The ongoing rift between King Charles III and his younger brother, Prince Andrew, over the Duke of York's residence at Royal Lodge has been seemingly confirmed by Andrew's ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson. In a recent interview with Good Morning Britain, Ferguson declined to comment on the rumored dispute, stating that she doesn't want to get involved in the brothers' discussions and wants them to work it out themselves.

Royal commentator Gareth Russell noted that while Ferguson didn't criticize the monarch, she also didn't deny the rumors of a growing rift, suggesting that there may be some truth to the reports. "Historically, the duchess has always been quite a public defender of the King and privately as well," Russell told The Mirror. "One of the reasons why she had a brief falling out with her sister-in-law, Diana, was because she defended Charles in a conversation over lunch."

Russell added, "The duchess did not criticise the King, but she certainly did not put to bed the rumours that there is a rift growing over Royal Lodge."

The tension between the brothers stems from Prince Andrew's continued residency at the 30-room Royal Lodge, despite his fall from grace due to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and his subsequent withdrawal from public royal life.

King Charles III had previously thought he had found a solution by offering Prince Andrew the recently vacated Frogmore Cottage, which was once home to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. However, the Duke of York has been reluctant to downsize and seems to believe he deserves to maintain a grand royal lifestyle.

"He is taking longer than desirable to recognize the reality of the situation, even though it is clearly the most sensible course of action," a palace insider shared with The Times. "If he doesn't agree to move to a property better suited to his needs, then the King may have to reconsider the levels of support he is willing to provide."

Compounding the issue is the state of disrepair at Royal Lodge, which requires significant renovations both inside and outside the property. Without a steady income, Prince Andrew is reportedly unable to maintain the home adequately. Even Princess Beatrice's husband, the CEO of a property and interior design company, has been unable to convince his father-in-law to transform Royal Lodge into "something much more manageable."

King Charles III may have one potential avenue to force Prince Andrew's hand: a clause in the Duke of York's 75-year lease that requires him to "repair, renew, uphold, clean and keep in repair and where necessary rebuild" the property. If Andrew fails to meet these obligations, it could provide grounds for eviction. Alternatively, the king could reduce or entirely withdraw the $3.8 million security bill he currently pays for his brother, which would likely prove financially untenable for the Duke of York.

"Unfortunately, if Andrew refuses to leave within a reasonable time frame, then the King may be forced to reassess the whole package of support he provides and the duke would be required to fund the lion's share of his security, accommodation, and lifestyle costs all on his own - which, given the sums involved, is highly unlikely to be possible in the long term," a second source noted. "Everyone is mindful of his well-being, and has his best interests at heart, but there are limits of patience and tolerance."