The Monarch’s Land

Briony Greenhill
2 min readMay 16, 2023
Excerpt from the Book of Trespass — Stag 5mins — 7.50 (on Audible)

(Obvs this all now belongs to the King)

“Across the river a dark blue form on the horizon, framed by the willows and poplars of the park, is Windsor castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, it has been the residence of 39 monarchs and is today the weekend home of the largest landowner in the world; The Duke of Normandy, the Duke of Lancaster, The Lord of Mann, the Defender of the Faith; her Britannic Majesty — the right royal Queen of England.

“If you include Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia and the Falkland Islands — which she does — the Queen owns 6.6bn acres of land across the globe. As the largest landowner in the world, she has 12,000 times more than her nearest runner up, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who owns a paltry 55 million acres.

“But the majority of this is just paperwork and branding, and the land that she profits directly from falls to about half a million acres divided up into 3 distinct holdings.

“The Duchy of Lancaster comprises 45,600 acres whose portfolio of assets is valued at around £534 million including commercial, residential and agricultural properties across Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire, not to mention a tasty slice of London, in the form of the Savoy Precinct.

“In 2017 the Queen creamed £20.18m profit from the surplus of this estate.

“The Duchy of Cornwall is a significantly larger property holding, comprising 130,000 acres across Cornwall, Devon, Herefordshire, Somerset, and almost all the Isles of Scilly, and is again classed as a private estate, though like the Duchy of Lancashire, it pays no corporation tax.

“In 2017–18, it generated an income of £21.7m that paid for most of the official duties of Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, Harry and Meghan.

“The third asset belonging to the monarchy is called the Crown Estate, and at 336,000 acres of land, it is their most significant holding. It consists of some of the finest farmland across England, 14 retail parks, almost all of London’s Regent Street, and in 2016 was valued at just over £13bn.”

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Briony Greenhill

Briony Greenhill is a folk-soul improvisational artist who teaches Collaborative Vocal Improvisation (CVI); formerly a researcher with a 1st in politics.