Duchess of York ‘will do all she can’ to earn enough to stop Prince Andrew being forced out of Royal Lodge

Exclusive: Duchess wants to be Prince Andrew’s ‘financial saviour’ as she tries to help him stay at Royal Lodge in Windsor

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 21 February 2023 19:12 GMT
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The Duchess of York has pledged to do “all she can” to help Prince Andrew afford to stay at Royal Lodge, her friends say.

Prince Andrew has lived at the Grade II listed building in Windsor for 20 years and shares the seven-bedroom property with his former wife Sarah. He has been keeping a low profile since being stripped of his royal duties and reaching an out of court settlement with Virginia Giuffre last year.

In the most recent blow to Andrew’s royal standing, King Charles is understood to be considering withdrawing the prince’s allowance, which comes from the private Duchy of Lancaster fund, previously overseen by the Queen.

Cutting the duke’s allowance will leave him unable to afford to run the 98-acre estate, or the significant security costs. In 2018, the house was used to host the wedding receptions for both his daughters Princess Eugenie in 2018 and Princess Beatrice in 2020.

The Independent understands that Andrew’s former wife, who has written numerous books and embarked on several business endeavours, is keen to ensure that the prince can stay put.

“Sarah is going to try and raise the money he needs,” said the friend. “She and the girls want to do all they can to keep Andrew where he is as it is seen as a significant loss of status for him to lose his home.

Sarah Ferguson remained close to the Queen following her divorce from Prince Andrew (Getty Images)

“She totally accepts that with a change of reign will come a change in circumstances and she supports King Charles entirely.

“But having said that she will do her level best to support Andrew through her entrepreneurial projects, her books and promotion work – she is going to be the financial saviour of Prince Andrew.”

The duchess is determined that no taxpayer money is used to support him. Royal Lodge lies three miles south of Windsor Castle and so falls outside the area of general royal security.

It is understood that the single biggest financial barrier to Andrew staying on is the cost of security, estimated to be around £1m a year for round-the-clock protection.

Royal Lodge in Windsor is worth around £30m (Rex features)

Royal Lodge is worth an estimated £30m and belonged to the Queen Mother’s until her death in 2002. It is thought that Andrew has spent millions of pounds renovating the residence since he inherited it with a 75-year extension of its lease in 2003.

As well as hosting the weddings of Beatrice and Eugenie, the Royal Lodge has formed the backdrop for the duchess’s many YouTube book readings, both inside the 30-room estate and around its extensive grounds.

Charles’s plans to cut funding to the wider royal family come as part of his plans for a ‘slimmed down’ monarchy and reducing the number of working royals.

Even before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex settled in the US and made explosive revelations about the royal family, Charles was intent on cutting the number of senior members of the family.

The king is also expected to hold a pared down coronation on 6 May, amid the cost of living crisis. Queen Elizabeth II’s ceremony cost a total of £1.57m – the equivalent of £46m on today’s money.

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