The fund is made up from the assets of people who have died without writing a Will. When someone in Cornwall passes away with no will or surviving relatives, their estate (property/money, valuables etc.) passes to the Duke of Cornwall. This is known as Bona Vacantia and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall has chosen to donate all monies from the Bona Vacantia estates to the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund which was established in 1975.

Paul Brinsley, Cornwall Hospice Care Chief Executive says “We’re delighted that the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund has once again supported our charity and the work we do in the Duchy supporting patients with life limiting illnesses and their families. It’s entirely appropriate that this money, from people in Cornwall who have not left a Will or are without any surviving relatives, should enable us to care for others from the same county requiring the specialist adult hospice care we offer. The thank you we extend to the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund comes from us all, patients, staff and volunteers.”

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall visited Cornwall Hospice Care’s Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in 1993 where he was given a guided tour and spoke to many of the patients and their relatives.   More recently in 2015 his brother His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward visited to mark the 35th anniversary of the hospice, which was the first hospice to be set up in Cornwall.  

Cornwall Hospice Care is now planning for its annual Make a Will Week, which runs from the 15th to the 19th of May. Local solicitors give the charity their time during this week asking those who take up the service to make a donation to Cornwall Hospice Care in return. Debbie Henshaw, Legacy, Trust and Grants Manager says it’s a valuable offer for everyone; “a will is so important and during this week the solicitors supporting the campaign ask for donations of £100 for a single Will and £150 for mirror Wills. We just ask that once you have remembered your family and friends you might also consider leaving a gift to Cornwall Hospice Care so we can continue providing support to those who need us across the county.    

Making a gift in your Will costs you nothing today but your legacy will make a real difference in the future.”

Over the last seven years, The Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund has donated over £950,000 to a wide range of organisations. Much of this funding goes towards charitable projects that support environmental, conservation, wildlife and community projects, as well as the advancement of art, religion and education.

The attached photograph is from the Cornwall Hospice Care archives and shows HRH The Prince of Wales Duke of Cornwall meeting some of the nursing team at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice back in 1993.