King Charles III finds himself in a precarious situation as the royal real estate feud with his younger brother, Prince Andrew, takes a curious turn. The Duke of York, who currently resides in the sprawling 30-room Royal Lodge in Windsor, is reportedly unwilling to move into Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's turnkey Frogmore Cottage property, despite the King's wishes for him to downsize. As the dispute escalates, speculation arises that King Charles may have to make a significant financial move to appease his brother and resolve the issue.

According to The Times, Charles has threatened to cut Andrew's security funding in an attempt to force him out of the Royal Lodge. However, a friend of the Duke of York claims that this may not be enough to convince him to relocate. "The facts remain the facts. He's got a long lease on Royal Lodge, the family has lived there for 20-odd years and still have 50-odd years to run on the lease," the friend told the media outlet. "It's in perfectly good repair because they spent the lion's share of the sale of their previous house [Sunninghill Park, his former country home] renovating it from top to bottom, thereby saving any draw on the public purse or the private finances of the royal family. Them's the facts."

Prince Andrew's determination to remain at the Royal Lodge stems from the fact that the late Queen Elizabeth II granted him the lease. Celebitchy speculates that the Duke of York may desire a substantial sum from King Charles' seemingly endless Duchy of Lancaster account, possibly "an eight-figure amount," to motivate him to move. However, this proposition presents a dangerous dilemma for the King, as freeing his brother from financial dependence could potentially lead to another royal scandal. By maintaining control over Andrew's financial resources, Charles can continue to influence his brother's actions.

As the standoff continues, Prince Andrew has begun renovating the Royal Lodge after falling behind on repairs, as stipulated in his 75-year lease agreement with the Crown Estate. The contract requires him to "repair, renew, uphold, clean and keep in repair and where necessary rebuild" the home. Despite having no formal income, the Duke is steadfast in his determination to stay at the Windsor house, with sources claiming he is willing to maintain the £30 million property at "any cost."

Contractors have recently begun work on the Duke's beloved property, with scaffolding being erected to address exterior paintwork and other necessary repairs. A source told The Express, "The exterior paintwork could only be looked at once the weather improved and that is a task usually conducted every five years. Repairs to the roof were undertaken last summer, and the paintwork and windows will receive care and attention this year. Andrew is trying to keep within the terms of his lease."

The upkeep of the Royal Lodge, which Andrew moved into in 2002, has cost him hundreds of thousands in annual maintenance work. If the Duke fails to adhere to the terms of his lease, he could face eviction. The contract also stipulates that the walls of the 30-bedroom property must be repainted "with two coats of paint" from 2008 onwards, while the interior of the house must be painted, papered, polished, decorated, and appropriately treated every seven years from 2010.

Currently, Prince Andrew relies on handouts from his brother to live in and maintain the property, as well as to fund his security detail, which began in 2019 after the Home Office stopped assigning police to protect the Duke following his step back from official duties in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. If these payments were to cease, Prince Andrew would have to fund his own security, housekeepers, gardeners, and home improvements from his own pocket, despite having no discernible income.

Friends of King Charles have issued a public threat to The Times, warning, "It can be done tidily or untidily. It can be done with grace and dignity, or it can be forced upon him. It's all rather sad. But as things stand, life at Royal Lodge is set to become increasingly cold and uncomfortable for the duke. The only question now is when he will realize that he has become a prisoner of his own pride—and that handing back the keys will afford him far greater comfort, and the continued support of his family."