Sarah Ferguson moves full-time into Swiss chalet co-owned by Andrew: shady?


Just know, I think this story is shady as hell. I don’t have the receipts as to why exactly this story makes me sit up a little bit straighter, but it’s still worth discussing. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has lived with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, for years. Even though Fergie got hosed in their divorce and has at times been deeply in debt, it feels like Fergie and Andrew still take care of one another financially (and emotionally and probably in other ways). If Fergie is getting paid, Andrew is getting paid and vice versa. I’ve always believed that Andrew has used Fergie as the “frontwoman” for some of his shadier business deals and Fergie has always been willing to overlook a lot if she gets to ride in a private jet or get a free vacation. Some would say that Fergie and Andrew are united in their hustling. Perhaps.

In any case, something sort of weird has happened. Nineteen years after their divorce, Fergie is finally moving out of the Royal Lodge at Windsor, which is where she and Andrew cohabitated since their split. But she’s not just moving out of the Royal Lodge – she’s moving out of England entirely and moving into the Swiss chalet she and Andrew mysteriously bought earlier this year for £13 million.

Sarah Ferguson is leaving London for the ski slopes of Switzerland. Almost 20 years after her divorce from Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York, 55, is leaving the Windsor mansion she has long shared with her ex-husband for the picturesque ski resort town of Verbier, Switzerland.

According to a report in The Express, Ferguson has settled in a $20 million chalet with a staff of six and a pool. Her spokesman, James Henderson, confirmed to PEOPLE that the Duchess has left the Royal Lodge at Windsor for Verbier but could not comment on her new home’s price, luxury amenities or staffing requirements. He dismissed the report that the move is the result of Fergie’s friendship with internet entrepreneur Manuel Fernandez, 47, with whom she attended the Cannes Film Festival last June.

“I think that’s unrelated,” Henderson told PEOPLE. “She’s been creating a more independent life for herself, and so this move is a reflection of that.”

But Fergie isn’t saying goodbye to Britain entirely and remains close with her two daughters with Andrew: U.K.-based Princess Eugenie, 25, and Princess Beatrice, 26, who is set to start a new role at an equity firm in Manhattan. Although Fergie’s new home “will be her base, her focus,” says Henderson, “she travels a lot for business engagements and she has a daughter working in London and another in New York.”

And she still “has a flat in London,” adds Henderson, “and a room at the Royal Lodge at Windsor for family occasions.”

As for her relationship with Andrew, 55, which has famously been a close one, Henderson says the move has nothing to do with any conflict or drifting apart between the friendly exes. “They continue to have a very strong relationship. He helped her out while she needed somewhere to live.”

[From People]

This feels like an odd move, right? There were a lot of question marks when Andrew and Fergie bought the Swiss chalet earlier this year – how did they pay for it? Would they both use it? Did someone else buy it for them? What kind of exchange or barter is involved? As for Fergie declaring that Switzerland is her newly permanent home, what does that mean? Is it a tax thing? Is she running from something? God, who knows with these two? I really do think that something very shady is happening here.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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69 Responses to “Sarah Ferguson moves full-time into Swiss chalet co-owned by Andrew: shady?”

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  1. Jane says:

    What does she actually DO with herself these days? Since the divorce I only saw her on one show in the US: Project Runway. 19 years is a long time to go without doing anything noteworthy. Even when I visited the UK there was no mention of her.

    • Sixer says:

      I think even monarchical Brits do their best to ignore her in the hopes she’ll go far, far away. We loved it when she was stateside!

      • for belle de jour says:

        Strange coincidence: I used to see her – absurdly often, it seemed – getting in and out of limos all over midtown Manhattan, always dressed and looking like she was just arriving for a business meeting. Since I never heard local biz gossip re the result of anything she might have been up to, I had the strangest impression of her: that she must have spent lots of time shopping & dressing for business, lots of time going to business-y meetings… yet no clue about the results; almost as if dressing and going to meetings were her primary occupations?

      • notasugarhere says:

        For awhile she had a charity, Chances for Children, based in the WTC. Could have been related to that.

    • Betti says:

      She’s had various failed business ventures (she was the face of Weight Watchers in the US i believe) with Andrew having to bail her out on more than one occasion and i think there were reports a few years ago that her daughters are supporting her from the trust fund that they got from their Great Grandmother (The Queen Mother).

    • ncboudicca says:

      I think I remember her being some sort of spokesperson for the Westfield group and the shopping malls they purchased/ran in the US. One of my local malls became a Westfield Mall and she was on a couple billboards…

    • Esmom says:

      I think she wrote some children’s books, too, although I can’t imagine they were very lucrative.

  2. Sixer says:

    I don’t know what it is either, but I’m also sure that these two are Shady McShady of the clan McShady. I shall look on the bright side: she’ll be in another country!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      She is the epitome of shady. This isn’t fair, because she can’t help it, but if you put her in different clothes she would look like a cheap huckster in a traveling circus, scamming the public with fake goods. There has always been something of the hustler/grifter about her to me.

    • Tessy says:

      Would that keep her from testifying in a trial? Maybe “they” want her out of the country because she knows too much.

  3. DanaG says:

    Fergie is rumoured to be dating some Italian guy I think for the past six months. Maybe she didn’t want him and Andy bumping into each other and living in such a huge house by herself could make people believe she has more money then she actually has. I don’t think she has a penny to her own name Andrew has been giving her money for years and paying her bills makes you wonder?

  4. PHD Gossip says:

    I think this chalet is a payoff from Andrew for keeping quiet about the underage women in the Jeffrey Epstein saga. I always felt her main source of income was her potential to blackmail the royal family. The royals probably agreed to this because it gets her out of the royal residence. Finally.

    • MinnFinn says:

      I figured Epstein secretly bought it for them and now she’s moving there to dodge taxes.

      For some reason, the Swiss lodge reminds me of the shady Russian or Saudi guy who bought one of Andy’s homes for twice its market value and then abandoned the place. No one ever moved in and the buyer basically responded to abandoning it with ‘oh well, whatever’.

      • Sixer says:

        The London property market is a money launderer’s paradise, I’m afraid.

      • MinnFinn says:

        Thanks for the info about money laundering. I googled it and oh dear, I didn’t know that Andrew was a potential witness in his home buyer’s money laundering trial.

      • PHD gossip says:

        You are talking about the £15M Mansion that Kazakh businessman Timur Kulibayev – it is decrepit disrepair and he never moved in. (He paid at least double the market price for the house raising eyebrows all over the world).

      • Sixer says:

        MinnFinn – it’s a big issue in London just now. So-called regeneration isn’t just resulting in gentrification and the pushing up of property prices, it’s making half of London owned by the shadiest people you can imagine, from Russian oligarchs through Saudi billionaires to international racketeers and drug traffickers. It’s really not good. And also really not good if it’s only a few degrees of separation from a major royal.

        Here’s a video from some people who are fighting back.

      • MinnFinn says:

        Sixer, Thanks for the link about Sweets Way. Sadly, similar things happen in the U.S. as well. Government can exercise its right of eminent domain and force people or businesses out of their property or just decide to sell public property to private developers.

        Housing corruption plus the increasing gap between middle class and rich — we are fast reverting to feudal system – maybe within our lifetime.

        Please confirm, ministry housing is the same as council housing? And this type of housing is subsidized by government?

      • Sixer says:

        Yes. Council housing is owned by local government. Social housing is owned by charities/non-profits. But both offer social rents that are usually about half the cost of private rent in the area. Also, council and social tenancies are more secure.

        During the last administration (a right of centre one), the definition of “affordable housing” was changed to 80% of market rent instead of the previous 30% of median take home wage. This has left a loophole so that redevelopers can include “affordable housing” units that aren’t actually affordable at all, thus getting round the rules about including social rents within redevelopments.

        Predatory gits. I bet it’s the same in the US, isn’t it? At least in the cities. It’s a particularly severe crisis in the UK because we have such a high population density to start with. So it even affects non-urban areas.

      • Liberty says:

        @Sixer, thanks for the fascinating information.

        I just read an article about housing costs in San Francisco. There’s apparently a great teacher shortage because teachers cannot afford to live in the SF districts in which they teach. The tech employment boom in SF brought in so many highly-paid people, prices are madness, enjoyed by whoever sells or rents the housing.

        When I lived in Seattle for six months on a project, I learned that the gorgeous corp condo building I was staying in (provided company housing) was Russian-owned, as were many others around me, and masses of other new housing there were Chinese-owned, and maintained weekly by special companies, cleaning to fresh groceries, to always be instantly available to the absent distant owners as a place to stay in “the event of an emergency.” Even with my salary, I could not have afforded to buy/rent in that area, staggering. Those who did live there all had very high tech salaries.

