Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is unwavering in his reluctance to give up his beloved home at the Royal Lodge, even in the face of intense controversy and a drop in royal standing. According to royal scholar Jennie Bond, the duke’s pride and stubbornness were major reasons why he was reluctant to move into Frogmore Cottage.
The 63-year-old disgraced prince has endured a great deal, including losing his patronages and having his royal and military decorations revoked as a result of accusations that he was involved with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Extreme attempts were taken by Queen Elizabeth II, his late mother, to dissociate the monarchy from Andrew’s behavior.
BBC correspondent Jennie Bond offers her thoughts on the ongoing drama surrounding Prince Andrew’s home. Andrew is determined to stay at the Royal Lodge even though it would have made sense to downsize to a smaller property—especially because his daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, already own homes and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, has allegedly bought a house in London.
There has also been a financial component. According to Bond, Prince Andrew discussed the Royal Lodge’s status with his brother, King Charles, at Balmoral Castle during the summer. Insisting that Andrew move into Frogmore Cottage—the former residence of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—King Charles also made it clear that the duke would have to pay for the property’s maintenance.
The “stay of execution” that the monarch granted Andrew came with a requirement that he pay for the massive 30-room mansion’s repairs. According to reports, Andrew has spent more than £200,000 on roof repairs this year, proving his dedication to preserving his long-term home.
According to reports, Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson has also been requested to help with the house’s financial obligations. The ex-couple has remained close even after their 1996 divorce; they even stay in the same chalet. Ferguson’s commitment is praised by Bond, who says, “They really do seem to be the best friends and the happiest divorced couple imaginable.”
However, Bond suggests that it might be more dignified for Andrew to understand that the Royal Lodge could serve other family members. The expert makes the observation that a compensation for maintenance costs may have made the move to the renovated Frogmore Cottage easier.
Prince Andrew is refusing to back down from his decision, and the standoff goes on. As financial talks continue, it is unclear how things will turn out and whether Ferguson and the duke will be able to afford to keep the Royal Lodge operational.