As Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew celebrate the nuptials of their eldest daughter Princess Beatrice, renewed interest in the York family spawned new speculation into the relationship between Ferguson and the maligned son of Queen Elizabeth II. As Vanity Fair noted, while Ferguson and Andrew knew each other as kids, it wasn’t until Princess Diana invited her friend and former public relations professional to join them at 1985’s Royal Ascot that “Fergie” and the second-born prince began dating, and soon after, got engaged.
By July 1986, they were married, but their union didn’t last long, as they separated in 1992 and officially divorced in 1996, per Cheatsheet. However, in the decades since the split, Ferguson and Andrew have remained close — so why did they divorce in the first place?
As it turns out, Ferguson found herself quite lonely mere weeks after they wed. “I married my boy, who happened to be a prince and a sailor, because I loved him — my only condition being, ‘I have to be with you,'” Ferguson told Harper’s Bazaar in 2007. “And two weeks after the wedding, the courtiers told Andrew, who thought he’d be stationed in London, ‘You have to go to sea.’ I spent my entire first pregnancy alone. When Beatrice was born, Andrew got 10 days of shore leave and when he left I cried.”
Yet, while Andrew’s love for his Navy career might’ve sparked their separation, Ferguson’s alleged affair likely triggered their eventual divorce. Let’s dive into all that, shall we?
Prince Andrew will always be Sarah Ferguson's 'handsome prince'
Shortly after Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew separated, the former Duchess of York found herself at the center of a royal scandal as the Washington Post published photographs of her embracing American businessman John Bryan. Ferguson later told Harper’s Bazaar she “didn’t want a divorce,” but she “had to because of circumstance.” Ultimately, Ferguson and Andrew made their breakup official so she could “go off and get a job,” as she long harbored the desire to work.
Yet while Ferguson lost her royal title, she did not lose her standing with Queen Elizabeth II, because she requested friendship, not money, as part of the settlement. “When I met with Her Majesty about it, she asked, ‘What do you require, Sarah?’ and I said, ‘Your friendship,’ which I think amazed her because everyone said I would demand a big settlement,” Ferguson added. “I left my marriage knowing I’d have to work. I have.”
In the years since, Ferguson and Andrew have remained close friends and both continue to focus on the two daughters they share, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. “He’s still my handsome prince, he’ll always be my handsome prince,” Ferguson said during an appearance at the children’s literature festival in 2013 (via Telegraph). “We really believe in being good parents for our girls. In our every day, we really respect each other and we honor each other.” And despite Andrew’s legal troubles, Ferguson continues to back her former spouse.
Sarah Ferguson supports Prince Andrew, despite his recent scandal
Before Prince Andrew actually married Sarah Ferguson, he was considered the royal playboy, as he’s been linked to an array of scandalous women in his time. However, Prince Andrew’s past came back to haunt him, as he’s also been linked to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in August 2019. Yet, while Prince Andrew has stepped back from his royal duties, as he refuses to cooperate with the authorities, Ferguson has publicly come to her former spouse’s defense on multiple occasions.
“When I talk about Prince Andrew, I talk about family because the last six months have been hard on the girls and me,” she told Vogue Arabia in December 2019. “To see such a wonderful man go through such enormous pain. He is the best man I know.”
Ferguson also celebrated her ex-husband on Instagram in November 2019, noting that he’s a “true and real gentleman.” “I am deeply supportive and proud of this giant of a principled man, that dares to put his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth,” she added. “It is time for Andrew to stand firm now, and that he has, and I am with him every step of the way and that is my honour. We have always walked tall and strong, he for me and me for him.”
If only all former spouses could exhibit this level of continued love and support for one another!
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