Prince Andrew fears the King is trying to force him out of his £30 million Windsor home by slashing his annual grant.
A furious Duke of York is telling friends that without hundreds of thousands of pounds a year from his older brother, he will be unable to maintain Royal Lodge and will have to move out by September.
It is understood the sprawling 30-room property requires extensive work, but Andrew stopped receiving public money when he stepped down from Royal duties in 2019 following accusations of sexual assault, which he continues to deny.
The Duke formerly relied on the generosity of the late Queen to support him with private funds from the Duchy of Lancaster, last reported at £249,000 a year.
But it is understood that in the past few weeks all members of the Royal Family have been told to tighten their belts and to expect less money from the Duchy – now owned by Charles – than in the past.
Friends suggest the Duke (pictured) is now looking to pursue commercial opportunities
The Duke fears that without the funds from the monarch, he will be unable to maintain the expansive 30-room Royal Lodge on the grounds of Windsor
Those in the Duke’s inner circle feel that he has been targeted as his only other annual income is a small Navy pension, so he will be particularly hard hit.
One friend said: ‘It feels as though his brother wishes to evict him.’
Another source said: ‘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.’
Another friend said: ‘They’ve been told their subsidy, vital for maintaining Royal Lodge, will be cut as soon as April.’
Andrew, who turns 63 today, spent millions of pounds reaching a no-fault settlement with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, and if he wishes to challenge the terms of that deal – as has been reported – that will involve considerable expense.
Friends of the Yorks are already suggesting Andrew is looking to pursue commercial opportunities as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have done in the US.
But others point out that the Duke has received a substantial inheritance from the late Queen and Prince Philip.
It is understood that all members of the Royal Family have been told to tighten their belts and to expect less money from the Duchy – now owned by Charles – than in the past
A source said: ‘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.’
Charles is said to be mindful of the fact that his brother Andrew was given a house – Sunninghill, in Berkshire – as a wedding present by the Queen, but chose to sell it for £15 million to a Kazakh billionaire.
Andrew bought a 75-year lease on Royal Lodge, the Queen Mother’s former home on the Windsor Estate, for £1 million after she died in 2002. But one condition was that he carry out significant refurbishments – which have already cost him millions of pounds.
Aware of public opinion, the King is said to be keen to reduce expenditure and ‘slim down’ the monarchy. Although the Duchy funds are private, he has ordered a major review of how it is spent.
The late Queen paid him the yearly subsidy, last reported to be £249,000, out of her own private fortune, enabling him to fund his family home at Windsor’s Royal Lodge
He is believed to have guaranteed Andrew an income – albeit reduced – and a home, and is also understood to have agreed to pay privately for the Duke’s security, estimated at about £3 million a year, after his team of Scotland Yard protection officers was axed by the Home Office.
There has also been discussion of what to do with the many Royal properties. Aside from the London palaces and the Windsor estate, the King alone has Sandringham, Balmoral, Birkhall, The Castle of Mey, Highgrove and a cottage in Wales plus properties in rural Transylvania. The Mail on Sunday understands that the King has held meetings with the Prince of Wales and Sir Michael Stevens, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, about their future use.
Charles has told aides that he is keen to keep ‘a flat above the shop’ in Buckingham Palace when renovations there are complete.
A source said: ‘This is about downsizing and making the properties work for their local communities as much as for the Royal Family. Even before coming to the Throne, the King made no secret of the fact he wants a slimmed-down monarchy.
‘He knows the public won’t want to see money wasted, particularly in the current climate.’
The King is believed to have guaranteed Andrew an income – albeit reduced – and a home, and is also understood to have agreed to pay privately for the Duke’s security, estimated at about £3 million a year
Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who lives with him in Royal Lodge, bought a £4.25 million mews house in Belgravia last year
Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who lives with him in Royal Lodge, bought a £4.25 million mews house in Belgravia last year.
The Mail on Sunday today reveals she is unable to sell the Central London property without the say-so of her daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, raising the prospect they may have helped finance it. However the property would not be able to accommodate the Yorks’ full household – which also includes the late Queen’s corgis Muick and Sandy – should they be forced to leave Royal Lodge.
Buckingham Palace refused to comment last night.
The late Queen had barely been laid to rest when the anonymous Buckingham Palace machine started to warn life was about to change for Prince Andrew – as the ‘distraught’ Duke now faces losing his Windsor home of 19 years, writes DAPHNE BARAK
By Daphne Barak, Interviewer And Film Maker For The Mail On Sunday
The Queen had barely been laid to rest when it began. Message after message, delivered through the anonymous Buckingham Palace machine, warning that life was about to change for Prince Andrew… and not for the better.
‘They didn’t even wait ten days from the end of mourning the Queen,’ I was told by a source close to the Duke of York. ‘That’s when courtiers started to send them the bad news.’
And it was recently made clear to Andrew, still grieving, that the annual allowance he has received from the monarch since he left the Navy in 2001 was about to be severely reduced, possibly even axed, as soon as April.
His mother paid him the yearly subsidy, last reported to be £249,000, out of her own private fortune, enabling him to fund his family home at Windsor’s Royal Lodge.
Now the Prince – who I have been told is ‘distraught’ – may have no choice but to give up his home of 19 years as soon as September.
Even people appalled by his association with the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein would surely ask: ‘What’s the rush?’
It was recently made clear to Andrew, still grieving, that the annual allowance he has received from the monarch since he left the Navy in 2001 was about to be severely reduced, possibly even axed, as soon as April
Daphne Barak: A biography
Daphne Barak is a renowned interviewer and documentary film maker, whose subjects have included Nelson Mandela, Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, Johnny Depp and Michael Jackson among many others.
Daphne’s best-selling book Saving Amy, based on her months’ filming with Amy Winehouse and her family, is being adapted into a scripted eight-part TV series by Halcyon Studios.
But while the news was a bombshell to Andrew and his former wife Sarah, who lives with him at Royal Lodge, it was being openly discussed in royal circles.
One senior member of the family joked about his plight at a recent Windsor gathering, teasing: ‘We will kick Andrew out of that house.’
Andrew, often said to have been the late Queen’s favourite, knew that as long as she was alive, he would be protected. But King Charles has been talking about a ‘slimmed-down monarchy’ for years.
The situation is not quite hopeless. Andrew has a 75-year lease and cannot simply be evicted. But finding the money to maintain the 30-room lodge may prove impossible.
He has already made a multi-million pound payment to his American accuser, Virginia Giuffre, whose abuse claims he denies. Now he wants to challenge the terms of that settlement, but knows another legal battle will cost.
Will he follow the example of his nephew Harry and seek commercial deals previously unthinkable to royals?
Friends of the Yorks are already talking about financial independence.
Money talks. Cut off from front-line royal duties. Cut off from family support. At risk, in his view, of losing his home.
Andrew might well be asking: ‘What choice do I have?’
- Daphne’s latest book, Struggling for One America, written with Erbil Gunasti, is published by Skyhorse Publishing and is available to buy here.
- Read her pop culture scoops here.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk