Prince Andrew is spotted riding in Windsor with a poppy on his horse in a nod to the late Queen
- The Duke of York followed a tradition attributed to the late Queen Elizabeth II
- READ MORE: Sarah Ferguson reveals her cancer ordeal
Prince Andrew has made a nod to his late mother by wearing a poppy on his horse.
The Duke of York, 63, appeared in high spirits as he took his horse for a ride outside the Royal Lodge in Windsor today.
Andrew opted for a red jumper and khaki jacket as he got on the saddle this morning.
His horse sported a poppy on its side – a gesture often related to the late Queen Elizabeth, who would exhibit the red flowers on her horses each year around Remembrance day.
It comes amid rumours that King Charles privately believes his younger brother ‘has no long-term future’ at his royal home have been circulating, despite the fact he gave Andrew more time to prove he can pay his way for the mansion’s upkeep.
Prince Andrew appeared in high spirits as he headed out of the Royal Lodge in Windsor earlier this morning for a horse ride
One family friend said: ‘In all honesty, I would not expect to see the Duke of York of living at Royal Lodge in the long term. If he could pay the upkeep, then he would be welcome to stay. But the chances of that happening are, frankly, remote.
‘He and the duchess are… rattling around in a huge property they simply can’t afford.’
The King culled Andrew’s annual allowance – believed to be in the region of £250,000 – following the emergence of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Andrew is said to have paid sexually abused Epstein victim Virginia Roberts £12million to settle a case she brought against him outside court – allegations he strenuously denied.
Last month, Andrew was pictured going around Windsor Great park on horseback.
The father-of-two sported navy jodhpurs and a zip-up jumper featuring a royal cypher on it for the outing, making sure to don a riding helmet and gloves.
In September, he appeared to enjoy his equestrian activities – and Range Rover driving – very regularly.
The pictures follow reports that the beleaguered Duke of York has been granted permission by the monarch to ‘stay indefinitely’ at his Windsor mansion after they ‘thrashed out a new deal’.
The pair have been at loggerheads over Charles’s demands that Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah, move out of the 30-room royal property – which has problems with damp and requires several million pounds-worth of repairs – into somewhere smaller, such as Harry and Meghan’s old home, Frogmore Cottage.
Andrew’s horse sported a poppy on its side (pictured) – a gesture often related to the late Queen Elizabeth, who would exhibit the red flowers on her horses each year around Remembrance day
Queen Elizabeth II takes the salute during the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London in 1983
The Mirror reported last month that Andrew had been granted a ‘stay of execution’ after Charles accepted his brother should be given time to prove he can pay for the mansion’s upkeep.
Multiple well-placed sources in royal circles have told the Mail that the prince isn’t being ‘realistic’ about his financial situation after being forced to step back from public duties.
A family friend said: ‘It’s all a bit cloud cuckoo-land, I’m afraid. No one, not least His Majesty, believes there is any realistic, long-term chance of the Duke of York being able to keep the roof at Royal Lodge over his head.
‘It’s a massive property and estate that requires a huge amount of upkeep.’
The King’s powers to remove Andrew are limited because he took on the late Queen Mother’s Grade II-listed property from the Crown Estate in 2004 on a long-term lease and has funded many millions of pounds worth of renovations. If King Charles did persuade him to move, then the Crown Estate could even end up owing Andrew money.
Andrew opted for a red jumper and khaki jacket as he got on the saddle this morning outside the Royal Lodge
But the sovereign is alive not only to how it looks for a jobless ex-royal to live in such palatial surroundings, but also to the lucrative income Royal Lodge could bring in as a rental property on the open market.
‘The Duke is clearly not going without a fight,’ one insider remarked. ‘This will all probably end in tears. Mostly likely his.’
It comes after his appearance with the Prince and Princess of Wales last month – as the family travelled to church in Balmoral was taken as a ‘public statement of togetherness’.
Sitting beside William on their way to church, Andrew appeared to be well and truly back in the royal fold.
He was driven to church by the future king, whose wife sat in the back seat.
They joined other family members at church as the Royal Family had their first summer break at the estate since the Queen’s death there a year ago.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline the photographs of Prince Andrew travelling to church with the Waleses were ‘clearly intended to send a message of family unity’.
But he insisted it was not a sign Andrew could return to public duties in any form.
‘This is a sad time for the royal family on their customary break at Balmoral. They and the nation will shortly be commemorating a year since the death of the Queen,’ Mr Fitzwilliams said.
The pair have been at loggerheads over Charles’s demands that Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah, move out of the 30-room royal property. The King pictured in June
The King has no right to kick his brother out because Andrew took on the late Queen Mother’s Grade II-listed property from the Crown Estate in 2004 on a long-term lease and has funded many millions of pounds worth of renovation
‘We know how close Andrew was to the late Queen, his appearance at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Memorial Service in March 2022, where he supported her physically whilst she was giving him emotional and financial support caused much controversy.
‘It has been reported that his allowance has been cut. It was rumoured that his tenure at Royal Lodge in Windsor, which is his home, was in danger.
‘He is also reportedly attempting to regain the police protection he lost when he stepped down from royal duties.’
But Mr Fitzwilliams added: ‘It is important to stress that there is no possibility, as King Charles and Prince William have always realised, of him returning to public duties in any form.
‘A glance at his non-existent popularity ratings in the polls make the public mood very clear on this issue.
‘However what is being emphasised is harmony on a personal level and clearly he and his immediate family, who are also at Balmoral, will appreciate this a great deal, especially as the photographs we see today are such a very public statement of togetherness.’
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