Prince Andrew was pictured grinning as he drove his Range Rover through the grounds of Windsor Castle this morning and appeared riding his horse.
The Duke of York appeared to be in jovial spirits as he was stopped from progressing on his horse ride by barriers erected for the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Andrew, 63, is said to be at loggerheads with the King over plans for him to move out of the £30 million Royal Lodge on the estate. He was granted the residence by his late mother and has resided there for more than 20 years.
Prince Andrew was spotted grinning as he drove his Range Rover around the grounds of Windsor Castle this morning
Prince Andrew appeared to be in jovial spirits as he was stopped from progressing on his horse ride by barriers erected for the Royal Windsor Horse Show
The King is also progressing with plans to cut the £250,000 subsidy that the late Queen gave to Andrew, which could leave him without the means to pay for the upkeep of the premises.
The duke has allegedly requested a face-to-face summit with his brother.
Sources close to Andrew insist he is ‘refusing to budge’ from Royal Lodge, claiming he has been in low spirits and reclusive.
One friend said: ‘He is so fragile. He’s refusing to see anybody. This has been his family home for the past 20 years. Is it really sensible to kick him out?
‘He’s concerned that now the Coronation is over, the knives are out. He’s worried that the Royals might even turn off the utilities to get him out of there. But we’re dealing with human beings, not real estate.’
The Duke and Duchess of York’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie are regular visitors to the lodge.
It is widely understood that Royal Lodge, once occupied by the Queen Mother, has been earmarked for Prince William and his family
Friends of the Yorks say Andrew, who was forced to step back as a front-line Royal because of his association with paedophile millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, is ‘refusing to budge’ from Royal Lodge
Another friend said: ‘Eugenie is heavily pregnant and her parents expect to have the new grandchild there this summer.
‘Don’t forget that Sarah has been the glue holding the family together through this nightmare.’
It is understood that the Palace had initially said the Yorks must leave the property – which they lease – by September, but that the authorities now accept such a tight timetable is unrealistic.
Frogmore Cottage, renovated to a high standard, became free after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, left to live in California.
Negotiations over Royal Lodge –which began under the reign of the late Queen – are continuing. Andrew is understood to be frustrated that talks are between officials instead of between brothers – and wants that to change.
As first revealed in The Mail on Sunday, the King is cutting the annual £250,000 subsidy that the late Queen gave to Andrew – meaning he can no longer afford the upkeep for the mansion
Frogmore Cottage, renovated to a high standard, became free after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, left to live in California
Friends suggest that he might consider a compromise deal if Charles ‘does the decent thing’ and talks to his brother face to face.
One said: ‘If Charles wants Andrew to play ball and help the family through these difficult times, 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.
‘Is a little decency so difficult? There are real people at the heart of all this.
‘He’s just lost his mother. Who, straight after that, would want to be evicted by his brother?’