Mystery as Prince Andrew’s £15million Sunninghill Park mansion STILL empty 7 years after murky sale to Kazakh oligarch | The Sun

MYSTERY surrounds Prince Andrew's former Sunninghill Park estate as the half-constructed mansion still lies empty years after it was sold to a Kazakh oligarch.

The sale of the Duke of York's Berkshire pile raised questions after it was sold to billionaire Timur Kulibayev in 2007 for £3million over the asking price.



Prince Andrew's grotesque manor house was pulled to the ground in 2015, eight years after the sale, so work could begin on a new "modern" mansion.

But despite ongoing construction work for the last seven years, the home appears to be nowhere near completion with steel beams still being erected by a handful of workers at the property.

The muddy building site is surrounded by temporary wooden fencing with a tradesman entrance leading to bags of rubble and pallets – a world away from a lavish mansion proposed in the building plans.

And last it was reported the rebuild had been finally finished – but a visit to the site by The Sun Online showed it was anything but complete.

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The Duke of York sold his and Sarah Ferguson's former six-bedroom love nest Sunninghill Park in 2007 for £15m to billionaire oligarch Timur Kulibayev, son-in-law of Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev.

This was despite the property being on the market for £12million.

The deal raised eyebrows over Andrew's cosy ties to Kazakhstan's regime as Nazarbayev's government presided over a brutal totalitarian state which oversaw torture.

Andrew is known to have been pals with the dictator and even gone goose hunting with him.

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The Duke has always maintained that the sale was a "straightforward commercial transaction", while Kulibayev has insisted the inflated price was down to a bidding war over the property.

After the murky sale of the Royal estate – which had been a gift from The Queen -the property lay derelict for a further eight years before finally bulldozed and rebuilt.

But it seems very little progress has been made since.

A neighbour told the Sun Online: "I don’t know who is there. It’s not been sold recently. It’s still in the development phase. 

"We’ve only been here two and a half years and it’s been like that the whole time."

Planning permission was granted for a "modern interpretation of a country house" with six ensuite bedrooms, a gym, steam room, treatment room and games parlour.

But while aerial shots show a solid structure in place, the house appears to be far from the stunning residence proposed in the extravagant plans.

'TESCO MANSION'

The original 12-bed sprawling mansion was built for Prince Andrew and his new wife Sarah Ferguson in 1986, as a wedding present from The Queen to her favourite son.

No expense was spared in kitting out the Royal gaff with marble surfaces, polished pine and a musical toilet roll holder that sang the tune "God Save the Queen".

A spiral staircase from the balcony lead to the swimming pool and tennis court, while the couple's initial "A & S" embossed on towels and loo rolls.

Due to its vulgar appearance, the manor was branded "SouthYork" after its resemblance to the home of oil baron J.R Ewing from the eighties TV show Dallas – Southfork.

Others even compare the garish mansion to a Tesco supermarket.

Despite divorcing in 1996, Prince Andrew and Fergie raised daughters Beatrice and Eugene in the marital home until the Queen Mother's death in 2002.

Andrew upgraded to the nearby Royal Lodge and the uninhabited Sunninghill Park was placed on the market for a whopping £12million.


But the estate sat unsold and rotting for five years with a bat-infested roof, an abandoned garden and a pool and tennis court covered in moss.

The £15million sale to the Kulibayev in 2007 however was no quick fix for the mansion and it remained empty for another eight years before finally being torn down.

The land has not been lived on for the last 15 years with the oligarch choosing not to reside at the country estate while work continues.

The property was also registered to a corporation based in the secretive tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.

The billionaire is married to the former Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev's daughter and has held senior positions in a number of state-owned industrial firms.

He has also been on the board for Russian gas giant Gazprom since 2011.

The Sunninghill sale to Kulibayev was thought to have been facilitated through their mutual friend, and mother of Timur's son, the billionaire socialite Goga Ashkenazi.

The glamorous English-educated Kazakh socialite and businesswoman, reportedly enchanted the Duke from the moment they met at a 2001 New Year's Eve party in Phuket, Thailand.

Andrew is said to have been "besotted" with the then-20-year-old Goga – but she has always insisted they were just friends.

Goga has been one of Andrew's most loyal allies in recent years, insisting there was nothing improper in the Sunninghill sale.

And the embattled Duke continues to face questions over his finances after he had to pay £12million to sex abuse victim Virginia Giuffre.

He denies all allegations that he had sex with her after she was trafficked to him by Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein.

But the disgraced Duke has now been forced out of public Royal life.

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And meanwhile, Andrew is facing calls to offer his help with the FBI over the ongoing probe into the perverted couple's trafficking scheme.

Timur Kulibayev declined to comment further on the current state of the property when approached by the Sun.


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