"The Old Duchy Palace was once the administrative centre for The Duchy of Cornwall" writes the BBC, but what do they understand by 'Duchy of Cornwall'? Clearly the Palace was the administrative centre for the constitutional and territorial Duchy that covered (covers) Cornwall. When did this Duchy become a private landed estate for the benefit of one man? What acts of parliament effected this changeover?
A very interesting blog here -Confirm or Deny- on one mans experiences with making request for information under the Freedom of Information Act. Of particular interest to the Cornish might be this selection of posts concerning the constitutional status of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Quoted: A while ago now I appealed to the ICO and made the case that the Duchy of Lancaster is a public authority for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations.
Clearly one of the problems with the Duchy of Cornwall is almost identical i.e that it's a body of governance dressed in the robes of a private estate, therefore enabling it to avoid request for information under the FOI act. For a great exposé of the Duchy of Cornwall visit: The Duchy of Cornwall Human Rights Association. Equally if you want to make a request for information under the FOI act consider this website: What Do They Know.