Prince Andrew Is Reportedly Refusing to Leave Royal Mansion

REUTERS/Toby Melville
REUTERS/Toby Melville

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Prince Andrew refusing to leave Royal Lodge

Scandal-magnet Prince Andrew is reportedly refusing to vacate the 30-room Royal Lodge in Windsor, according to the Sun on Sunday. Even though King Charles has slashed his £250,000 ($436,000) subsidy, meaning he cannot afford the property’s upkeep, a friend of Andrew’s told the paper: “This has been his family home for the last 20 years. Is it really sensible to kick him out? He’s concerned that now the coronation is over, the knives are out. But we’re dealing with human beings, not real estate.”

Another friend said: ‘Eugenie (Andrew’s daughter) is heavily pregnant and her parents expect to have the new grandchild there this summer.”

‘Senior Royal’ Jokes About ‘Kicking’ Prince Andrew Out of His Royal Home

Prince William and his family were thought to be likely to move in to the property, with Andrew slated to move to Frogmore Cottage, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s former British home.

Andrew paid a multimillion dollar settlement to Virginia Giuffre last year, after she accused him of sexually abusing her while she was being trafficked by his friend, the billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew emphatically denied Giuffre’s accusations. He has since become royal persona non grata, and while present at Charles’ coronation, has no official royal duties to carry out.

“Palace chiefs” had a September date in mind for Andrew’s move-out, but now apparently agree that it is too early. Another friend of Andrew’s told the Sun: “If Charles wants Andrew to play ball and help the family, aren’t there better ways of going about it? Why not do the decent thing, sit down and talk? If they need the house for William, perhaps Andrew should be told. Perhaps William should invite his uncle for tea and explain? Or why doesn’t Charles invite his brother for a meeting and ask him if he’d leave Royal Lodge to help his nephew and the future of the monarchy. And agree a schedule acceptable to both sides?”

Prince William wants a very different coronation

Prince William wants his coronation to “look and feel different” from his father King Charles’ service, so that it looks “modern” and “relevant,” the Sunday Times reports. Pondering how to “evolve” the ceremony, the first, controversial element to be jettisoned will be the “homage of the people”—so no request to the public to swear allegiance to the king and his heirs. Even for Charles, after the kerfuffle in the U.K. over it this time around, the Archbishop of Canterbury dialed the wording down to “invite those who wish to offer their support to do so.”

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>King Charles III, Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Prince George pose on the day of the coronation in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, London, Britain, in this handout picture obtained by Reuters on May 12, 2023.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Hugo Burnand/Royal Household 2023/Handout via REUTERS</div>

A source close to William, who was reportedly not closely consulted on the planning for Charles’ coronation, told the Sunday Times: “There is no way he will go down that route or anything like it.” (Hmm, Maybe William’s will be, “You do you.”)

William's mulling of the issue coincides with the U.K. Observer reporting that the membership of anti-monarchy group Republic has doubled since the coronation—and the British police’s heavy-handed crackdown on their supporters. 64 people, including Republic's chief executive Graham Smith, were arrested by police on the day, which Scotland Yard later expressed “regret” over.

The Observer also reports that almost nine in 10 Britons did not pledge allegiance to Charles in the ceremony. The Opinium poll for the paper found that 57% of Britons said they did not pledge allegiance to the king because they did not want to. Another 31% said they did not pledge allegiance, but would not have minded doing so. Only 12% of those polled pledged allegiance.

William has been “reflecting” on the events of last week with his closest friends and advisers. A source told the Sunday Times: “He is really thinking, how do we make his coronation feel most relevant in the future? He is mindful of the fact that in 20 years’ time, or whenever his time comes, how can the coronation be modern but also unifying to the nation and the Commonwealth? I think his coronation will look and feel quite different.

“Are courtiers sitting at Kensington Palace coming up with a grand plan about what the next Bridge will look like [London Bridge was the codeword for the late Queen’s death, and Forth Bridge for Prince Philip]? No. But of course the prince and his team are reflective about the events of last week, and it is extremely important to him that it evolves to be relevant whenever it happens.”

The Times generously points out that, compared to the late queen’s coronation in 1953, Charles’ was notably more inclusive and diverse, with female bishops and leaders of other faiths.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Prince William holds the hands of his father King Charles III during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Gary Calton/Pool via REUTERS</div>

Prince William holds the hands of his father King Charles III during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London.

Gary Calton/Pool via REUTERS

Another source close to William told the paper: “He’s taking stock, he’s thinking ‘That was a supreme success and it was because Pa altered things. I’ve got to be cognizant of how that evolution happens in my day. What is it that stays? What do I need to change? What will our relationships with the realms and the Commonwealth be then?’ I don’t think he’ll be taking the filleting knife to it, but he will be checking it is sharp.”

Another source close to William said he was focused on the issue of “relevance,” adding: “You can see it in how he has taken having an investiture off the table, and his thinking on how to leave a legacy in communities rather than just going in [to] do ribbon cutting. You can see it in how he is running an environmental prize with Earthshot that is not just about handing cash out, but about the long-term impact globally. He is thinking about his coronation in the same way.”

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Kate Middleton plays piano to open Eurovision

As reported by The Daily Beast, Kate Middleton stunned TV viewers Saturday night when she played piano at the beginning of the Eurovision Song Contest. Kate, dressed in a blue, one-shouldered Jenny Packham gown, played the piano for 10 seconds in a rendition of last year’s winning song, Ukraine’s the Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania.”

The perennially popular Eurovision has an estimated worldwide audience of 160 million, and was held in Liverpool in the U.K. this year after Ukraine’s victory last year (the country could not hold the contest as is traditional for the winning entry’s country because of the war). Kate’s performance was filmed earlier this month in the Crimson Drawing Room of Windsor Castle. Oh, and in case you had a different kind of great night out and missed it, Sweden won.

Charles could be heading to Kenya

Queen Elizabeth II was, famously, on a royal tour in Kenya when her father, King George VI died in February 1952, and she became queen. She was staying in a treehouse at a game reserve, and it has been correctly observed that she went up the ladder a princess and came down a queen.

Ever since, Kenya has held a particular place in the hearts of the royal family, and the Mail on Sunday reports that King Charles III is due to visit the country as soon as this year—perhaps before he even gets round to rescheduling a state trip to France that was cancelled after the country was rocked by violent strikes and protests.

An insider said: “It will be a poignant moment. Inevitably it will be a reminder of his young mother at the start of her reign. Now, he is at the start of his, but he has the advantage of experience, too. It will also be an important marker for his reign that will underline how importantly he views the Commonwealth.”

Meghan gets a salute on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is upon us, and this is one piece of territory the Californian and British branches of the royal family have been able to divide peaceably because it is marked on a different day in the U.S. (today) to the U.K. (March).

The Sussexes do not have a social media presence, but a friend of Meghan’s, Kelly McKee Zajfen, who has raised awareness around the mental health implications of losing a child after her nine-year-old son died last year, has paid tribute to Meghan as an “incredible friend and mother,” and posted a picture of her and Meghan on Instagram. Zajfen is a founder of LA charity Alliance of Moms, which supports teenage mothers in foster care, the Telegraph reports.

This week in royal history

It seems a long time ago… On May 19, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary; they married on May 19, 2018, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Unanswered questions

Will Harry’s phone hacking trial uncover the identity/identities of the royal family whose camps allegedly fed stories to the Daily Mirror and any other tabloids?

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