In June, the Daily Mail had that very curious story about how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were suddenly looking to buy or rent a home in Berkshire. Presumably, Kate wants to be closer to her parents (who live in Berkshire) and there is the assumption that the Cambridges will eventually send Prince George to boarding school, and there are good private schools in that area. Still, it was the first we heard of the Cambridges wanting to move, and the rumors were just shady enough for fill in the blanks that Will and Kate are living separate lives and perhaps looking to make “living apart” a more permanent situation. Even when they’re in Norfolk, it seems like they’re living separately – Kate at Anmer Hall and William at the Sandringham big house. So what if William is also eyeing a property in Windsor? That’s what Dan Wootton claims in his new column, which likely came straight from Kensington Palace. Apparently, William wants Prince Andrew to be kicked out of Royal Lodge at Windsor, and William wants that to be his home. Fascinating.
As Prince Andrew thrusts the monarchy into another catastrophic scandal with Virginia Roberts suing him in a New York court for sex abuse, questions are being asked at the most senior levels of the Royal Family over whether he can retain his Royal Lodge home at Windsor. There is growing outrage from the first and second in line to the throne, Prince Charles and William, about the devastating impact the Duke of York’s personal conduct in regards to his friendship with the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has had on the institution.
That has resulted in simmering frustration that he remains living a luxurious life in the sprawling 30-room Royal Lodge just three miles away from the Queen at Windsor Castle, a prized property that was home to the Queen Mother from 1952 until her death in 2002.
I’ve learned Prince William has even expressed an interest in his family taking over the property in the medium-term.
Some courtiers doubt Andrew’s reasonable expectation to stay living at his home since 2004, where he has a 75-year lease, given he is no longer a working member of the Royal Family and his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, have both moved out. The fact Andrew’s former wife Sarah Ferguson is also now a permanent resident of the Royal Lodge and has been actively using the residence in a recent PR campaign has raised the ire of some courtiers.
While the Queen, who remains personally close to her favourite son Andrew, is unlikely to ask him to move, there is expected for him to be growing pressure to vacate the premises in the years to come, as Charles and William assert their influence.
Andrew was granted a 75-year lease on the property on the understanding he would carry out £7.5 million of renovations at his own expense. After that point, it was agreed that he would not have to pay rent. If he was asked to give up the property, it would be likely a new deal would need to be done for him to move to another royal palace
My royal source revealed: ‘The ongoing personal scandal involving Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein is a source of much heartache for Charles and William who are trying to protect the future of the monarchy. There is now an active discussion at the most senior levels of the Royal Family about how Andrew can remain at the Royal Lodge, given the circumstances. The Queen will not want to upset Andrew and she loves having him close by as they regularly ride together. But he is no longer a working royal and the princesses have both moved out. Prince William is thought to have expressed an interest on taking over the Lodge at some point in the future and it’s unlikely that Charles would stand in his way. It would make more practical sense too, given the size of the Cambridge family and the need for them to be close to London.’
Eyebrows have been raised about Fergie’s fragrant use of the property, including in a string of recent media articles. My royal source explained: ‘Andrew and Sarah might try to argue that she is only a guest, but the reality is that she lives at Royal Lodge and has done so for some time. The Queen is very affectionate towards the Duchess of York, but Prince Charles thinks the whole set up is absolutely outrageous. It adds to the embarrassment of the situation.’
[From The Daily Mail]
The whole idea of “but where would Andrew even go?!?” is hilarious to me. The Queen owns a huge amount of private property, and the Crown has a vast amount of property and real estate too. If they were looking to move Andrew out of a Crown-owned estate, he would simply move into one of the many privately-owned royal homes on the Sandringham estate or whatever. Or, you know, he could just buy his own damn home. I actually do believe that Andrew should be made to move out of Royal Lodge. It’s tacky that he still lives in the Windsor Castle estate and that he has one of the biggest pieces of prime real estate (while Harry and Meghan were given a decrepit shack to renovate).
As for William eyeing Royal Lodge… well, that’s certainly interesting. Will & Kate already have Kensington Palace Apartment 1, which is one of the larger “apartments” in KP, and is basically a mansion within a palace. Why would Will and Kate need a second home so relatively close by? In addition to Anmer Hall in Norfolk, and in addition to whatever Berkshire hideaway they get. Very curious.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, KensingtonRoyal social media.
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