The Duke of York is refusing to leave his home during construction work for fear he will ‘never return’.
It comes amid a confrontation between him and his brother, King Charles, who is keen on Prince Andrew leaving his longtime Windsor residence, Royal Lodge, in a bid to bring down the monarchy.
The royal, who no longer has official duties after being forced to step down over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, shares the 30-bedroom, £30million mansion with just his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York.
The King thinks the property could be better repurposed, but Andrew, who took over the late Queen Mother’s home on a long-term lease and has invested up to £7million of his own fortune in renovations, refuses to move.
The Mail understands that some necessary work is underway later this summer, including roof repairs paid for by Andrew himself.
Prince Andrew refuses to leave his home during construction work for fear he will ‘never come back’
Andrew, who took over the late Queen Mother’s home on a long-term lease, and invested up to £7million of his own fortune in renovations
It comes amid a confrontation between him and his brother King Charles, who is keen on Prince Andrew leaving his longtime Windsor residence, Royal Lodge.
Royal Lodge has seven bedrooms spread over the two upper floors. Sources say it would make sense for the prince to temporarily move to Frogmore Cottage, Harry and Meghan’s former home which the king suggested Andrew could ‘downsize’ to permanently.
But the source also claims that Andrew – rightly or wrongly – fears he could be permanently evicted if he were to leave the property, even temporarily. “It got wacky,” they said. ‘Andrew has scheduled roof repairs later this summer which will take several months and has been advised that staying in the house during these renovations could prove problematic. But he hesitates to leave.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment, but another source insisted there was no need for the Duke of York to move.
The Mail understands the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, now based in California, still hold the Frogmore lease, which ends in July.
It was confirmed earlier this year that they had also been given notice to leave their Windsor home, given to them by the late Queen.
Princess Eugenie currently lives in the comfortable five-bedroom home with her husband and two children. She gave birth to her second son last week and the arrangement allows her to be close to her parents and ensure Frogmore stays busy.
Another source added that despite the drama surrounding the Royal Lodge and the costs needed to repair it, the Duke of York is adamant that he will stay at home and not become Frogmore’s new resident.
Prince Andrew no longer has official duties after being forced to step down over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal (pictured)
Prince Andrew lives in the £30million mansion with just his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York
“They originally wanted Andrew to vacate the Royal Lodge so the property could be refurbished and prepared for new tenants,” the source said.
“But he is adamant that, as he has so many years left to run on his lease and has spent millions of his own fortune setting up the place, he will not leave his house. He has a very strong feeling, perhaps with some justification, that they are moving the goal posts suddenly and that is grossly unfair.
“No one knows how this will be resolved, but Andrew insists. It was clearly convenient for Harry and Meghan to leave Frogmore as they were paying for a property they weren’t really using. But Royal Lodge is Andrew’s home.
It has long been rumored that the Prince and Princess of Wales, who currently live in the four-bedroom Adelaide cottage in Windsor with their three children, could move in.
But it is believed that the Crown Estate would also not rule out commercial letting of the Royal Lodge in order to get the best return.
Rumor has it that the Prince and Princess of Wales, who live at Adelaide Cottage, Windsor, with their children, could move in. But it is believed that the Crown Estate would not preclude commercial letting of the Royal Lodge.