      • Sixer says:

        Liberty – yes. Half of London is now owned by Russian, Chinese and Gulf State gazillionaires. And not the nice, upstanding types amongst them, either. Or if not them, rapacious landlord outfits like Westbrook who are so bad and evil that New York threw them out. It’s caused a massive housing bubble, let alone the probable money laundering that’s been going on. Even the areas that used to be the “poor” areas are now being redeveloped and bought up by the international elites. The average age of a first time buyer in London is now over 40, or something ridiculous. That’s how bad it is.

        Quite who they’ll get to serve them their fripperies once they’ve socially cleansed all the plebs, I really do not know.

    • Dena says:

      Yeah. While I like Sarah, just because it’s those two who are known to be money wh*res, desperate & broke, it’s a given something shady went down to obtain the chalet. It could also be a move to better facilitate something shady too as in continuous & ongoing.

      It is ironic though that her mom lived outside the country with her lover and now Sarah with hers.

      By the by, she looks very good in the top photo & the guy she is dating is very handsome.

      • mayamae says:

        Her figure looks good in that top pic, otherwise I think she looks horrific. It’s as if she set out to match her dress to her freckles and hair. She’s shades of orangutan. She’s never taken care of her skin and it shows.

    • Liberty says:

      According to the DM back in January: “The Duke and Duchess of York bought the seven-bedroom property in upmarket Verbier shortly before Christmas as a ‘family investment’, with the deeds listing them simply as Andrew York and Sarah Ferguson. …… A source close to the duchess told the Mail that she and Andrew took out a joint mortgage on the property and did not buy it outright. It is not known what proportion of the purchase was funded by the mortgage. ”

  5. Ankhel says:

    Sigh. How is moving into your husband’s chalet, staffed by his servants, “creating a more independent life?” And how does this fit with her trying to live more frugally? This woman.

    • Ally8 says:

      Also Verbier is a ski resort. Not at all a convenient place if she really is travelling, unless she’s travelling by train. So that part is hooey.

      This definitely feels like an isolating move, whether self-isolating or imposed on her. Exile with an indoor pool, don’t cry for me Britannia.

    • Sarah says:

      I love the comment from her spokesman that Andrew helped her out by giving her a place to live when she needed it. For 20 years?!

  6. NewWester says:

    I have always felt that Sarah has some major dirt on a member of the Royal Family. The only reason she has not written a book or spilled the beans is her daughters and the financial help she gets from Andrew.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I agree….she totally has some major dirt on the Royals…something about Diana, perhaps??? Although,if she does, I’m surprised she hasn’t had a mysterious car “accident” or something!!!!

      • Puffy B. says:

        She’s always toed the line when it came to spilling royal secrets. That’s why she’s been allowed to live. Diana, on the other hand, was a loose cannon and had to go. It’s not the royal family making these decisions; it’s “The Household” behind the throne, and their connections to government, who really have the power.

      • NewWester says:

        I feel it would be something about Prince Phillip. If we are going to talk about being shady he is number one.He is a scary character

      • Crumpet says:

        My goodness. What a conspiracy (theory).

        I haven’t paid much attention to Sarah and Andrew lately, but I would love to move to a chalet in Switzerland. Just sayin’.

    • Caz says:

      I totally agree with this. Sarah would have a lot of info about that family. The allegations about Andrew were suddenly dismissed…

  7. sensible says:

    Maybe the Queen bought it for her because Andrew wanted her out. Fergie has certainly towed the party line since the divorce and perhaps Her Maj was open to the idea.

  8. India says:

    When all the news broke about Andrew have sex with an underage girl through the machinations of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Fergie was televised defending Andrew saying it wasn’t true and he was the best husband ever. I guess this is the big payoff from the Queen for defending her precious favorite child.

  9. Citresse says:

    Yeah, likely a tax dodge setting up Swiss home. Shania Twain did it.

  10. Kiddo says:

    I thought she was broke? Didn’t she have an “I’m Broke” tour in the states some years ago which included hawking Weight Watchers, or did I just make that up?

    @India, that is a disgusting story. That Epstein guy is super creepy and had a lot of big names associated with that mess.

