So how will ‘private citizen’ Andrew fund the £6m legal battle to clear his name over sex allegations levelled against him by Virginia Roberts?
- Despite his seven bedroom home, Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew is not cash rich
- He is certainly not rich enough to afford the £5m to £6m estimated legal bill
- He was forced to sell his £18m ski chalet after failing to make a £5m instalment
- Royal insiders say it is ‘inconceivable’ the Queen would pay Andrew’s legal bills
Money lies at the heart of all Andrew’s problems.
It was what drew him to Jeffrey Epstein – the multi-millionaire paedophile financier – in the first place, a move that set about his downfall.
And money, or the lack of it, will be playing a large part in his decision-making now.
Despite his grand 30-room, seven bedroom home, Royal Lodge, a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle, Andrew is, like most royals, not cash rich.
He has never had the funds required to underwrite the lifestyle of private jets, luxury ski chalets and days on the golf course that he and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson so hankered after, which led him to rub shoulders with a coterie of international undesirables who could pay for it.
And he is certainly not rich enough to afford the £5million to £6 million estimated legal bill he is likely to be left with as a result of his decision to fight this case and clear his name over the sex allegations levelled against him by Virginia Roberts.
Money is what drew Prince Andrew (pictured) to Jeffrey Epstein – the multi-millionaire paedophile financier – in the first place, a move that set about his downfall
Nor could he pay out of his own pocket any substantial settlement with Miss Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre.
Andrew has not, it should be stressed, received any public money for many years.
The only bills that have been met by taxpayers have been the (admittedly not inconsiderable) travel costs for his official globetrotting as a roving UK special representative for trade and investment – and providing him with 24-hour security.
Privately, he survives off hand-outs from the Queen from her Duchy of Lancaster estate, personal investments and bequests from family members such as the late Queen Mother and his modest naval pension.
Despite his grand 30-room, seven bedroom home, Royal Lodge (pictured), a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle, Andrew is, like most royals, not cash rich
He lives in Royal Lodge, the late Queen Mother’s home, on a preferential, but undisclosed, 100-year lease from the Crown Estate and owns no property of his own, aside from the £18million ski chalet he so disastrously bought with Sarah, Duchess of York, in Verbier, five years ago.
He has now been forced to sell that after failing to make the second £5million instalment he owed the vendor, French socialite Isabelle de Rouvre, who took legal action to retrieve it.
She revealed this week that Andrew and Sarah eventually settled the debt in November and sources close to the duke say a new buyer has been found and a sale under way.
But how much he will have left afterwards, considering his £13million mortgage on the property and outgoings, remains to be seen.
It is conceivable he could also have some money left from the sale of his former marital home, Sunninghill Park, near Windsor, which was a wedding gift from the Queen. The 12-bedroom property, likened to an out-of-town superstore, had languished on the market for five years before suddenly being bought in 2007 for £15million – £3million over the asking price – by Timur Kulibayev.
Kulibayev is the son-in-law of Prince Andrew’s friend and goose-hunting partner Nursultan Nazarbayev, the former autocratic ruler of Kazakhstan.
The £18million ski chalet Prince Andrew so disastrously bought with Sarah, Duchess of York, in Verbier, five years ago. He has now been forced to sell it after failing to make the second £5million instalment he owed the vendor, French socialite Isabelle de Rouvre, who took legal action to retrieve it
It has been suggested that up until now the Queen had been helping her son with his legal bills.
She could, of course, continue to do this.
But royal insiders say it is ‘inconceivable’ she could or would contribute to a financial settlement with Miss Roberts, who has after all accused her son of rape, should the prince be forced to go down that route.
Royal Lodge is not his to sell but he could conceivably be forced to vacate the property to minimise his outgoings in the near future, especially now both his daughters have moved out and it just himself and his ex-wife rattling around the vast property.
It would certainly free it up for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to move into, if the rumours of their upping sticks to Windsor are true.
But that still wouldn’t send the millions needed flowing back into Andrew’s coffers.
The future is looking far from financially secure for the beleaguered duke.
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