As the Battle Over Royal Lodge Rages On Between Brothers King Charles and Prince Andrew, Andrew Is Bringing In a “Secret Weapon” to Help Plead His Case

The fight over possession of the 30-room mansion on the Windsor Estate has dragged on for 18 months and counting.

King Charles and Prince Andrew
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The brother-on-brother battle for Royal Lodge apparently continues, with Prince Andrew—who resides in the £30 million Windsor-based mansion with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York—up against his older brother, King Charles, for possession of the property. 

OK reports that one possible motivation as to why Andrew is fighting so hard to keep the property is that he hopes to pass it down to his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, someday; The Sun reports that Andrew is planning to use his daughters—who are well-liked by the King and the rest of the royal family—as his “secret weapon” in an effort to stay in the 30-room home.  

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

Beatrice and Eugenie might be their father's only hope at staying in Royal Lodge.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“The princesses are Andrew’s secret weapon,” said Ingrid Seward, royal biographer and editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine. “They are very popular amongst the royal family, and Charles is especially fond of them. They are his passport now [that] he has lost everything.”

Andrew stepped back from royal duties after the disastrous 2019 Newsnight interview—dramatized in Neflix’s Scoop—which discussed his own allegations of sexual assault and his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Though he has been seen at more royal events in the past few months than he has in years—Christmas at Sandringham, Easter at St. George’s Chapel—the 18-months-and-counting feud with his brother threatens to upend that (and he will never return to royal duty).

Of Royal Lodge, “It is his home, and it has been their home for many years, too,” Seward said of Beatrice and Eugenie. “Their childhood was all over the place, and Royal Lodge was the one stability they had.” (Andrew and Fergie divorced in 1996, the same year as Charles and Princess Diana.)

Prince Andrew

Andrew and Fergie attending Easter services at St. George's Chapel alongside the rest of the royal family.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Seward continued of the York sisters that “They love their dad, and want to help him if they possibly can. Their mum can’t do anything—but they can.”

Palace sources told The Sun that the King could “reconsider the levels of support he is willing to provide” Andrew if Andrew refuses to leave Royal Lodge in favor of a property like Frogmore Cottage, also located on the Windsor Estate and the former home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (and, for a time, Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank). 

Andrew’s chief argument is that he is in possession of a 75-year lease, but the home is “crumbling,” The Sun writes, and is said to “need extensive repairs” thought to be about £400,000 a year. “The monarch is said to be becoming increasingly frustrated at Andrew’s refusal to care for the colossal mansion,” The Sun reports. “Andrew is said to have promised King Charles he would take care of its expensive repairs—despite having no apparent source of income.”

Frustrations are further exacerbated by Charles and his unwillingness “to keep paying out of his own pocket to fund Andrew’s lavish lifestyle,” the publication writes.

King Charles and Prince Andrew

The current feud between Charles and Andrew rivals that of William and Harry, reports say.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“It can be done tidily or untidily,” a friend told The Times of Andrew, at last, leaving Royal Lodge. “It can be done with grace and dignity, or it can be forced upon him. It’s all rather sad.” They added “The only question now is when he will realize that he has become a prisoner of his own pride—and that handing back the keys will afford him far greater comfort, and the continued support of his family.”

GB News royal correspondent Cameron Walker said of the Duke of York, per OK, that “Going from almost the top of British society to where he is now—almost the recluse in this massive mansion which may be falling apart at the seams, depending on which way you look at it—clearly must have had a huge effect on Prince Andrew,” he said, adding “I think it’s going to be really interesting to see how this one plays out.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.