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Prince Andrew forced to defend decision to sell his palatial English mansion for £3 million above asking price

 

ONENEWS (New Zealand)

Prince Andrew defends home sale

May 26, 2008 10:11 PM 
Prince Andrew has been forced to defend his decision to sell his palatial English mansion to a Kazakh energy tycoon for STG3 million above its sale price.

The prince has been accused of exploiting his position as Britain’s trade ambassador by selling his Sunninghill Park estate, near Ascot in Berkshire, for STG15 million instead of the STG12 million he originally sought.

The property, which had been on the market for five years, was where the prince lived with his former wife Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

As details of the sale emerged, Prince Andrew faced calls to explain whether the property’s new owner was in line to get something in return from the royal trade ambassador in exchange for paying more than the asking price.

However a Buckingham Palace spokesman said the prince “totally and utterly rejected” any suggestions that the sale had anything to do with his position as Britain’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.

“The sale of Sunninghill Park was a straight commercial transaction,” the spokesman told the Daily Mail.

“There were no side deals and absolutely no arrangement for the Duke of York to benefit otherwise or to commit to any other commercial arrangement.

“Any suggestion otherwise is completely false.”

As part of his role as trade ambassador, Prince Andrew has been involved in brokering energy deals for British companies in Kazakhstan.

Labour MP Ian Davidson said the property sale raised questions over whether there were any strings attached.

“If he has managed to sell his house for more than the guide price at a time when the markets are collapsing, then I think most people will be envious but they will also be worried whether there is anything else involved in the deal,” he said.

“I think we need assurances that the buyer is not being given special treatment or preferential access to the royal family in return.”

Source: Reuters

 

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