    • Dena says:

      She also has her Budgy the Heliocopter children’s book series. Perhaps Budgy could fly William into a harrowing situation & little children learn a lesson about courage. Lol.

  11. Karma says:

    I agree, something is off.

    Wasn’t there some hidden video of her doing just that? Being the front man on some shady deal and/or selling access to Andrew?

  12. Jayna says:

    I have a soft spot for Fergie. Whatever his faults, I’ve always thought it was sweet that he still cared about his ex-wife for all these years.

    • jwoolman says:

      Maybe they wanted to reconcile and stay married a long time ago, but The Firm prevented it.

    • Puffy B. says:

      The ONLY reason he divorced her is because his father and mother insisted on it. That’s why she’s been living in his house all these years as if they were still married, dating others whenever the mood struck. They are a perfect match.

      • TeaAndSympathy says:

        The Gruesome Twosome.

      • FuefinaWG says:

        Fergie did a reality show a few years ago that aired in the USA. She said in at least one episode that she wanted to marry Andrew, again, because she was still in love with him.
        I remember also about the same time that there was a rumor going around that they would remarry after Phillip passed.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      I feel the same way, Jayna

      • WindowChair5 says:

        Me too! i always thought the loved each other and didn’t understand why they divorced. They really seemed a good match and well suited. If anyone is so inclined, can a quick synopsis of why the divorced be posted? Was it because the royal family did not like her? If that’s the case, why were they allowed to marry to begin with?

      • LAK says:

        Windowchairs: they didn’t willingly divorce. She was caught out in a tabloid sting with her side piece which was an embarrassment too far for the royals and so they were ordered to divorce.

        No counselling, mediation, couples therapy. It was straight to divorce court.

        The tabloid sting pics of her toes being sucked by her lover are available online, but I think the extra sting in the tail was the presence of her *daughters by the side.

        *daughters were toddlers.

        The marriage didn’t stand a chance. Despite growing up around the royals because her father was Charles’s polo manager, she didn’t really know Andrew very well. I think they had a similar courting timeframe as Charles and Diana, maybe a smidge longer.

        Soon after the wedding, he was shipped off to far flung places with his Naval postings, and she wasn’t allowed, or possibly didn’t ask, to join him. He barely came home in subsequent years, and when he was home, he just wanted to golf or watch movies. ( this is how she described it in her book)

        Consequently, the marriage fell apart very quickly because she had to deal with keeping it together on the home front, dealing with becoming a royal on her own, and all sorts of other pressures without him.

        At first the press loved her, but they soon turned. The media set her up to always look bad in a sarah vs Diana tabloid narrative. Whether or not the printed stories were true, she was always made to look her worst. And the media was vicious eg the tabloids used to call her the duchess of Pork because she dared put on weight. Unlike Diana, she wasn’t media savvy nor did she think to hire someone media savvy to improve her image.

        Long story short, after she had the babies, she started to act out. She over spent, had affairs and generally fed the media beast that already didn’t like her. Anne once likened her behaviour to someone infected with red carpet fever.

        By the time the toe sucking pictures came up, her stock was completely low. The pictures were deemed so scandalous that the only option was to divorce.

        That divorce is probably the only time Andrew didn’t get his way.

        His response to it used to make me think that he was somewhat decent because he never ever blamed her for any of it. He was very upset that he had neglected her, and so he stood by her during and after the divorce.

        Who knows if they would have divorced naturally. The fact remains that they never had a chance to find out. I think the fact that Sarah never disappeared despite being divorced continued to be a major source of irritation for Philip for decades because he the chief instigator of the divorce.

      • Citresse says:

        If the marriage was so solid ie – Fergie was so in love with Andrew, then why did she need a “sidepiece” in the first place?
        If someone is so in love with their partner, they see the long term, not short term.

  13. MinnFinn says:

    Speaking of Fergie and Andrew… I assume that Fergie and Randy Andy meet each others ‘needs’ on an ad hoc basis and they have a 100% open relationship. Is that about right?

  14. Patricia says:

    Remember the shady video that captured her trying to broker access to Andrew. For £500,000. As if it were something valuable.

    • Ava-L says:

      Well it seems it is actually valuable to have access to the UK trade envoy. Many people were willing to pay big for his “help” in matters of doing business in the UK. This is recently evidenced by the money laundering that he benefited from, which he is currently having to testify about in court.

