Originally Posted by branchg
The Royal Lodge is still owned by the Crown Estate and cannot be disposed of by Andrew or the monarch. He holds a leasehold over the property, which reverts back to the Crown upon expiration.
The Queen paid for the lease and renovations out of her private purse on behalf of her son, so she certainly has the final say about who can and cannot reside there. Obviously, she has no objection to Sarah's living arrangements, which is likely for the sake of her granddaughters.
As a solicitor in the UK I have to clarify a few things.
While the Crown Estate owns the freehold for Royal Lodge Prince Andrew owns a 75 year leasehold. His leasehold trumps the freehold for those 75 years. He can sell this leasehold during those 75 years. The leasehold does not necessarily revert to the Crown upon expiration either, there may be a renewal clause in the leasehold for the benefit of his heirs.
There is absolutely no evidence that the Queen paid for the leasehold and/or renovations. The Daily Mail reports that Prince Andrew paid for both from funds derived from the sale of Sunninghill Park, which Prince Andrew owned both the leasehold and freehold of at the time of sale.
Finally, as Prince Andrew's name is on the leasehold, which anyone can see on property records, he has the final say about who can and who cannot reside in Royal Lodge, legally. Family dynamics can be whatever they want but ultimately Prince Andrew has the law on his side.
For all we know he has left the leasehold of Royal Lodge to Sarah and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie in his will.
On another level, I do agree that The Queen has no objection to Sarah living there and frankly I don't think The Queen has much objection to Sarah at all.