As Prince Andrew announces he is stepping down from royal duties, we take a look at the role the disgraced prince played in the royal family, his charity work and his mysterious sources of income.

Andrew was once a celebrated war hero serving in the Royal Navy from 1978 to 2001. He has drawn $40,000 from his naval pension every year since. He also receives a tax free annual income of $503,000 from his mother which, according to The Times, comes from the income the Queen receives from her property portfolio The Duchy of Lancaster.

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But several news outlets have mused over how he appears to live well beyond his visible earnings, enjoying a billionaire's lifestyle jetting around the world, holidaying on superyachts and spending time at his $26 million ski chalet in a Swiss resort.

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"There is a mystery as to what he lives on and where his money comes from," David McClure, author of Royal Legacy, told The Times. Photo / Getty Images

The 59-year-old has also recently forked out for a $15 million renovation on Royal Lodge, his 30-room home in Windsor Great Park.

He's not afraid to wear his elusive coin on his sleeve either, sporting a $24,000 gold Apple watch or one of several Rolexes and Cartiers as he rides around in a fleet of luxury vehicles including a Bentley.

David McClure, author of Royal Legacy told The Times: "There is a mystery as to what he lives on and where his money comes from."

Meanwhile The Daily Mail has claimed to have obtained emails detailing the prince's "extraordinary business dealings with just one of the many groups of politically-connected entrepreneurs in his orbit".

The Mail details his involvement in a bid to build water and sewage networks in two large Kazakh cities. It is claimed the deal pocketed the prince a $7.75 million commission.

The Mail also notes the sale of Andrew's former home to another Kazakh oligarch the prince met on the global trade circuit.

The property was sold for $30 million - $6 million more than the asking price. It's alleged the property then sat empty for more than eight years before being completely razed.

It has previously been reported by The Sunday Times that in July 2008 for "the Duke of York's public role,... he last year received £436,000 ($838,000) to cover his expenses."

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And The Daily Telegraph reported that in 2010, "the Prince spent £620,000 ($1.2 million) as a trade envoy, including £154,000 ($310,000) on hotels, food and hospitality and £465,000 ($936,000) on travel."

Following his disastrous interview over his involvement with Jeffrey Epstein and alleged relations with sex trafficked teen, Virginia Roberts, several multi-million-dollar businesses and charities have quickly moved to distance themselves from the prince.

While his official engagements this year amounted to 225, that's only half as many as this time last year.

Andrew said he had no recollection of meeting Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre. Photo / supplied
Andrew said he had no recollection of meeting Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre. Photo / supplied

According to the Washington Post, of the 200 charities the prince endorses, several have abandoned him "concluding the prince no longer casts a royal glow, but controversial shade."

The Daily Mail reports five companies have cut ties with Andrew's Dragons' Den-inspired charity and three more are now said to be considering ditching the royal since the interview aired.

The prince has several patronages tied to his royal title, but many of these appear to be in jeopardy.

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British telecoms giant BT has warned it will only continue to back an award scheme if Andrew is dropped as patron.

Prince Andrew is also Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield. The education provider has been the only organisation to back the prince. However, the Daily Mail reports students are lobbying for his resignation with a "Not my Chancellor" campaign and a vote planned for later this week.

Meanwhile, London Metropolitan University told MailOnline the prince's role as patron will be reviewed at its next Board of Governors meeting.

And according to the Telegraph the English National Ballet, the Jubilee Sailing Trust and The Place, a dance company, are understood to be discussing the Duke's role at their institutions too.