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Inside Royal Lodge: the royal home that has caused controversy

Royal Lodge has remained at the centre of an argument in the Royal Family, as the Duke of York still lives there but The King reportedly would like him to move out. What is the history of the property that so many royals want to live at? 

Royal residence for centuries

Royal Lodge is part of the Crown Estate and lies in Windsor Great Park. It was first the site of a home in the mid-seventeenth century and was used by several people over the decades, including the Deputy Ranger of the Great Park and the future King George IV. 

William IV made big changes to Royal Lodge as soon as he ascended the throne
(By William Beechey, Public Domain, Wiki Commons)

King William IV had the house torn down in 1830 save for the conservatory; however, it was rebuilt and by the early 1840s served as a residence for members of the Royal Household from 1873 to 1931. 

Home of a future king and queen

The Duke and Duchess of York (the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) moved in in 1931 with their young children, the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Elizabeth continued to use it as a country home until her death in 2002 when she passed away at Royal Lodge. 

King George V and Queen Mary loved spending time with their granddaughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, when they lived at Royal Lodge with their parents, the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

The home contains the original conservatory, but everything else was built in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With over 30 rooms that include seven bedrooms, it is a large home. The property also includes the Chapel Lodge, six Lodge Cottages, and a Gardener’s Cottage. A young Princess Elizabeth received a Welsh miniature cottage as a gift; the cottage, Y Bwthyn Bach, is still on the property. 

Prince Andrew’s route to Royal Lodge

Queen Elizabeth II leased the property to her son, Prince Andrew, in 2003, when he was required to carry out over £7,000,000 of repairs to keep the home. 

The Queen, the Duke of York
Queen Elizabeth II offered Royal Lodge as a home to her son, Prince Andrew
(photo by )Stephen Lock / i-Images

After The Duke of York stepped down from public duties in January 2022, it was suggested that he leave Royal Lodge as his income has been cut significantly. He still remains in Royal Lodge with his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York. 

It’s now reported that The King wants the Duke to leave and is considering cutting the money he gives his brother. However, as the house is part of the Crown Estate, Charles III can’t directly tell Prince Andrew to quit the property.

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