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Prince Andrew’s financial future in doubt amid Epstein debacle

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Prince Andrew, Epstein
Embattled Prince Andrew

As Prince Andrew stepped out of the trendy Hollywood eatery Catch, accompanied by two blonde women and a clutch of suit-clad men, the paparazzi descended like flies. It was May 2017, and it was the last time the controversial royal was seen in public in the US.

It was actually unclear what Andrew was doing in the States — yet another mystery of the prince’s high-flying, globe-trotting life.

For the disgraced royal, “America was always where the power was,” an Andrew insider told The Post.

At the tail end of a disastrous week — in which he gave the BBC a car crash of an interview about his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and was then effectively sacked from the royal family by his mother, Queen Elizabeth — the prince is now responsible for his own extravagant life.

It’s difficult to see how he will be able to keep up.

he queen paid her third child an annual, tax-free income of £249,000, and he received £20,000 yearly from his Royal Navy pension — hardly enough to fund his luxury trips around the world and a property portfolio that includes a £13 million Swiss ski chalet.

“Andrew seemed to become quite rich a few years ago and no one knows how he pulled it off,” said the Andrew insider. “He only got £249,000 from the Queen to pay his office salary but he had about seven people working for him.”

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“There is a mystery as to where Andrew’s money comes from,” author David McClure told the UK’s Press Association.

According to McClure, whose book “Royal Legacy” examined the wealth of the royal family, “We do know that he is funded by money from the Queen’s Duchy of Lancaster estate but the precise details of that are shrouded in a fog of pea-soup proportions.”

It’s long been suggested that Andrew supplemented his jet-setting lifestyle through his former role as the United Kingdom’s trade envoy — a job for which he did not receive a salary but was wined and dined by heads of state, members of other royal families and leaders of corporations eager to get favorable treatment.

He stepped down from the position in 2011 after criticism over his friendship with Epstein, as well as over his meetings with various autocrats around the Middle East — among them, deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The latter acquaintance would come in handy when Andrew tried to offload Sunninghill Park, the sprawling house near Ascot, Berks, which the Queen gifted him and Sarah Ferguson as a wedding gift in 1986.

The mansion had been on the market for years, with an asking price of £12 million. In 2007, Nazarbayev’s son-in-law bought it for a whopping £15 million, then left it to rot before demolishing it. In 2015, Andrew arranged for President Nazarbayev to have lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, a rare honor these days given her advanced age.

Between November 2001 and May 2008, Andrew visited the United Arab Emirates on nine occasions, Qatar five times and Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt four times each. The cost of his travel, usually by private jet, was picked up by the British taxpayers.

He was supposed to be drumming up business for Britain, but when asked in 2005 by then Trade Minister Ian Pearson to list the contracts he had won for the UK, Andrew couldn’t name one.

In his recent BBC interview, Andrew admitted to using convicted pedophile Epstein as a conduit to powerful people.

Asked if he regretted his friendship with Epstein, the prince replied: “Now, still not and the reason being is that the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”

Which all begs the question: Just how much did Epstein help the prince by introducing him to wealthy Americans — including, perhaps, scandalized movie mogul Harvey Weinstein?

“Harvey knew Prince Andrew because he mingled in those circles with notable celebrity names and Andrew relished that,” a source with knowledge of that relationship told The Post. “When you hang out in those circles, everyone uses everyonone at a point.

As Prince Andrew stepped out of the trendy Hollywood eatery Catch, accompanied by two blonde women and a clutch of suit-clad men, the paparazzi descended like flies. It was May 2017, and it was the last time the controversial royal was seen in public in the US.

It was actually unclear what Andrew was doing in the States — yet another mystery of the prince’s high-flying, globe-trotting life.

For the disgraced royal, “America was always where the power was,” an Andrew insider told The Post.

At the tail end of a disastrous week — in which he gave the BBC a car crash of an interview about his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and was then effectively sacked from the royal family by his mother, Queen Elizabeth — the prince is now responsible for his own extravagant life.

It’s difficult to see how he will be able to keep up.

he queen paid her third child an annual, tax-free income of £249,000, and he received £20,000 yearly from his Royal Navy pension — hardly enough to fund his luxury trips around the world and a property portfolio that includes a £13 million Swiss ski chalet.

