Duchy of Lancaster - Royal Prerogative

Royal Prerogative

"These cases seem clearly to establish the doctrine that all the prerogatives and privileges of the King belong to him with reference to the lands parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster in no less a degree than they do with lands which belong to him immediately in right of his Crown."

Both the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall have special legal rights not available to other estates held by peers, counties palatine - for example Bona Vacantia operates to the advantage of the Duke rather than the Crown throughout the historic Duchy. Proceeds from Bona Vacantia in the Duchy are divided between two registered charities.

Bona Vacantia arises, in origin, by virtue of the Royal Prerogative and in some respects this remains the position although the right to bona vacantia of the two major categories is now based on statute: Administration of Estates Act 1925 and the Companies Act 2006.

There are also separate Attorneys General for the estates. Generally, though, the exemptions all tend to follow the same line: any rights pertaining to the Crown generally in most areas of the country instead pertain to the Duke in the Duchy. Generally, any Act of Parliament relating to rights of this kind will specifically set out the special exemptions for the two Duchies and specify the extent to which they apply to the Duchy. They are also, however, subject to strict regulation, especially with respect to auditing and alienation of land.

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