King Charles secretly profits from dead Britons' assets using old-time law, new report says

King Charles secretly profits from dead Britons’ assets using old-time law, new report says

Britain’s king, King Charles III, has been accused of using ancient feudal laws to raise tens of millions of dollars earmarked for charity for the deaths of thousands of Britons to upgrade his property empire, according to a bombshell Guardian report.

The media outlet reported that the king had claimed and profited for years from assets known as “bona vacantia,” which belong to people who died without a will or known close relatives, in order to upgrade commercial properties for rent.

Over the past 10 years, the monarch has raised more than $75 million in funds, despite promises to donate all proceeds to charity.

Documents obtained by the Guardian from the Duchy of Lancaster, Charles’ extensive lands and properties which he inherited from the late Elizabeth II, reveal that the money is being secretly used to renovate the properties he rents out for profit.

In accordance with the medieval practice of “bona vacantia,” or “vacant estates,” the king’s dukedom inherits funds from those whose last known address was in the county palatine of Lancashire and was ruled for centuries by a duke, according to the report.

The duchy also obtains assets belonging to companies when they close.

The Duchy of Cornwall, which has passed to Prince William since Charles’ accession, also operates under the system.

The two duchies operate as property empires, controlling swathes of farmland, hotels, castles, offices, warehouses, businesses and some of London’s elite real estate, the Guardian reported.

Neither duchie pays corporation tax or capital gains tax, despite generating more than $1.6 billion over the past six decades.

Although the money goes to charities, only 15% of the money has gone there in the last 10 years, according to documents reviewed by the outlet.

The Guardian found that the duchy was allowed to burn its “bona vacantia” earnings on around half of its property portfolio on certain repairs, such as renewing walls, foundations, floors and chimneys, as well as electrical and insulation work.

Among the properties being sold are townhomes, holiday rentals, country houses and barns, including one used for pheasant and partridge shoots.

“The King reaffirmed that bona vacantia money should not benefit the private purse, but should primarily be used to support local communities, protect the sustainability and biodiversity of the land and preserve public and historic properties on Duchy of Lancaster estates,” a spokesperson told the outlet.

“This includes the restoration and repair of qualified buildings in order to protect and preserve them for future generations.”

Charles reaped the benefits of this ancient practice, with his rental properties becoming more profitable, accumulating tens of millions in duchy profits every year, income that Buckingham Palace declared “private”.


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