Prince William told a cheeky 11-year-old boy yesterday that he “doesn’t know” how much money is in his bank account after he was tickled by an unexpected question during his visit to a youth club in Manchester.
The Prince of Wales was meeting with young people at The Hideaway Youth Project – a major partner of the Manchester Peace Together Alliance – in Moss Side when he was surprised by the question.
Young Amir Hassan made the royal laugh when he boldly asked, “How much do you have in your bank account?”
The student later revealed that the heir to the throne joked that he “didn’t know” – but the prince’s fate is laid bare in the principality’s annual reports.
Prince William predicted this in September last year “Sunday Times”. to be worth a staggering £1.05 billion after inheriting the Cornish estate from his father, King Charles, upon the Queen’s death.
The inheritance effectively made William a billionaire, becoming the UK’s largest private landowner, with assets worth £1.2 billion across 23 counties, including farms, housing estates, seven castles, forests, coastlines and commercial properties. Almost 90% of the principality’s resources are real estate.
The astonishing portfolio includes London’s Oval cricket ground – which was once a cabbage patch – Highgrove, near Tetbury, the town of Poundbury in Dorset and Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.
Prince William (pictured in Manchester yesterday) told a cheeky 11-year-old boy he “didn’t know” how much money was in his bank account after being tickled by an unexpected question during a visit to a youth club in Manchester
The Duchy of Cornwall owns Highgrove, which was inherited by Prince William. Pictured: William on a pony in Highgrove with Princess Diana
Kennington Oval cricket ground (pictured) was once a cabbage field and market garden of the Duchy of Cornwall
Other assets include commercial properties worth £345m in London, Milton Keynes and elsewhere.
The popularity of staycations amid the Covid-19 crisis has boosted cottage income in the Principality with record bookings, while Duchy plant nursery in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, also had a good year.
William, like the king, has no free control over the estate, but can use profits from the estate – which are described as “surpluses” in the duchy’s accounts – to finance his “public, private and charitable” activities.
The figures show how the prince, who became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay after ascending his father’s throne, amassed even greater wealth as the duchy’s fortunes grew.
In 2020-21, total wealth was £21.241 million, but rose to £24.646 million last year before rising again to £26.311 million in the year ending March 2023.
Of last year’s record net surplus of £24.048m, William had access to £12.773m, while his father received £11.275m.
Typically, William received £24 million as his private income, but his finances became complicated as he became heir to the throne midway through the financial year.
Kensington Palace explained at the time that as a “one-off action relating to the change in the Dukes of Cornwall”, the Duchy team had asked for part of the surplus to be retained for “working capital purposes” – the day-to-day management of the estate – this year.
The duchy retained £6.873 million, leaving William with an income of £5.9 million.
Tintagel Castle (pictured) is also owned by the Duchy. William’s real estate portfolio has grown significantly
Built on the lands of the Duchy of Cornwall, Poundbury (pictured) is now home to around 4,600 people, offering private and affordable accommodation
The duchy also owns Restormel Castle near Lostwithiel in Cornwall (pictured)
Charles’s Welsh home at Llwynywermod near the Brecon Beacons is believed to belong to the Duchy (pictured)
William was already extremely wealthy, having inherited around £10 million on the death of his late mother Diana and a further £7 million on the death of the Queen Mother in 2002.
In April, The Guardian reported that King Charles’ private fortune had risen to £1.8 billion.
In the Duchy’s latest financial statements, William paid tribute to his father for leaving an “indelible mark” on the Duchy and his passion for driving change. He described that he wanted to change something in his new role.
“I am committed to the fight against climate change and I am proud of the efforts the estate is making to contribute to this challenge,” William said.
“If we can also help tackle societal challenges such as mental health and homelessness, I will feel my tenure as prince has been worthwhile,” he said.
He added: “I realize that I have taken the helm at a difficult time for many tenants, businesses and communities in the Principality.”
William said, like his father, that he “will support the Duchy family in this, striving to ensure that the estate continues to evolve and develop as a modern enterprise delivering on our vision of sustainable stewardship – for community, enterprise and nature.”
Yesterday, Prince William launched the Royal Foundation Community Impact Project with a visit to a youth center, where he was joined by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham
William talks to children during his visit to the Moss Side Millennium Powerhouse
During the visit, he looked very focused on his pool game as observers watched his strategic play
Following the publication of the figures, the Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, called on the prince to report his full income and expenses and to donate the Principality’s income to local communities across the country.
Graham Smith, Republic’s chief executive, said: “William has some clarification as a change of monarch and heir to the throne is no reason to complain about little transparency.”
He added: “There is absolutely no reason why William’s household cannot produce a full set of accounts for this financial year.
“As a recipient of public funds from a state principality, he should report his income and expenses.
“As Duchy profits appear to be rising to a record £24 million, it is time to demand that the Duchies (Cornwall and Lancaster) be returned to the people and that the proceeds be put back into local communities.”
Last year it was announced that the royal family’s fortune now exceeds £20 billion, meaning the company is worth more than Tesco, Britain’s largest retailer, valued at £17 billion.
William is believed to be worth £1.05 billion, while his father’s net worth is £900 million.
Harry and Meghan’s net worth was estimated at £20 million, although brand experts say their new life in the US, combined with their royal connections, could one day net them $1 billion.
Princess Anne could be worth £50 million, Prince Edward £10 million and Prince Andrew £5 million, despite their recent legal bills.
The royal family’s cash and assets have been estimated to be between £20 billion and £24 billion, although this includes assets worth £1.4 billion, such as Buckingham Palace, which belong to the monarch only in an official capacity.
The Crown Estate is worth £16.5 billion.