Prince Andrew Plans to Stay at Royal Lodge—and Leave It to His Kids

Friends of Prince Andrew have urged King Charles to drop his “cruel” campaign to force Andrew to vacate his home, Royal Lodge, and reiterated that he has every intention of continuing to live in the vast property—and of leaving it to his children.

The friends have also accused the Palace of having learned nothing from the acrimonious departure of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry from royal life, and of carrying out the same kind of anonymous briefings against Andrew that the Sussexes have complained were conducted against them. One friend argued that the efforts to kick Andrew out of the palatial home, which was previously the residence of Andrew’s famously extravagant grandmother, the Queen Mother, were counterproductive as they had forced the issue of Andrew’s living arrangements back into the public eye when they would otherwise be largely forgotten.

The pushback came days after an extensive report in the London Times detailed how the king was renewing his efforts to kick Andrew out, threatening him with being cut off financially if he did not comply.

According to the paper, Palace insiders have dubbed the affair the Siege of Royal Lodge.

Several outraged friends of Andrew’s spoke to The Daily Beast in the wake of the report.

One said: “Andrew has no intention of moving out, and it’s extraordinary that his brother has chosen to reopen this battle via anonymous briefings to the press. It’s like they [the Palace] have learned nothing from the whole Harry and Meghan debacle. Andrew does not have a huge amount in his life any more, the house is one of the few things keeping him going, and the idea that he is going to throw that away along with his children’s inheritance is just absurd.

“The place is perfectly well maintained and the notion that Andrew is in dire financial straits is not remotely accurate. He still has the support of plenty of friends and has plenty of business interests.”

Another friend said: “He was given the lease on the house on favorable terms by the late queen. He has been living there with his family for the past twenty years. It is his forever home and he won’t be leaving. Charles has more than enough houses to go round, and should drop this distracting argument with his brother. I find it hard to believe many people in the U.K. would give the issue a second thought if Charles’ camp stopped running these cruel eviction plans up the flagpole every few months.”

A friend of Sarah Ferguson’s disputed a suggestion in the report in The Times that she would encourage her ex-husband, whom she still lives with, to “see sense” and acquiesce to the king’s demands.

“Sarah has never sought to rock the boat. She has said very publicly that she is grateful to have been brought back into the family by the late queen and she is of course very grateful that has carried on under Charles. That’s a different thing to selling out her family,” the friend said, “She is fiercely loyal to Andrew.”

Sarah has been diagnosed with both skin and breast cancer in the last 12 months and said this week in a TV interview that she would be “having cancer treatment for the rest of my life.”

Asked if her double cancer diagnosis last year had affected her position, the friend said, “Not really because her position has always been that Royal Lodge is the family home. That hasn’t changed.”

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York at Royal Ascot.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York at Royal Ascot.

Toby Melville/Livepic

The Times article said that the king would “reconsider the levels of support he is willing to provide” unless Andrew moved out. It claimed the king is supporting Andrew in the “low millions” of pounds per annum.

One source told the paper, “The king’s kindness is not without limit, and there is a very good option for Andrew to move into Frogmore Cottage…which also has the benefit of being within the Windsor Castle security cordon hence reducing the need for alternative round-the-clock security for Royal Lodge.”

The journalist who wrote the story, royal correspondent Kate Mansey, said that she had seen Andrew’s lease at Royal Lodge, which gives Andrew and his heirs the right to live there until June 15, 2078, at an annual rent of £260,000 ($330,000). The lease says Andrew must “repair, renew, uphold, clean and keep in repair and where necessary rebuild” the property.

Mansey described it as Andrew’s “key weapon” and cited a friend of Andrew’s saying, “He ain’t going anywhere.”

“The whole dispute really stems from the fact that that the brothers have never got on, and the households don’t get on either.”

— Andrew Lownie

The author and historian Andrew Lownie, who is working on a new biography of Andrew, told The Daily Beast: “It’s very clear that Charles is now completely fed up with him and would very much like him to move to Frogmore Cottage, but it all still comes down to the fact that Andrew has the lease. That means there is not much anyone can do. There is evidence that work is going on there, and sure, some of it should have been started last year, but that is hardly going to be grounds to evict him.

“He has plenty of money. He sold his Swiss chalet, he continues to go out to the Middle East for work, and he inherited money from his grandmother. Sarah Ferguson bought a £5m ($6.4m) property in Mayfair in 2022.

“The whole dispute really stems from the fact that that the brothers have never got on, and the households don’t get on either. No-one is coming out of this very well, but if Charles is really serious about getting rid of him, he should stop paying for his security—but the problem there is that Andrew is the one royal who perhaps needs it more than any other.”

Representatives for Andrew and the king did not return requests for comment.

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