Prince Andrew’s unwillingness to vacate his seven-bedroom Windsor house has opened up the Frogmore royal property for sale.
After evicting Harry and Meghan from the five-bedroom residence on the monarch’s Windsor estate, the King wanted his disgraced brother to leave Royal Lodge, which is increasingly outdated and in desperate need of substantial renovations, and move him into Frogmore Cottage.
But Andrew, 63, is refusing to leave, and while Harry, 38, is said to have been at Frogmore Cottage for three nights this week, he and Meghan are unlikely to keep the residence.
The King has no authority to remove Andrew from Royal Lodge because it is owned by the Crown Estate, an arms-length property enterprise that generates revenue for the government, and the Duke of York signed a 75-year lease on the mansion in 2003.
The Royal Family is concerned that, in his diminished circumstances, with no backing from the taxpayer after stepping down from official royal duties, Andrew will be unable to pay for the upkeep.
The 30-room property is claimed to require £1 million in painting alone, and if Andrew moved out, it is estimated that it would take at least two years before it was ready to rent to someone else.
Frogmore Cottage, on the other hand, is part of the Occupied Royal Palaces estate, which includes Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Clarence House, a portion of Kensington Palace, St James’s Palace, and many more homes rented to family members, staff, former aides, and commercial renters.
Frogmore Cottage was “annexed” by Queen Victoria from the Crown Estate, which no longer owns it, and unless King Charles returns it, it will join a growing list of abandoned royal homes on the taxpayer-funded estate.
Apartment 1 of Kensington Palace, the former home of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, has been vacant for nearly four years.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on Frogmore Cottage’s future.