’s accounts, which are audited by a professional external auditor, are, through the Treasury, laid before the House of Commons and the House of Lords so that Parliament can be satisfied that the Treasury is fulfilling its statutory responsibilities.
With the exception of the Secretary and Keeper of the Records, The Prince’s Council is a non-executive body which provides advice to His Royal Highness with regard to the management of the Duchy. The management of the Duchy operates under the overall guidance of The Prince’s Council and subject to the Treasury supervision referred to above.