Cornwall Council has tabled a motion to invite the new Duke of Cornwall to meet councillors. Mebyon Kernow councillor Dick Cole during his remarks said:

“It’s also appropriate that we do write to the Duke and we welcome that the motion recognises the constitutional significance of his role and how this underpins the protecton, promotion and celebration of Cornish identity, culture and heritage. It is our hope that the letter to be written by the Chairman of this Council will also make make reference to the National minority status of the Cornish, and how this links to the unique constitutional position of the Cornish nation.”

Dr. John Kirkhope – Notary Public, PhD in Law, investigated the constitutional status of the Duchy of Cornwall: ‘Duchy of Cornwall v the Crown’ and what became known as the Cornish Foreshore Dispute (1855-1858).

Among the many legal arguments put forward from the Duchy of Cornwall included:

“A careful examination of the third [Duchy]Charter will show that by it not only were all these transferred by the King to the Duke, the Crown thereby, as set forth in the original Duchy statement, having entirely denuded itself as against the Duke, of every remnant of Seignory and territorial dominion which it would otherwise have enjoyed within the County, and thus made the rights of the Duchy more extensive and more exclusive as against the Crown than had ever been enjoyed by the Earls; but the Charter also conferred upon the Duke the prerogative right entitling the Duke in Cornwall to priority of Wardship, Marriage etc, in the same manner as the Crown was entitled in other parts of the kingdom.”
If this construction of the third Charter is the correct one, it is not too much to say that within Cornwall the Duke stood in the place of, or was quasi sovereign so far as regarded territorial Seignory”
The Duchy of Cornwall won the case.
Should the new Duke of Cornwall take up the invite, and the council’s stated resolve to:

‘Recognise the important constitutional role held by the Duke of Cornwall’ councillors have the opportunity to ask the questions posed by John Kirkhope:

“The question and challenge for the Duchy is at what point did it cease to be “quasi sovereign” within Cornwall? When did it cease to be the Government of Cornwall and when was it no longer precisely in the position of the King?”  

Is it the case, as Kirkhope suggests “That the Duchy was content to advance its elevated status within Cornwall when it perceived that might achieve some economic advantage, but was keen to ignore its obligations within Cornwall when it had secured those advantages?”

If the Duchy of Cornwall continues to ‘ignore its obligations within Cornwall’, then perhaps its rights and privileges should be transferred to the people of Cornwall, vested within a Cornish Parliament.