Sarah Ferguson has said she is ‘in a position where she can support’ her ex-husband Prince Andrew’ – and said the matter of the move from Royal Lodge is ‘between the Duke and the King.’
The Duke of York does not want to leave his mansion in the grounds of Windsor Castle despite telling friends he fears he will be unable to afford its upkeep if the King cuts his £250,000-a-year grant.
With Andrew unwilling or unable to pay the going rate, likely to be thousands of pounds per week, Charles has decided to kick the Sussexes out of the five-bedroom Frogmore Cottage and offer the keys to his younger brother, who is resisting.
In a new interview, his ex-wife Fergie said she feels ‘really pleased and proud’ to support Andrew ‘through her work’ because he ‘doesn’t take taxpayers’ money’ having stepped back from royal duty.
Speaking to Hello, she said: ‘Since he stepped back [from royal duties] he doesn’t actually take taxpayers’ money. And I’m in a position where I can support him and the rest of the family through my work. And I’m really pleased and proud to do that.’
Sarah Ferguson has said she is ‘in a position where she can support’ her ex-husband Prince Andrew’ – and said the matter of the move from Royal Lodge is ‘between the Duke and the King’
Meanwhile the Duchess of York also said the matter of the potential move from the Royal Lodge in Windsor to Frogmore Cottage was ‘between the King and the Duke’
She added: ‘All I will say is that for many years now – it started with Budgie the Little Helicopter – I’ve really pushed to look after my girls and to contribute to the York family life.’
The red-headed royal has complained of financial difficulties in recent years, describing herself as ‘continually on the verge of financial bankruptcy’ in a 2010 TV interview in the US.
Sarah has had an eclectic career as an entrepreneur, having been a children’s author, film producer and writer of romantic fiction.
She has even sold blenders on television and has been an ambassador for Weight Watchers.
Last month, the Duchess of York launched a gallery of digital art, which features her own spoken-word poetry overlaid with a visual interpretation of the verses by other artists.
Elsewhere, the Duchess would not be drawn on whether the Duke would be vacating the Royal Lodge in Windsor for Frogmore, calling it ‘a matter between’ the two brothers.
It comes as Prince Andrew was spotted earlier today while out for a ride in the grounds of Windsor.
It emerged yesterday Prince Andrew does not want to move into Frogmore Cottage because he views it as a ‘downgrade’ from his 30-room Royal Lodge.
The red-headed royal has complained of financial difficulties in recent years, describing herself as ‘continually on the verge of financial bankruptcy’ in a 2010 TV interview in the US
It comes as Prince Andrew was spotted earlier today while out for a ride in the grounds of Windsor
Andrew currently pays a reported £250-a-week for a state-subsidised 30-room mansion complete with 98 acres of land and a swimming pool – and is not keen to leave it after 20 years.
The Duke of York is set to lose £250,000-a-year in funding from the King as part of a shake-up of private royal finances and has had to sell off assets including a £19million ski chalet to cover the costs of settling the sex scandal case with Virginia Roberts Giuffre – a sex slave victim of Jeffrey Epstein.
As friends of the Sussexes branded the decision to force them out of Frogmore Cottage as ‘cruel’, the latest salvo in the royal drama escalated tensions within the family ahead of Charles’s coronation in May.
The Telegraph reports that by evicting Harry and his wife, the King’s son may no longer be eligible to serve as a Counsellor of State, which requires Harry to be ‘domiciled’ in the UK. But with no British address from the summer, and no alternative to Frogmore offered, Harry may now be completely sidelined.
The King moved to evict Harry and Meghan from their Windsor home just 24 hours after the release of the prince’s score-settling memoir Spare.
It is understood Prince Andrew has been offered the keys to their five-bedroom home, a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle.
But he is said to be resisting the ‘downgrade’ from 30-room, seven-bedroom Royal Lodge.
King Charles is taking a hard line on his brother Andrew by kicking him out of his home and cutting his annual grant
The Sussexes are believed to have not been offered an alternative property on any royal estate. A spokesman for the couple in the US last night confirmed that they had been asked to move out.
They said in a statement: ‘We can confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage.’
Sources claimed they had no idea that Frogmore was offered to Andrew until it appeared in the papers.
Buckingham Palace refused to comment last night. A source said any discussions would be a ‘private family matter’ – and one insider said the move was about ‘money, not malice’.
But sources close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were quick to hit out. One told the US gossip website Page Six that Charles began the eviction process on January 11, a day after Harry’s book Spare – which contained a string of revelatory claims about the Royal Family – hit the bookshelves. Omid Scobie, Harry and Meghan’s biographer, described it as a ‘crushing blow’ to the couple, who have been told little detail apart from the fact that the property is needed for ‘someone else’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are seen in the kitchen at Frogmore Cottage, which they have been asked to clear of their belongings
Frogmore Cottage is not said to appeal to Andrew, who prefers his current larger home
He quoted a ‘friend’ as saying: ‘It all feels very final and like a cruel punishment. It’s like [the family] want to cut them out of the picture for good.’
Mr Scobie described the Sussexes as being ‘stunned’ by the King’s decision and claimed that two other members of the Royal Family are ‘appalled’.
Harry is known to be particularly close to his cousins, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, who would, of course, have their own views on whether their father should be made to leave Royal Lodge.
Mr Scobie, who has previously been described as the Sussexes’ unofficial spokesman, said the couple were initially given just weeks to leave but now have until ‘early summer’ to vacate.
‘Now they have at least until after the coronation,’ a source told him.
The Sun newspaper also quoted an insider as saying: ‘This surely spells the end of Harry and Meghan’s time in the UK.’
The Sussexes were given use of Frogmore Cottage in 2018 by the late Queen after complaining that their existing home, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, was too small and not private enough.
Frogmore Cottage was originally five, run-down staff residences but was knocked back into one large residence with a private garden using £2.4million in taxpayers’ money. The couple themselves paid for anything over and above basic fixtures and fittings.
But they spent just six months in the house before moving to North America, first to Canada and then California, where they have bought an £11million mansion in Montecito.
Despite several public statements from Harry that he now sees his future in the US, he and Meghan decided to reimburse the Crown Estate for the cost of renovations in a deal which included leasing Frogmore Cottage for several years. The couple said it would mean ‘their family would always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom’ as they pursued lucrative commercial deals abroad.
But their decision to launch a string of bitter and highly damaging tirades against the Royal Family, first in a series of interviews and then in their Netflix series and Harry’s book, has left their relationship with their relatives at rock bottom.
His father and brother have not spoken to him for months, while many of Harry’s friends have also disowned him. As a result the couple have only used Frogmore a handful of times, including for a few days during the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and when she died in September.
There was also a whistlestop visit last spring, while Harry stayed there when he returned for Prince Philip’s funeral and the unveiling of a statue in memory of his mother in 2021. It was briefly lent to Princess Eugenie and her family, but she then moved to Portugal with her family. It has otherwise lain empty.
The couple – who were just three years into their ongoing lease – are said to be drawing up plans to ship the rest of their belongings over to California and have requested items including an ornate ottoman bench and a chaise longue, according to The Sun.
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