Inheriting the Cornwall Estate Has Made Prince William a Billionaire

Prince William’s salary as a helicopter pilot went to charity, but he has plenty of money after inheriting the Duchy of Cornwall upon his father's accession to the throne.

Dan Clarendon - Author

Sep. 14 2022, Updated 12:27 p.m. ET

Prince William
Source: Getty Images

Thanks to his family income and his inheritance, Prince William has built up a solid net worth in his 40 years! But we know that William’s salary as a helicopter pilot didn’t contribute to his fortune — he donated that money to charity.

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William is now first in line to the throne after the accession of his father King Charles III following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. In addition to inheriting the titles of Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall, his net worth has increased dramatically due to the transfer of properties associated with the latter. Let's take a journey into William's wealth.

Prince William received $62,000 per year as a helicopter pilot and donated that money to charity.

In 2014, Kensington Palace announced that William, then 32, would become a helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance and would donate his salary from the job — a salary of $62,000 per year, according to CNBC — to charity.

“In common with all other East Anglian Air Ambulance pilots, The Duke will be formally employed by Bond Air Services,” the palace said in a press release, per Us Weekly. “He will draw a salary which he will donate in full to charity.”

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Prince William
Source: Getty Images

Prince Willaim and Kate Middleton received income from the Duchy of Cornwall, but now they own the estate outright as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.

As Vanity Fair explains, the Duchy of Cornwall is a private estate that King Edward III established in 1337 to provide money for the heir to the throne. The duchy now covers properties in London and 130,000 acres of land in England and Wales. Prince Charles was the heir before the queen's death, and he distributed income from the duchy to his family, including William and Kate.

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According to Parade, that money was one of William's primary sources of income. In 2019, for example, William received around $6 million from the duchy. Now that he has succeeded his father, his net worth has grown from $40 million to well over $1 billion, largely due to the value of the $1.37 billion Cornwall estate.

The Prince of Wales plans to share the wealth, though. Prior to his inheritance, William was reportedly researching ways to use the duchy’s properties to lower homelessness in England. “I’ve started to think about how I will inherit the Duchy one day,” he told a group of farmers in the 2019 special Prince Charles: Inside The Duchy of Cornwall, per Vanity Fair. “Well, rest assured I’m not going to rock the boat; I’ll do much the same as what my father’s doing. I’m not so into the architecture — that’s the only thing.”

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An inheritance from William's late mother, Princess Diana, contributes to his net worth.

According to Hello!, William and his younger brother, Prince Harry, inherited millions from their late mother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997. Her estate was worth £21 million (about $25.7 million in today’s money) at the time of her death, or nearly £13 million (about $15.9 million) after inheritance tax.

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Prince William

Duke of Cambridge, member of British Royal Family

Net worth: $1.40 billion (reported)

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is a member of the British Royal Family, the son of King Charles III and the late Princess Diana, and the grandson of the late Queen Elizabeth II. He is currently second in the line of succession to the throne.

Birthdate: June 21, 1982

Birthplace: London, England

Parents: Diana, Princess of Wales; King Charles III

Education: Eton College, University of St Andrews, Royal Military Academy

Spouse: Catherine Middleton (m. 2011)

Children: Prince George (b. 2013), Princess Charlotte (b. 2015), Prince Louis (b. 2018)

The money was split evenly between William and Harry and minded by royal advisers until the brothers came of age, by which point the inheritance was worth £20 million (about $24.5 million).

After inheriting the Duchy of Cornwall, William's estimated wealth is around $1.4 billion, a bit step up from his estimate $40 million wealth as Duke of Cambridge.


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