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Will Andrew be forced out of Royal Lodge?
Sources claim a “distraught” Prince Andrew believes King Charles is trying to force him out of his Windsor home by cutting his annual grant. The Mail on Sunday says Andrew is “furious” at this prospect, which will mean he won’t be able to maintain the upkeep of Royal Lodge. He thinks he could be out by September. A source told the Sun on Sunday: “It feels as though his brother wishes to evict him.”
One senior member of the royal family joked about Andrew’s situation at a recent Windsor gathering, saying: “We will kick Andrew out of that house,” according to the Mail and the Sun.
“They didn’t even wait ten days from the end of mourning the Queen,” a source close to Andrew told the Mail about when Andrew was told his circumstances were to change. “That’s when courtiers started to send them the bad news.”
He lives at Royal Lodge with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. A source told the Sun: “Andrew and Sarah are distraught they have been given such short notice. The Queen died only a few months ago. He’s not being explicitly kicked out, but it’s expected that he won’t be able to afford the maintenance. Royal Lodge has a swimming pool, 98 acres of land and is already in need of some repair.”
While Andrew has a 75-year lease on the property, the issue he faces is funding its upkeep, and Andrew’s public funds stopped when he was forced to step down as a senior royal in the wake of accusations he had sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre when she was underage and being sexually trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew paid Giuffre reportedly millions of dollars in an out-of-court settlement, and has emphatically denied her claims. Recently, there have been reports he is focused on clearing his name, even though Charles is adamant that there is no way back to resuming his public royal life.
Another source told the Mail: “He’s not being explicitly kicked out but it’s expected that he won’t be able to afford the maintenance.” Another friend told the paper: “They’ve been told their subsidy, vital for maintaining Royal Lodge, will be cut as soon as April.”
The Mail says Andrew was previously funded to the tune of £249,000 (around $300,000) a year by the queen, but Charles wants all members of the family to tighten their spending. Andrew’s only other income is his navy pension.
However, the Mail says Andrew also has a “substantial inheritance” from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Of Charles’ control over what royals receive now from the public purse, a source told the Sun: “He knows the public won’t want to see money wasted—particularly in the current climate.”
As well as his Royal Lodge woes, Andrew is in the process of being fully evicted from his perch at Buckingham Palace. While no longer under British taxpayer-funded protection of the Metropolitan Police, he has private security funded by Charles.
Charles will not leave Andrew homeless or penniless, the Sun says, a source telling the paper: “This is about Charles telling Andrew he can use his own money to pay for things. The same goes for other members of the family, such as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. And while there is leniency with working members of the family, who have offices funded by the Sovereign Grant, there have been other examples.”
A source told the Mail: “This is about Charles telling Andrew that he can use his own money to pay for things. The same goes for other members of the family, such as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. And while there is leniency with working members of the family, who have offices funded by the Sovereign Grant, there have been other examples. Sophie and Edward’s daughter Lady Louise, for example, inherited Prince Philip’s carriage but Charles doesn’t feel like he should pay for the upkeep of the ponies to pull the carriage.”
Harry and Meghan’s Coronation ‘predicament’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have not made a decision about whether or not to attend the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla on May 6, with a source in their camp telling the Telegraph, with admirable understatement, “It’s complicated.”
The comments to the Telegraph, attributed to a “friend,” are likely an accurate reflection of the couple’s thinking as the paper is one of the few with which they still engage.
The paper says that Harry understands it is “pretty much the most important day” of Charles’ life and would instinctively like to be there, but Harry having comprehensively trashed, ridiculed and indicted of various faults and cruelties his father and brother in his biography, Spare, the couple’s popularity has plummeted to historic lows and many believe they will be booed if they appear in public.
Harry has also made a point of suggesting he would be unwilling to attend the coronation without having a reconciliation meeting with his family first, telling ITV News anchor Tom Bradby, who asked him directly if he would attend: “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then, but you know, the door is always open, the ball is in their court. There is a lot to be discussed and I really hope they are willing to sit down and talk about it.”
However the royals have not offered a meeting and are unlikely to do so, believing they have nothing to apologize for. Harry also made public details of secret meetings in his book, and there are concerns private meetings could be later served up for public consumption.
“It’s complicated. There are a million different variables. Anybody could understand the predicament.”
— Friend of Harry and Meghan
By making clear that the couple will be invited, the royals have put the ball firmly in their court and left Harry and Meghan on the horns of a dilemma.
“It’s complicated,” a friend told the paper, “There are a million different variables. Anybody could understand the predicament.”
