Prince Andrew 'fears he won't be able to afford Royal Lodge but is resisting ... trends now
Prince Andrew does not want to move into Frogmore Cottage because he views it as a 'downgrade' from his 30-room Royal Lodge - even though King Charles has evicted Harry and Meghan to hand him the keys, it emerged today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
King Charles is taking a hard line on his brother Andrew by kicking him out of his home and cutting his annual grant
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
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.
Harry and Meghan, pictured in 2018, are said to be very hurt by the eviction
But he is said to be resisting the ‘downgrade’ from 30-room, seven-bedroom Royal Lodge.
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 highly-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’.
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.’
The Duke of York reportedly told friends he is unlikely to be able to maintain upkeep of his Windsor home (pictured) without receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds every year from the King