Prince Andrew given a ‘stay of execution’ at Windsor home

Prince Andrew
The Duke of York moved into Royal Lodge following the death of Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother, in 2002 - Mark Kerrison/In Pictures

The Duke of York has been given a “stay of execution” at his Royal Lodge home to carry out repairs, reports have suggested.

The monarch has reportedly come to a deal with his brother after a back-and-forth about the 98-acre Windsor property, allowing the Duke to indefinitely continue living in his home of more than 20 years.

The Duke is said to have paid more than £200,000 for roof repairs of the 30-room home over the summer, a sum that has been described as an “interim payment”, following an August meeting at Balmoral with the King.

The move comes after the property was understood to have been earmarked for the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children by the King after he ascended the throne, as part of his attempt to streamline the monarchy’s finances.

However, the Duke has now reportedly been afforded some time to come up with the funds for much-needed repairs at the Grade-II listed building, which he is responsible for as part of his Crown Estate lease.

Royal Lodge
The Duke is said to have paid more than £200,000 for roof repairs of the 30-room home over the summer - Shutterstock

The allowance needed for repairs, though, is understood to be vast and north of £2 million, with issues such as damp plaguing the historic building.

Earlier this year, the King made a cut to his brother’s annual allowance of £249,000, which effectively priced him out of the running costs of the royal mansion.

The Duke, who relies on the allowance since he left front-line royal duties, moved into the Grade-II listed house in Windsor Great Park following the death of Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother in 2002, taking on a 75-year lease.

He was forced to step down as a working member of the Royal family in 2019 over his association with the disgraced paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. He has since been residing in the Windsor home, mostly remaining out of the public eye.

Early this summer, it was said that the Duke was unwilling to vacate the property at the King’s request, with friends expressing concern that the monarch would try to expedite the move after his Coronation.

However, after a meeting at Balmoral where the brothers reportedly discussed the issues about the Duke’s Windsor home, Prince Andrew publicly attended church in the Highlands with other senior royals in an apparent show of unity, which insiders said marked an end to any talk of the “family divided”.

The arrival of the Duke in the same car as the Prince and Princess of Wales marked a possible thaw in relations since Easter, when the trio attended a similar service but were at all times several paces apart.

Prince William was seen driving his wife and Prince Andrew to church
The Prince of Wales was seen driving his wife and the Duke of York to church - Peter Jolly/Northpix Press Agency

While the Prince of Wales is known to have played a central role, along with the King, in stripping the Duke of his military titles following the Newsnight interview fallout, it nonetheless marked a display of family harmony.

It was understood that the nearby Frogmore Cottage, the former home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was suggested by the King as an alternative for the Duke of York in Windsor.

However, the Duke was reluctant to leave Royal Lodge and questions were raised about where Sarah, Duchess of York – the Duke’s estranged wife – would live if the couple were forced to vacate their home.

A source told the Mirror newspaper: “Andrew’s stance has paid off. He has refused all attempts by the King to leave his home … and the King has relented and granted a stay of execution.

“[Andrew] is in agreement that the property needs repairs, for which he has already paid more than £200,000 recently to sort out the roof and has said he will make the further necessary renovations.”

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

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