Prince Andrew 'holding on by his fingertips' as 'prisoner of pride' inside crumbling royal home: experts

Prince Andrew is reportedly refusing to give up his lavish Royal Lodge home, which is said to be "crumbling" as he struggles to maintain its costly upkeep. Royal Lodge has been spotted with white paint chipping away from its walls, dirt marks straining the facade and cracks in the brickwork. The U.K.'s DailyMail reported that the British royal, who has lived in the property for two decades, is unable to afford its £400,000 yearly ($511,472) upkeep costs. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace didn’t respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. KING CHARLES STRUGGLES TO EVICT PRINCE ANDREW AS DISGRACED ROYAL'S HOME IS IN 'TOTAL DISREPAIR': EXPERTS In 2019, the now-64-year-old announced he was stepping back from royal duties because his scandal involving late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein had become a "major disruption" to the family. Christopher Andersen, author of "The King," told Fox News Digital the father of two will likely reach out to his closest confidants for any aid they can provide during troubled times. "Andrew’s holding on by his fingertips right now, perhaps hoping that one of his wealthy friends might kick in some funds," said Andersen. "But it’s highly doubtful that would work. King Charles III is becoming increasingly impatient and wants to simultaneously punish his brother, show everyone who’s boss and restore Royal Lodge to its former glory." British royals expert Hilary Fordwich agreed, telling Fox News Digital that time is running out for Andrew. "Prince Andrew is now a prisoner of his own pride, facing brinkmanship regarding Royal Lodge with his brother," Fordwich claimed. "King Charles III will eventually prevail despite … Prince Andrew’s lease." "He has never enjoyed a close relationship with his brother King Charles III for numerous reasons," said Fordwich. "Not the least of which is their totally different characteristics, but also their age difference and the affection, as well as the attention, their late mother Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon Andrew. But recently, due to the embarrassment Andrew caused his family, as well as his nation, and the strain upon their late mother." CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER Us Weekly previously reported that Royal Lodge has dampness issues as well as "wear and tear" that is ravaging the building. It noted that "cracks are becoming worse on the brickwork" and there is peeling paint along with plaster falling off. The outlet reported that the king demanded his younger sibling vacate the 90-acre home and instead move to the smaller Frogmore Cottage, the former U.K. home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex previously confirmed the couple had been asked to vacate that property. It was their main residence before they gave up royal duties and moved to California in 2020 . However, reports said Andrew thought the move would be too much of a downgrade. Andersen said the king attempted to persuade Andrew to move into Frogmore, a more manageable five-bedroom property, but Andrew is adamant about staying at Royal Lodge. LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS The home’s rich history is one that the king is determined to protect. "Royal Lodge holds treasured memories for the royal family, largely because it was the official Windsor residence of the beloved Queen Mother , who died there in 2002 at the age of 101," Andersen said. "When he moved in two years later, Andrew agreed to spend roughly $10 million out of his own pocket to refurbish it. … The place looks pretty shabby, and that is likely to make King Charles angry." "Andrew simply doesn’t have the funds to do what needs to be done to the property, and if Charles reduces or cuts off Andrew’s allowance … Andrew simply won’t be able to afford any of the upkeep," Andersen continued. "Royal Lodge is of tremendous historical importance. And the king is famously obsessed with preserving Britain’s classic architecture. That really can’t be accomplished with Andrew hanging on in there. It’s nice that [his daughter] Princess Beatrice is pitching in, but it’s doubtful she can make a huge difference." British broadcaster and photographer Helena Chard told Fox News Digital that the king promised his mother he would look after his brother before her death. The queen, England’s longest-reigning monarch , died in 2022 at age 96. It has long been believed that Andrew was her favorite child. "[A] frustrated King Charles has no choice but to ramp up the pressure with the hope that Prince Andrew will come to his senses and move out of Royal Lodge," said Chard. "King Charles promised his late mother that he would always look after his brother, but he realizes that Andrew is refusing to recognize the reality of his situation. … The optics of the pampered prince falling from grace and living in a vast estate which he cannot afford to maintain is negative and damaging to the royal family." Chard said the king, who is responsible for all the royal household finances, is threatening to cut all ties with his brother, that the king’s kindness is "running dry." "Maybe it’s the only way to force Andrew out of the property," Chard added. "Prince Andrew has been described as a prisoner of pride as he sits all day allegedly watching television at his crumbling home," royal expert Ian Pelham Turner told Fox News Digital. "There are a large amount of repairs required … King Charles cannot be seen spending money on his disgraced brother … there might be a public outcry if he did so." "The disgraced prince … refuses to move, so a second set of battle royal lines are being set to see who will blink first," said Pelham Turner. In 2022, a U.S. judge dismissed the sex abuse lawsuit against Andrew, who reached a settlement with Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre . The prince made a substantial donation to his accuser’s charity and declared that he had never meant to malign her character. Andrew has denied that he had sex with Giuffre. JEFFREY EPSTEIN CONNECTION PRESSURES KING CHARLES TO STRIP PRINCE ANDREW'S ROYAL TITLES AS FINAL PUNISHMENT Epstein was found dead behind bars in 2019 at age 66. The U.S. attorney in Manhattan prosecuted Epstein's former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, for helping recruit his underage victims. She was convicted in 2021 and is serving a 20-year prison term. Andrew has retained his title as the Duke of York and maintains his place in the line of succession to the British throne. However, he may not use the title of HRH or "His Royal Highness" in any capacity. In a lawsuit filed in 2020, Giuffre accused Andrew of sexually exploiting her on three occasions in 2001 when she was 17. Though Andrew has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, he agreed to an out-of-court settlement paid to the American woman in February 2022. The settlement amount was reported to be anywhere between $3.6 million to $14.8 million. Andrew was named in previously secret court documents related to Epstein that were unsealed in the new year. It was part of a 2015 lawsuit filed against Maxwell by Giuffre. The records – including transcripts of interviews with some of Epstein’s victims and old police reports – contained reminders that the millionaire had surrounded himself with famous and powerful figures, including a few who have also been accused of misconduct.

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