Prince Andrew's Lifestyle is Funded By 'Dodgy' Oligarchs, Report Reveals
Duke of York lives a multimillionaire lifestyle that his income simply doesn't cover
While Prince Andrew has been drenched in scandal due to his relationship with deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, questions have been raised as to how the Duke of York funds his jet-setting multimillionaire lifestyle.
You'd be forgiven for assuming that the Queen's second-born son would naturally be able to afford to live a life most "common folk" can only dream of.
And while the bumbling British prince does receive a modest allowance from his mother, it goes nowhere near covering the extravagant lifestyle he leads.
Prince Andrew's entire official income consists of an allowance of £250,000 ($322k) a year from the Queen plus a Navy pension of around £20,000 ($26k) per year.
Although £270,000 ($348k) a year is a vast sum to earn by any means, the prince's spending far exceeds that level of income.
The discrepancy is causing many to wonder how Prince Andrew lives a rockstar lifestyle on an accountant's salary, although the answer seems clear: His rich friends.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, Prince Andrew has leveraged his position, and his friendship with Epstein, to make connections with "dodgy" oligarchs.
Clinton-linked pedophile Epstein notoriously lent his private jet to the Duke — whose love of air travel famously once extended to taking a helicopter from Windsor Castle to Kent to play golf, at a cost to the public of £5,000 ($5.8k).
Meanwhile, Epstein’s various homes and private "Pedophile Island" were placed at Andrew’s disposal, allowing him to live and holiday like an oligarch, for free.
On at least one occasion during their tawdry relationship, and perhaps more — Emily Maitlis neglected to pin him down on this front during her recent BBC interview — Epstein opened his checkbook, too.
That moment occurred in 2010 when Epstein had long been a convicted child sex offender.
Specifically, less than six months after Andrew had decided to spend four nights at his "House of Horrors" New York mansion.
Video has emerged that was shot in 2010 and shows Britain's #PrinceAndrew inside #JeffreyEpstein's New York mansion - dubbed the "#HouseOfHorrors" by investigators and alleged victims.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) August 19, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/FDSJfLKOpf
At that point, the financier agreed to pay £15,000 ($17.5k) to Andrew's live-in ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
The cash gift reportedly allowed her to restructure vast debts, which at the time were heading towards the £5 million ($5.83m) mark and threatening to make ugly headlines.
It also helped meet unpaid wages for her former personal assistant, Johnny O’Sullivan.
Unlike the Duke, who hasn’t yet seen fit to express contrition to the prolific sex abuser’s victims, the Duchess did issue a groveling mea culpa after the payment eventually came to light, calling it a "gigantic error of judgment" and adding "I abhor pedophilia and any abuse of children."
She promised to repay the loot "whenever I can."
Epstein’s assistance to Andrew didn’t just come in the form of freebies and hard cash, though.
That much became abundantly clear during Saturday’s Newsnight interview, when the Prince brazenly waxed lyrical about "the people I met and the opportunities I was given to learn, either by him or because of him," saying they were "actually very useful."
What he appears to have been trying to argue was that Epstein’s circle of glamorous and influential contacts were not just entertaining company (for a somewhat lonely man who by all accounts has few genuine friends), but could also be leveraged into a potentially-valuable commodity.
Given subsequent revelations about Andrew’s finances, it’s hard to disagree.
For not only could such people assist Prince Andrew with his official trade role, but they also had the ability to funnel seriously profitable business opportunities his way.
In a new interview with #PrinceAndrew, the British royal claims he has "no recollection of ever meeting" #VirginiaRoberts - the woman who claims she was raped by him three times when she was 17-years-old.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 16, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/pUtiB435VJ
Today Andrew boasts visible trappings of turbo-charged prosperity, including a collection of expensive wristwatches — including several Rolexes and Cartiers, a £12,000 ($14k) gold Apple Watch and a £150,000 ($175k) Patek Philippe — and a small fleet of luxury cars, including a new green Bentley.
The Duke also appears to have managed to help clear his ex-wife’s £5 million ($5.83m) debts.
Then there’s his vast outlays on property, including the £7.5 million ($8.75m) he spent refurbishing Royal Lodge, his home in Windsor Great Park, and the £13 million ($15.16m) luxury lodge in Switzerland that he acquired in 2014.
For years, these extravagant purchases baffled friends, given his meager official income and lack of any proper job.
Since 2011, his official working life has revolved around an entrepreneurial charity, [email protected], and a dwindling number of official engagements (225 so far in 2019, down from roughly twice that number in previous years).
However, in 2016, the Mail obtained a tranche of emails detailing his extraordinary business dealings with just one of the many groups of politically-connected entrepreneurs in his orbit.
The documents hailed from the spectacularly corrupt, but mineral-rich Central Asian country Kazakhstan, whose dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev had, in the mid-2000s, become chummy with Andrew during trade visits: at one point inviting him on a goose hunt to one of his remote hunting lodges.
The emails were originally obtained by pro-democracy activists in the country and offered a chilling insight into the moral universe of some of the dodgy oligarchs in the prince’s circle.
