Inside Royal Lodge: Prince Andrew’s 30-room mansion that Prince William ‘has his eye on’

The Duke of York is said to be ‘resisting’ any attempt to move him out

Kate Ng
Wednesday 12 April 2023 09:12 BST
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The Duke of York has resided in the Royal Lodge in Windsor Park for nearly 20 years, but his reported refusal to move out is said to have left King Charles III “tired and infuriated”.

It is understood that the King wishes for Prince Andrew to vacate the royal property and move into the smaller Frogmore Cottage instead, with suggestions that the Prince of Wales “has his eye” on the mansion to “reflect his new role” as heir to the throne.

Andrew first moved into the vast property in 2004 and made it his family home. He lives there with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

But it has been reported that he may have to move out of Royal Lodge, as his brother the King may cut his £249,000 annual allowance.

The duke reportedly told friends that this would mean he would not be able to cover the cost of maintaining the 98-acre estate.

We take a closer look at the huge property that the duke has called home for so many years.

Where is the Royal Lodge?

The Royal Lodge is located around three miles south of Windsor Castle.

It is part of the Crown Estate and was previously the Windsor residence of the Queen Mother from 1952 until her death in 2002.

It was built in the mid-1600s and used to house various staff and members of the royal family over the years. It has had several names, including Lower Lodge and Great Lodge, before becoming known as Royal Lodge.

(Rex features)

How big is the Royal Lodge?

The grounds surrounding the Royal Lodge extend to 98 acres. The property itself has 30 rooms, including seven bedrooms spread across the two topmost floors.

It also has a large drawing room, called the “formal room”, and a saloon. The original conservatory has been maintained.

There is also a small cottage, Y Bwthyn Bach, on the grounds of the Royal Lodge, which was gifted to Princess Elizabeth as a child by the people of Wales in 1932.

Other smaller properties located on the estate include a Gardener’s Cottage, the Chapel Lodge, six Lodge Cottages and police security accommodation.

Who lived there before?

Prior to Andrew’s family taking up residence in the Royal Lodge, it was occupied by King George VI and the Queen Mother when they were still the Duke and Duchess of York.

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret spent much time at the Royal Lodge, which was used by the family as a country retreat.

In the mid-18th century, military topographer and artist Thomas Sandby lived in the house as the deputy ranger of the Great Park, which granted it the name of Deputy Ranger’s House.

Later, it was home to Joseph Frost, the park bailiff, who then became the general superintendent of farms after Sandby’s death.

George, Prince of Wales – who went on to become King George IV, used the lodge as temporary accommodation in 1812.

It was almost completely demolished, except for the conservatory, in 1830 under King William IV’s orders and rebuilt. By 1840, it was being used as accommodation for various officers of the royal household.

How much has Prince Andrew spent on it?

Andrew leased the Royal Lodge from the Crown Estate for a £1m one-off payment in 2003, with the lease lasting 75 years.

Princess Eugenie of York reacts as she and and her husband Jack Brooksbank walk to an Aston Martin DB10 as they leave Windsor Castle for Royal Lodge (AFP via Getty Images)

The agreement required the duke to carry out refurbishments at his own expense and it is believed he spent around £7m renovating the property. It could not be worth £30m if it were to be put on the open market.

In 2018, Andrew and Sarah’s younger daughter Princess Eugenie held her wedding reception at the Royal Lodge, after her nuptials to Jack Brooksbank took place inWindsor Castle.

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