Revealed: The winners and losers in the grand merry-go-round of royal estate – as it turns out Prince Andrew could take a £1.5m windfall if he leaves the Royal Lodge this year
- Prince Andrew signed a lease on Windsor Lodge after the Queen Mother’s death
- He is entitled to compensation for the money he spent on refurbishing the property
The Duke of York could get a £1.5 million windfall if he leaves Royal Lodge this year.
A government document seen by The Mail on Sunday reveals that Prince Andrew would be entitled to a rebate on the money he spent refurbishing the 30-room Windsor property when he first moved in two decades ago.
The Duke of York – who was photographed at the Windsor estate yesterday smiling broadly at a jogger behind the wheel of his Range Rover – acquired the lease in August 2003, a year after the death of the Queen Mother who had lived there
He then spent more than £7.5 million on renovations. Under the terms of the lease, he is entitled to a discount if he moves within 25 years. It’s calculated on a sliding scale, so if he leaves this year – 20 years into the deal – he could get £1.5m back.
The document states: ‘Should the Duke wish to terminate the lease, the property would revert to the Crown Estate.
Prince Andrew may be forced to leave the Royal Lodge in Windsor and go to Frogmore Cottage
Prince Andrew, pictured driving his hybrid Range Rover on The Long Walk at the Windsor estate yesterday, could receive a £1.5m cash rebate which he spent on renovating his home
‘The Estate can then be obliged to pay him compensation for the renovation costs incurred. The maximum compensation of just under £7 million is subject to annual discounts for the first 25 years. At the end of that period, no compensation is due.’
The details of the lease were published in a parliamentary document in 2005 after Labor MP Ian Davidson asked for the information.
The document explains how Andrew approached the Crown Estate about acquiring the leasehold of the sprawling estate – which includes a swimming pool and several cottages on site for staff – following the death of the Queen Mother. The royal family instead proposed the commercial lease.
The Duke of York was photographed on horseback. Details of his lease at the Royal Lodge were made public in 2005 after Labor MP Ian Davison asked for the information
However, the property is said to be too expensive to protect now, as the Duke lost his state-funded police detail when he was forced to step down from royal duties in 2019. He now relies on bodyguards paid by the king.
However, King Charles would be annoyed that Andrew insists on wanting to stay at Royal Lodge, which is estimated to cost £3 million a year to guard.
There are now plans to offer Andrew Frogmore Cottage when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex move out.
A source said: ‘Royal Lodge just isn’t right for the Duke anymore. He is a single man who lives with his ex-wife who owns a home in London.
‘Due to the scale of Royal Lodge, two teams (bodyguards) are needed – a mobile team and a static team – and that is quite an expense. The king is happy to provide security for his brother, but a better use of resources would be to house him in Frogmore Cottage.’