The Republic group wants to abolish the Duchy of Cornwall and for that money to be 'nationalised' into the treasury. So rather than a millionaire earning an extra £17.8 million a year, this would be spent on essential public services. Republic have put forward this plan:
The campaign calls for stewardship of the estate’s land and property to be transferred to the Crown Estate or a separate board of fully accountable commissioners, with its net profit passing directly to the Treasury for the benefit of all taxpayers.
A good plan, it is a textbook case of nationalising assets, however I think it does Cornwall a disservice and neglects to recognise that Cornwall has provided for centuries the economic backbone of the Duchy estate as it is today. It may sound a crudely simple thing to say but the Duchy would be nothing without Cornwall and this should be recognised if the title of Duke is abolished. As an alternative I would suggest that lands in Cornwall should be gifted to Cornwall, either to Cornwall Council or hopefully to a Cornish assembly. So the considerable landholdings, farms, quarries, beaches and rivers would be run and administered from Cornwall and any profits made reinvested here. This would mean that the considerable holdings outside of Cornwall would be lost to us but we would go a long way to getting back some of the toils of our mining ancestors.
Of course the other big question raised by the prospect of abolishing the Duchy, is what does this mean for Cornwall's constitutional status? It would also break the line of rule through the Cornish kings, Saxon and Norman Earls and English Dukes...
This is Cornwall story on Republic's campaign
Webpage on the Republic site for the anti-Duchy campaign