Royal sources, apparently aligned with King Charles, have sought to quell the anxiety of Prince Andrew over a looming cut to his income, which he fears may force him out of his 30-room home, Royal Lodge, by saying Andrew will not be left “homeless or penniless.”
Andrew may consider not being made to sleep on a park bench (contrary to the wishes of some observers, it must be said) rather a low bar, and one unlikely to inject a spring into his step.
The pledge, made by a royal source to the Telegraph, does not, after all, preclude the many horrors that may yet befall a housed man beloved of the bright lights and sybaritic pleasures of the big city, such as being made to go and live on an isolated farmstead in Scotland or New South Wales.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment to The Daily Beast.
Ominously for Andrew, who purchased a 75-year lease on the massive former home of the queen mother in 2003 for £1m, reports which seem to emanate from the palace in both the Telegraph and the Mail emphasize that Charles is, despite his willingness to continue to provide Andrew with a functional roof beneath which to shelter, most definitely on an economy drive, and that the generous stipend of over $300,000 that Andrew received annually from his mother is indeed in the cross hairs.
Without that cash, Andrew’s pals were busy claiming on his behalf this weekend, he won’t be able to maintain standards (or staff) at his 30-room mansion with a swimming pool, set on 98 acres of parkland half an hour from London, and will have to move out.
Sources claimed Andrew was “distraught” with one telling the Sun on Sunday: “It feels as though his brother wishes to evict him.”
One senior member of the royal family even joked: “We will kick Andrew out of that house,” according to both the Mail and the Sun.
“They didn’t even wait ten days from the end of mourning the Queen,” a source told the Mail: “That’s when courtiers started to send them the bad news.”
An original Nepo baby, Andrew was lavished with cash and property by his late mother, including a mansion he was gifted as a wedding present which he subsequently sold for £15million (about $23million at the time) in 2007. That transaction was the subject of much controversy after it was revealed the buyer, a son-in-law of the former president of Kazakhstan, paid several million dollars over the asking price before promptly tearing the structure down.
He and his wife then bought a ski lodge in Verbier. That deal ended in disaster after Andrew failed to pay a final instalment on the property and was sued by the owner. The property was eventually sold but the original owner was left nursing a significant loss.
Last year, his wife Sarah Ferguson spent around $5m on a property in London’s swanky Belgravia district.
The family have had other significant expenses in recent months, of course, including $14 million dollars to settle a sex assault case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre. The money was, many believe, lent to Andrew by the queen and there are rumors the debt was forgiven in her will. It has also been widely reported that he received substantial inheritances from both the queen and Prince Philip.
The Daily Mail quoted a palace source as saying that Andrew’s anxieties were based on “fears, not full facts” and the King simply wants Andrew to use his own money to pay for things.
Of course, this seems to be exactly what Andrew is concerned about.