Prince Andrew ‘spent almost £500k a year’ on flights and returned with lavish gifts

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PRINCE ANDREW’S luxurious lifestyle saw him spending almost half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money a year jetting around the globe.

In Tina Brown’s revelatory book – The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor – The Truth and Turmoil – she branded the entitled royal as a “coroneted sleaze machine”.

She also referenced Andrew’s “money pit” that he splurged on travelling following his divorce from Sarah Ferguson – including claims his friend and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein would act as an “investment advisor”.

In 2007, the Duke is believed to have spent as much as £500,000 making up to 300 trips with a total of £465,000 on flights and £154,000 on food and hotels.

As well as this, during a 2012 trip to India, Andrew reportedly spent thousands hiring an £80,000 private jet and a £10,000-a-night suite that included a gold room.

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew reportedly spent almost half a million pounds in one year on trips (Image: GETTY)

Bentley car

The Duke is said to have a Bentley that cost £220,000 (Image: Getty)

The huge luxurious suite had a jacuzzi, a gym, a private spa room and a personal butler.

At the time, Andrew reportedly said: “In terms of the return on investment to the UK, bearing in mind I am part of a number of people, I would suggest that £500,000 is cheap at the price.”

He defended his obscene spending habits as a “little tiny spot in the ocean by comparison to many people”.

During his time as the ambassador for trade, the prince was criticised for using his travels as an excuse to try out the world’s best golf courses.

plane

Andrew flew on private jets (Image: Getty)

While on one of his lavish trips funded by the UK public in Phuket, Thailand, he stayed in an “ultra-exclusive” £4,000-a-night resort and was snapped with topless women on a private yacht.

His official income is believed to be just £20,000 a year – from his Royal Navy pension – with his extravagant spending, including the £7.5 million he spent renovating the Royal Lodge in 2003, raising questions over where the money came from.

It is believed he no longer receives his annual £249,000 handout from the Sovereign Grant.

Prince Andrew and Epstein

Prince Andrew is said to have had some shady pals – Jeffrey Epstein being one of the more notorious (Image: Getty)

During his excursions, the royal would return with lavish gifts and new foreign contacts, some of whom Ms Brown described as “far beyond what was explicable acceptable”.

Some of Andrew’s shady pals included the former president of Tunisia’s son-in-law Mohamed Sakhr El Materi who was later sentenced to 16 years behind bars for corruption and fraud, as well as Libyan gun smuggler Tarek Kaituni, who was a guest at Princess Beatrice’s 21st birthday party and invited to Eugenie’s wedding.

Just last month, the disgraced royal was embroiled in another scandal which went to the High Court amid claims he was given £1million by an alleged conman accused of swindling a Turkish millionairess out of her £40m fortune.

Andrew and his former wife Sarah Ferguson allegedly received “suspicious” payments on orders of former Goldman Sachs banker Selman Turk, as part of the £40million scam.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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