The one move King Charles must make now to prove he's no hypocrite

There's one essential step the king must take to prove he's serious about what he's always preached, Melissa Hoyer writes.

King Charles.
King Charles is facing some public pressure over Prince Andrew's living situation. Photo: Getty

King Charles is concerned about Prince Andrew's continued residence at the substantial Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, a sprawling 30-room mansion of a hacienda, located in Berkshire. And so he should be. It’s ludicrous.

We all know blood is thicker than water and talking about money in public is crass (not so much real estate these days) but this case of inter-family Royal Monopoly has just become pathetic.

King Charles has always claimed that he will be a frugal king and his goal is to shrink the monarchy, well it's time for action! With all this talk about a more streamlined, austere and workable monarchy, the one monkey the King can’t seem to get off his back is the Andrew "living" situ.

The situation has been a topic of public and media interest, especially considering Prince Andrew's involvement in various controversies, including his association with Jeffrey Epstein and subsequent civil legal battles.

But seriously, isn’t it time the King, who, we all know is dealing with his own cancer battle, gets himself and his A-team to finally get Andrew out of the palatial and historical digs?

Prince Andrew and King Charles.
Prince Andrew is believed to have been the late Queen's favourite son. Photo: Getty

At 64, he doesn’t need 30 rooms, set on 90 acres. The upkeep!

Open it up for tours; make a few quid out of it and pop him and the corgis into something much more appropriate. Hello quaint, Frogmore Cottage!

I mean, he is a non-working royal who will never return to public duty. He isn’t exactly hosting ballrooms of diplomats and fellow European royals or averting international incidents.


Not long after Harry and Meghan re-negged on their royal duties in the UK and moved to the US, they were just about frog-marched out of Frogmore, which was going to be their British home. So what’s the difference with doing a similar thing with younger bro Andrew?

Sure, it has long been said Andrew was the late Queen’s favourite son – which I’m sure leaves a weird taste in the mouths of his hard-working siblings, Charles, Anne and Edward.

And the late Queen Elizabeth II (allegedly) financed the decidedly huge payment to Virginia Guffre. Ms Guifffre, of course, was the woman caught up in the horrendous Jeffrey Epstein scandal and who, allegedly, was trafficked to have sex with Andrew. Allegations the prince has vehemently denied.

The exact amount Virginia Giuffre was paid as part of the settlement in her civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew has not been publicly disclosed but reports suggest it was in the range of £12 million (approximately AU$23 million).

Royal family stand and look up on balcony.
Prince Andrew is no longer a working royal, as he once was, so why should he live in a fancy palace? Photo: Getty

Look, King Charles has a significant influence over royal residences and the allocation of royal resources.

Given Andrew's tarnished reputation, continuing to allow him to live in such a grand residence may be seen as a tad inappropriate and tone-deaf, especially when many people are facing economic hardships.

The upkeep of a large estate like the Royal Lodge with all those rooms and grounds is seriously costly. Perhaps let the adoring British general public go and tour the place. The gift shop would surely roll in a few quid.

While Prince Andrew has a long-term lease on the Royal Lodge, reportedly lasting until 2072, would an attempt to remove him involve complex legal challenges and negotiations? I seriously doubt that he would take his big brother to the UK version of the Land and Environment Court.


King Charles has been focusing on streamlining the monarchy and ensuring that it remains relevant and respected in the world that is NOW.

Balancing tradition with public sentiment is crucial, especially as The Firm navigates many issues, including the health of its own members as well as public health, serious economic concerns and the day-to-day living pressures of "real" people.

But there is a strong argument for King Charles to take a much firmer, business-like and pragmatic stance on Andrew's tedious living situation, and I, like most, am totally for it.

Ultimately King Charles has the power. He should use that power in a pragmatic and very direct way and put a huge property to better use than being the lavish home to an unemployed royal.

The King surely knows what he needs and has to do.

And what a positive public relations coup it would be for him as well.

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