Inside Prince Andrew's 'crumbling' home and how Kate Middleton could benefit (2024)

There are reports of tensions rising once again between Prince Andrew and King Charles over the Duke of York's deteriorating residence, Royal Lodge.

King Charles is said to be pressuring his younger brother to vacate his 30-room Windsor mansion in favour of the more modest Frogmore Cottage, previously the UK home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The Duke of York, 64, is believed to have a lengthy lease on the Royal Lodge. However, as the King oversees all royal household finances, he could potentially limit funds to him - which could soon see Andrew struggling to cover the hefty annual maintenance costs of the Grade II-listed property.

Inside Prince Andrew's 'crumbling' home and how Kate Middleton could benefit (1)

Since 2004, Andrew has resided at Royal Lodge on the Windsor estate, which he now shares with his former wife Sarah Ferguson. Before he moved in, it was a much-loved retreat for Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

King George VI's widow made several additions to the property and it also features a mini cottage or Wendy house called Y Bwthyn Bach, which was gifted to the late Queen - then Princess Elizabeth - in 1932. Even after the King died in 1952, it was still used as a grace and favour home by the Queen Mother up until she died there in March 2002, with the late Queen by her side.

Following the Queen Mother's death, Royal Lodge was leased to Prince Andrew. Along with the main house, the lease included the Gardener's Cottage, the Chapel Lodge, six Lodge Cottages, police security accommodation and a whopping 40 hectares of land.

He was required to pay for any renovations himself, which reportedly were in the region of £7.5million. In 2004, he then moved into Royal Lodge with his two daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie and soon after so did his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson after signing a 75-year lease.

Inside Prince Andrew's 'crumbling' home and how Kate Middleton could benefit (2)

Fall from grace

Andrew has experienced a significant downfall in recent years due to his association with convicted paedophile, Jeffry Epstein. In 2019, following a disastrous interview on BBC Newsnight, Andrew was compelled to withdraw from public life.

Then, in 2022, he was left reeling when the late Queen stripped him of all his military titles and Royal patronages, and he was no longer permitted to use the title of His Royal Highness in any official capacity. A year later, rumours began to swirl that Charles was eager for his brother to vacate Royal Lodge and relocate to Frogmore Cottage, which had recently undergone renovations.

It was suggested that Andrew couldn't afford the £400,000 annual maintenance costs of the property, but he remained steadfast in his refusal to leave.

However, it was hinted earlier this year that Andrew had been granted a reprieve at the property due to his ex-wife Fergie's cancer diagnosis. Fergie, who resides at Royal Lodge with Andrew, disclosed last year that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and early this year, she also revealed a skin cancer diagnosis.

It was reported that the King was taking this into consideration. The couple share the residence with their five Norfolk Terriers and the late Queen's two corgis, Sandy and Muick.

Adding to the tension

Inside Prince Andrew's 'crumbling' home and how Kate Middleton could benefit (4)

Reports have now surfaced that King Charles is ramping up the pressure on Prince Andrew regarding the estate, allegedly cautioning him of grave repercussions if he refuses to leave. The Duke of York's continued resistance to relocate after previous nudges has reportedly irked Charles.

A Royal insider disclosed to The Times: "The King's kindness is not without limit and there is a very good option for Andrew to move into Frogmore Cottage, recently vacated by the Duke and duch*ess of Sussex, 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 source also mentioned that Andrew is "taking longer than desirable" to "recognise the reality of the situation".

However, Andrew is showing no signs of moving. A friend of the Duke of York told the newspaper that he's likely to "dig in" if the stand-off continues and that he's already had a "stay of execution" due to Sarah Ferguson and the King's recent illnesses.

Could William and Kate benefit?

Inside Prince Andrew's 'crumbling' home and how Kate Middleton could benefit (5)

The Times suggests that those in Royal circles believe Fergie could help her ex-husband "see sense" and swap his Royal home for a smaller property. So what would happen to the estate if he were to leave?

The lease could be sold back to the Crown Estate, who could then rent it out to a private tenant. However, there's been chatter that it could become the new residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

William, Kate and their three children currently reside in Adelaide Cottage in Windsor, which is smaller than Royal Lodge. But this rumour has been dismissed by respected royal historian Robert Hardman.

The author of Charles III: The Inside Story, spoke to an official who said the move from Adelaide Cottage to Royal Lodge "might happen but it's not planned."

According to his book, William and Kate are reportedly "extremely happy" in their four-bed cottage. "They are there as a family with total privacy and without lots of staff."

Inside Prince Andrew's 'crumbling' home and how Kate Middleton could benefit (2024)


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