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“Andrew seemed to become quite rich a few years ago and no one knows how he pulled it off,” said the Andrew insider. “He only got £249,000 from the Queen to pay his office salary but he had about seven people working for him.”

“There is a mystery as to where Andrew’s money comes from,” author David McClure told the UK’s Press Association.

According to McClure, whose book “Royal Legacy” examined the wealth of the royal family, “We do know that he is funded by money from the Queen’s Duchy of Lancaster estate but the precise details of that are shrouded in a fog of pea-soup proportions.”

It’s long been suggested that Andrew supplemented his jet-setting lifestyle through his former role as the United Kingdom’s trade envoy — a job for which he did not receive a salary but was wined and dined by heads of state, members of other royal families and leaders of corporations eager to get favorable treatment.

He stepped down from the position in 2011 after criticism over his friendship with Epstein, as well as over his meetings with various autocrats around the Middle East — among them, deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The latter acquaintance would come in handy when Andrew tried to offload Sunninghill Park, the sprawling house near Ascot, Berks, which the Queen gifted him and Sarah Ferguson as a wedding gift in 1986.

The mansion had been on the market for years, with an asking price of £12 million. In 2007, Nazarbayev’s son-in-law bought it for a whopping £15 million, then left it to rot before demolishing it. In 2015, Andrew arranged for President Nazarbayev to have lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, a rare honor these days given her advanced age.

Between November 2001 and May 2008, Andrew visited the United Arab Emirates on nine occasions, Qatar five times and Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt four times each. The cost of his travel, usually by private jet, was picked up by the British taxpayers.

He was supposed to be drumming up business for Britain, but when asked in 2005 by then Trade Minister Ian Pearson to list the contracts he had won for the UK, Andrew couldn’t name one.

In his recent BBC interview, Andrew admitted to using convicted pedophile Epstein as a conduit to powerful people.

Asked if he regretted his friendship with Epstein, the prince replied: “Now, still not and the reason being is that the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”

Which all begs the question: Just how much did Epstein help the prince by introducing him to wealthy Americans — including, perhaps, scandalized movie mogul Harvey Weinstein?

“Harvey knew Prince Andrew because he mingled in those circles with notable celebrity names and Andrew relished that,” a source with knowledge of that relationship told The Post. “When you hang out in those circles, everyone uses everyone at a point

Asked if the royal had ever used Weinstein to meet people and make deals, the source said: “It’s not inconceivable, and Harvey would have said yes.”

The Weinstein source added that Andrew invited the movie tycoon to Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday, a lavish Victorian-themed bash at Windsor Castle in July 2006. Although Weinstein did not attend, his ex-wife Georgina Chapman and one of his older daughters did, as did Epstein and his alleged madam, Ghilslaine Maxwell, The Post is told.

Meanwhile, Epstein, who died while in federal custody in Manhattan in August, lent Andrew’s ex-wife, Ferguson, £15,000 — for which she said in 2011: “I am just so contrite I cannot say. Whenever I can I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again.”

“For both Andrew and Fergie, America was always where the power was,” said the Andrew insider. “Fergie came to America to make money from her Weight Watchers and book deals.”

Andrew and Ferguson are now divorced but still live together at the 30-room Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, near the Queen at Windsor Castle. In 2014, they splashed out £13 million on the magnificent Chalet Helora in Switzerland. At the same time, Andrew spent £7.5 million to refurbish Royal Lodge.

Describing how Andrew could afford the luxe chalet, a friend with knowledge of the prince’s finances told the Sunday Times of London it was the “Bank of Mum.”

He cannot, as The Post previously reported, enter the United States without opening himself up to being subpoenaed as a witness in a number of civil lawsuits, including those launched by self-described Epstein “sex slave” Virginia Roberts Giuffre — who has claimed she was forced to sleep with the prince while she was underage.

And it looks like things will only get worse from here.

The BBC is set to air an interview with Giuffre on Dec. 2, and Giuffre’s laywer David Boies told The Post that Andrew could still be prosecuted by American authorities over the allegations that she was ordered to have sex with the prince three times.

Queen Elizabeth may have had her own “annus horribilis” in 1992 when her family was facing a number of affairs and scandals. But for Andrew, the horrors appear to have only just started.

Source: Pagesix

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