EXCLUSIVE: Removal vans are spotted outside Prince Andrew’s much-loved £18m Verbier ski chalet – which he ‘is being forced to sell to settle debts after being forced to pay sex abuse victim Virginia Roberts millions of dollars’
- EXCLUSIVE: Removal vans seen outside ski chalet belonging to Prince Andrew
- The £18 million Swiss lodge was put up for sale last year by the disgraced Duke
- Andrew’s wife Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters Beatrice and Eugenie spent New Year there with their families
Removal vans have been spotted outside the controversial £18 million Swiss ski chalet belonging to Prince Andrew, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.
The lodge was put up for sale last year by the disgraced Duke who is thought to be using the cash from the sale of his beloved property to fund his pay off to sex abuse victim Virginia Giuffre.
It was reported in January that a buyer had been found for the seven bedroom Chalet Helora in the swish resort of Verbier.
The Prince has not been to the timber framed lodge for several years but his former wife Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters Beatrice and Eugenie spent New Year there with their families.
Removal vans have been spotted outside the controversial £18 million Swiss ski chalet belonging to Prince Andrew
The lodge was put up for sale last year by the disgraced Duke who is thought to be using the cash from the sale of his property to settle out of court
Neighbours said that a large blue removals van from London based Abels had arrived in the village earlier this week and boxes had been taken from inside into the vehicle.
Abels was given a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen in 1981 and has been carrying out removal services for the Royal Household ever since and has been rewarded for its continued service.
No-one at the firm was available to comment but a villager in Verbier said:’ It’s the talk of the place – everyone knew it had been sold and now the removal van has turned up.
‘I’ve seen some guys shifting boxes and bits of furniture and they have been there all day and they don’t look as if they have finished – it’s huge van so I imagine they will be clearing the chalet completely.
Andrew, pictured, settled out of court with Virginia Giuffre in March after she claimed she had been sexually abused by him several times in London and the United States
A villager in Verbier said: ‘We used to see the Duke and his wife here all the time but in recent years it’s been Sarah with the children – I know they both loved the place and had many wonderful years here’
‘I really think it was with a heavy heart they sold it as Sarah used to ski here all the time when she was younger,’ said the villager
‘We used to see the Duke and his wife here all the time but in recent years it’s been Sarah with the children – I know they both loved the place and had many wonderful years here.
‘Sarah was here at New Year with her family for the last time and they watched the firework display from the balcony – I really think it was with a heavy heart they sold it as Sarah used to ski here all the time when she was younger.’
However the sight of the removal vans came as reports in local Swiss media suggested that there could still be a legal obstacle to the sale as money was still owed to the previous owners by the Duke and Sarah.
According to the reports they still owed two million Swiss francs to a couple they had had a business relationship with – so the sale could not officially go through.
Le Temps and Le Matin both said the property had been at the centre of a legal wrangle over an alleged debt since December 15 2021, just eleven days before Sarah and her two daughters arrived with their respective husbands and children.
They added:’ The measure concerns the sum of two million Swiss Francs – a debt that Prince Andrew and his wife have with a couple from Verbier, with whom they have a business relationship.
‘The latter has sent them a letter asking for the money back but has not been repaid,’
Andrew settled out of court with Virginia Giuffre in March after she claimed she had been sexually abused by him several times in London and the United States.
No figure was revealed but it was thought to be in the region of £7.5 million and he was also told to pay an unspecified amount to a charity of Virginia’s choice as well as his own legal bills.
Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts stand together with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background in London on March 13, 2001
Buckingham Palace made it clear that the Queen would not be paying so the only option open to the disgraced prince was the sale of the chalet which includes an indoor pool, sauna, boot room and terrace with spectacular views.
They bought the lodge from French socialite friend Isabelle de Rouvre for £18 million and she was due to have been paid the balance in instalments but not all were made on time and it thought the seizure is over the missed payments.
It is at odds with what she told MailOnline in February that everything was ‘ok and over’ with the Duke.
A source close to the Duke of York told MailOnline: ‘Talks are underway to resolve the matter, which are expected to be concluded satisfactorily for all parties, but it in no way prevents the sale of the chalet, which is proceeding and is expected to complete in due course.’