One set of emails was sent by a Kazakh businessman (who had been previously photographed meeting Andrew) to a group of Russian friends.
It featured an obscene discussion about teenage prostitutes who would soon be joining them on holiday near to the Black Sea.
Attached was video footage of each of the girls, stick thin and incredibly young, dancing in bikinis next to a pool.
A former child sex slave of deceased pedophile #JeffreyEpstein has claimed, in a bombshell new interview, that she was "trafficked" to #PrinceAndrew and raped by the British prince on three separate occasions.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 6, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/IJDTgGnLBm
Andrew was not party to this correspondence, and it should be stressed that he had also nothing to do with the holiday in question.
His name instead cropped up in a separate set of emails, involving an entirely different Kazakh businessman called Kenges Rakishev.
On April 14, 2011, the prince telephoned, then personally emailed, Rakishev on behalf of a Greek water company called EYDAP and a Swiss finance house called Aras Capital, which wanted to bid for a £385 million ($449m) contract to build water and sewage networks in two large Kazakh cities, Astana and Almaty, one of which boasted Rakishev’s father-in-law as mayor.
Describing the consortium as ‘we’, and outlining broad details of what he called ‘the water plan’, the Prince then said his private secretary, Amanda Thirsk, would personally help introduce the firms to senior Kazakh political figures.
According to Greek executives involved in the bid, Andrew was to have been paid a commission of one percent, or £3.85 million ($4.49m), for helping broker a successful deal.
Coincidentally, one percent is exactly the same commission the Duchess of York had been recorded on tape in 2010 demanding in return for access to the prince, in a red-top newspaper sting.
The sum, in addition to a £500,000 ($583k) down payment, would "open any door you want," she told an undercover reporter from the News of the World, posing as a wealthy businessman.
"Look after me and he [Andrew] will look after you," she claimed.
"You’ll get it back tenfold."
The 2011 emails, on behalf of Greek and Swiss firms, with absolutely no upside for UK Plc, were sent while Andrew was supposedly working full-time as Britain’s trade ambassador.
Deceased pedophile #JeffreyEpstein's victim, #VirginiaRoberts, has given a bombshell new interview, in which she describes in detail how she was allegedly "trafficked" to Britain's #PrinceAndrew for sex when she was just 17 years old. - WATCH— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) September 20, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/TEpI5JtnYN
Perhaps intriguingly, given recent events involving a photograph of Andrew and Epstein’s "sex slave" Virginia Roberts, Buckingham Palace initially sought to argue they were forged.
However, they later admitted the messages, which were signed "The Duke" were genuine but hired law firm Harbottle & Lewis to argue that publishing them would breach the Prince’s privacy (the Mail successfully responded that they laid bare a financial and political scandal which was clearly in the public interest).
Also in the leaked emails were messages detailing the notorious sale of Sunninghill, the Duke’s 12-bedroom former Windsor home.
It had languished on the market for five years before suddenly changing hands in November 2007.
The purchaser was listed as an opaque company based in the British Virgin Islands, who, for reasons never properly explained, decided to pay £15 million ($17.49m) — £3 million ($3.5m) over the asking price — before leaving the property empty, decaying for more than eight years, before razing it to the ground.
The purchaser was later named as Timur Kulibayev, another Kazakh oligarch Andrew met on the global trade circuit.
The latest accuser to speak out about deceased sex offender #JeffreyEpstein has said that Britain's #PrinceAndrew must speak to the authorities about what he knows and "give a statement under oath."— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 19, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/5t6lKRyruO
Although Buckingham Palace had long insisted Andrew had no role whatsoever in the sale, the emails showed his private office had gone to great lengths to broker the deal, discussing interior design and security arrangements with the purchaser, while also intervening to persuade the Crown Estate to lease two fields adjacent to the property to them for a peppercorn rent.
A couple of years later, Andrew had also emailed senior figures at the State-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to ask if they could arrange for the Royal Bank, Coutts (owned by RBS) to take on Mr. Kulibayev as a client.
His message asked them to send executives to Kazakhstan to discuss "wealth management" with him.
Mr. Kulibayev — whose father in law is the aforementioned dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev — is of course just one of a host of wealthy but controversial businessmen the Duke has been drawn towards.
While none have proven to be as explosively controversial as Epstein, several have made ugly headlines, from Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, to Tarek Kaituni, a convicted Libyan gun smuggler who came to his daughter Eugenie’s wedding this summer, Sakher el-Materi, a one-time member of the Tunisian government who took asylum in the Seychelles after being convicted of corruption, and David Rowland, a tycoon and tax exile once branded a "shady financier" in Parliament.
All have, like Epstein, got bulging wallets and are capable of great charm.
Doubtless, they also throw a mean party.
But when a senior Royal chooses to bring large numbers of turbo-charged plutocrats into their inner circle, and when their relationships start to extend into the financial realm, things have a habit of turning sour.
Prince Andrew may have said in his notorious interview on Saturday that he doesn’t perspire.
But as the charge sheet against him slowly starts to engulf the very institution he represents, the Duke of York could be forgiven for feeling a bit hot under the collar.