Invitations are due to be sent out in the next few days and the couple will not make a decision until an invite is received, the Telegraph says. “They’ll cross that bridge when they come to it,” the friend said. “They do not have any insight. They’re in limbo.”
So, what is Meghan up to?
The Telegraph has a crack this weekend at unpicking the mystery of the Instagram handle @meghan, which appeared last summer with a previously unseen childhood photograph of Meghan, shortly after she told The Cut magazine: “I’m getting back… on Instagram.”
However, nothing has happened since and the report notes that Meghan has been “conspicuous by her absence” during Harry’s PR campaign for his book.
But, the Telegraph, says, behind the scenes it’s a dizzying blur of activity. There have been big staff changes at Archewell as the company tries to shift its focus to making scripted content and she has now partnered with powerbroker Adam Lilling, the founder of Plus Capital in 2012, which describes its mission as enabling “the world’s top influencers – those who can affect more change in a day than most can in a lifetime.”
Most intriguingly of all, however, is a hint buried in the report by the respected royal reporter Camilla Tominey saying that due to her “busy schedule, and seemingly fewer staff” it is therefore “unlikely” that Meghan will attend the coronation on May 6. Oooh.
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Who paid for Fergie’s $5million home?
Fergie’s outright purchase of a £4.25 million ($5 million) property in London’s swanky Belgravia district last year set many scratching their heads. How did she afford it? Was this the same Fergie who described herself as “continually on the verge of financial bankruptcy” in a 2011 TV interview, and who moved in with her ex-husband rather than set up her own home?
Now, perhaps, a clue emerges. The Mail on Sunday has revealed that official paperwork shows she cannot sell the property without written consent signed by her daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
A legal source told the Mail that one explanation might be that it was her daughters who had plunked down the cash, or that “whoever purchased the property wants to make sure that her daughters ultimately benefit from it.”
A source described as “close to the Duchess” told the Mail: “She has bought it very much as a nest egg for the girls so it does not surprise me at all that she has put that kind of provision in.”
Insane Coronation traditions: an update
The Times had a wonderful story this week about the work of the Coronation Claims Office, which is responsible for adjudicating requests or “claims” made by aristocrats to serve their traditional roles at the coronation.
These include the right to carry the king’s spurs, hold his right glove, taste his wine and even present him with a pair of falcons. One ancient provision sees a dutiful noble servant paid in bolts of velvet. Many of these dubious honors go back to the 1377 coronation of Richard II, since when nobles have argued their “claim” to carry out duties for the sovereign at the coronation.
Reporter Valentine Low quotes the 7th Baron Carrington, 74, the new lord great chamberlain (the role is a job share between three families, rotating with the change of reign) as saying: “You can look up what lord great chamberlains did in the past—dressing and undressing the King, and anointing him and so on—but this is going to be different. And no one has been told what their duties are yet. The only piece of information I have is that I have to be there at 9.30am on the morning of the coronation. And there is a chart that shows me in a procession.”
We say: Bring on the falcons.
Adele and Ed Sheeran say no to Coronation concert
Adele and Ed Sheeran have both turned down requests to play King Charles’ Coronation concert on May 7, claiming to be too busy to do so.
A source involved with the project told the Mail on Sunday: “The king has suggested a number of people he would like to perform and Adele and Ed were on that list. He was very keen that they were part of the concert. There is a team set up to get the talent signed up so they approached the two of them, but got replies saying that they were unavailable, which was a massive disappointment. They are titans of the showbiz industry and are quintessentially British but also known across the globe. It’s such a shame.”
The Mail says Sheeran has a concert scheduled in Texas the day before, but could take a private jet to be at the Coronation. It is unknown what Adele’s schedule clash is, because, the Mail says, she has nothing “publicly listed” after her last Las Vegas concert on March 25. Charles still hopes Harry Styles will play the concert. Lionel Richie is apparently on the verge of saying yes, and Victoria Beckham (Posh) has yet to confirm to organizers if she’ll be part of any Spice Girls appearance.
Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber has been commissioned to compose an anthem for the occasion. “My anthem includes words slightly adapted from Psalm 98,” he told the Mail. “I have scored it for the Westminster Abbey choir and organ, the ceremonial brass and orchestra. I hope my anthem reflects this joyful occasion.”
This week in royal history
Well, today, February 19, is Prince Andrew’s 63rd birthday. He was born on this day in 1960 at Buckingham Palace. And what a birthday present—not—for him to be gazing at the front pages today.
Will Harry and Meghan show up or not show up at the Coronation? Who will play the Coronation concert? Will Charles really force Andrew out of Royal Lodge?
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