  15. Puffy B. says:

    Maybe she’s in trouble again financially, and this is a way to save on taxes. Or, it may have something to do with Prince Philip’s very public disapproval when she showed up at a royal event with Andrew a few weeks ago. Maybe daddy threatened to disinherit Andrew if he didn’t get rid of his ex-wife once and for all.

  16. EM says:

    The reason why her daughters are freeloaders? They took their example from their parents. I’m surprised she managed to overcome the scandal that involved both of them. They’re both shady.

  17. LAK says:

    She’s always said she’s happiest in the mountains, and she’s always in Switzerland. Frankly, buying a chalet there is probably cheaper than her aannual vacations there.

    Outside of any speculation about shadiness, i’d say mazel tov and good luck to her.

    • notasugarhere says:

      She tried to move to Switzerland years ago when the girls were young. Paddy McNally provided the house. There was a scandal about the school they were to attend so it never happened. How different would things have been if she’d been tucked away safely in Switzerland for 20 years?

      The news about this purchase came out the week after the Epstein charges hit. If HM did fund part of this, it probably wasn’t because Sarah stood by Andrew during that. The sale would have been arranged long before.

      From earlier articles, there was something about how the house is divided into two separate residences inside. I’d say she’ll live in one, they’ll rent the other one out as a high-end vacation rental whenever Andrew isn’t there. Have to pay that mortgage somehow.

  18. PRINCESSDI says:

    I used to love to read about the exploits of Princess Diana and Fergie. That was a LONG time ago…what Diana would be doing if she were still alive is anyone’s guess. That said, I predict Fergie and Prince Andrew will quietly remarry when Prince Philip passes on.

    • Dena says:

      People say they will remarry. In some ways, I don’t think so because it’s been so long. I think they’ll just have less of an open secret relationship when Prince Philip has gone to his final reward. I can see marriage as a romantic symbol but their open marriage seems to work well for them. For one, they don’t have to put up with tension and stress of being unfaithful & lying about it and all the attendant emotions.

  19. KnowItAll says:

    Andrew is NOT Price Philip’s son. He is the Queen’s son though due to an affair.

    This is the shite she has on them … scandal, scandal, scandal. It would break the monarchy to what they have rebuilt thanks to Harry, William, Kate and the children. The monarchy is very weak, still; One more scandal and the plug will be pulled by commonwealth countries, followed by their own!

    • NewWester says:

      I heard that rumour growing up. It would be a huge scandal if it was proven to be true

    • mayamae says:

      I think Philip has had scores of affairs, but HM is devoted to him. I don’t think he would claim an illegitimate child – especially a loser like Andrew.

    • Jaded says:

      No he’s not. There isn’t an iota of proof that Andrew was fathered by Lord Porchester, it’s rumour-mongering like the theory that Harry is the son of James Hewitt. He doesn’t really resemble Porchy and seems to favour his mother’s side of the family via her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

    • notasugarhere says:

      This came through on tumblr recently, seems relevant. Doesn’t sound like an oopsie from an affair to me. Sounds like the traditional story that work stress plus the fight over the last name led to a break in baby making. Andrew was a tried-for makeup baby.

      “I am going to have a baby, which I have been trying to do for some time, and that means I won’t be able to go to Ghana as arranged. I want you to go and explain the situation to [President Kwame] Nkrumah and tell him to keep his mouth shut.”

      Queen Elizabeth II to her assistant private secretary, Martin Charteris, when it was confirmed that she was pregnant with Prince Andrew. From Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith

  20. frances egan says:

    beefy cheeked andrew has always been mommy’s pet so I don’t wonder where he gets his money.

  21. ImFlying says:

    My last comment, though I thought was subtle, apparently was not subtle enough. Please allow me to rephrase… There may be a connection being that the lodge is in the physical location of the Large Haldron Collider. My feeling is that this is prime real estate for the family and friends.

  22. Ainda says:

    Verbier is a very small and quiet, almost rural place to live compared to London or NY. Locals treat Celebrities like normal people; you can really live a quiet and normal life there. No paparazzies, no one is watching your steps..
    Maybe Fergie needs that right now? Or maybe that’s what the royals want right now: keep her out of the spotlight…

  23. Bobafelty says:

    Maybe the royals are paying her off to not confirm about Andrew being fathered by the queen’s affair with Porchester (began after she learned Phillip was having an affair with her cousin Alexandra).