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King Charles threatens to cut off Prince Andrew unless he moves out of his royal residence, report says

Eve Crosbie   

King Charles threatens to cut off Prince Andrew unless he moves out of his royal residence, report says
  • King Charles may cut off Prince Andrew's funding to force him out of his lavish royal mansion.
  • Friends of the monarch told The Times of London that Andrew is being urged to downsize.

King Charles has threatened to stop funding Prince Andrew's lifestyle in a bid to force his brother to vacate the royal residence he has called home for more than two decades, according to friends of the monarch who spoke to The Times of London.

The Duke of York, who stepped down from public duties in 2019 following renewed publicity about his controversial friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has lived at Royal Lodge, in Windsor Great Park, near Windsor Castle, since 2003.

However, as part of their ongoing bitter row, the King has urged him to accept downsizing from the 30-room residency to a smaller home — possibly Harry and Meghan's former residence, Frogmore Cottage — or face having to pay his own living expenses, which reportedly are in excess of £4 million ($5 million) a year.

One royal source familiar with the situation told the British newspaper, the monarch "may have to reconsider the levels of support he is willing to provide" to his younger brother if Andrew does not comply with his request.

"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 Duchess of Sussex," they added, noting that the move would significantly reduce Andrew's security bill — said to make up three-quarters of his annual living costs — as it benefits from being within the Windsor Castle security cordon.

Another close confidant of the King echoed this, telling the outlet: "Unfortunately, if Andrew refuses to leave within a reasonable timeframe, then the King may be forced to reassess the whole package of support he provides and the duke would be required to fund the lion's share of his security, accommodation and lifestyle costs all on his own — which, given the sums involved, is highly unlikely to be possible in the long term."

In 2022, the Duke was reported to have paid $15 million in an out of court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that Epstein trafficked her and forced her to have sex with the Duke of York.

The second oldest son of the late Queen Elizabeth moved into the sprawling mansion, which boasts 30 rooms, a swimming pool, and a tennis court, among other amenities, in 2003 following the death of his grandmother, the Queen Mother, who lived there from 1931 until her death at the age of 101 in 2002.

Although they divorced in 1996, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson also made the property her primary residence, and together, they spent nearly £7 million ($8.9 million) to carry out extensive repairs and renovations on it, according to The Times of London.

Under the current terms of the agreement, the lease would pass to named members of his immediate family upon his death.

According to another friend of the King's who spoke to The Times of London said, "It's all rather sad. But as things stand, life at Royal Lodge is set to become increasingly cold and uncomfortable for the duke."

Some royal insiders, the newspaper noted, have dubbed the standoff between the brothers "the siege of Royal Lodge."

Representatives for the King and the Duke of York did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular working hours.

Those close to Andrew also shared their thoughts with The Times of London, with one stating that "if it's a case of who will blink first then Andrew is going to dig in. He ain't going anywhere."

"He has had a stay of execution with Sarah and the King's illnesses,and he will be hoping that Charles won't want to be seen as vindictive by turfing him out."