The Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson have been divorced for 25 years, but they remain close friends and co-parents to their daughters, Princess Beatrice, 33, and Princes Eugenie, 31.
Prince Andrew and Ferguson have continued to live together in the duke’s home in Windsor. They also frequently go on holiday.
On Wednesday, Ferguson told local newspapers in Poland that she will remain committed to the duke “no matter what”, and that their wedding in 1986 was one of the best days of her life.
“Divorce is one thing, but my heart is my oath, my obligation,” she said.
It comes as the Queen welcomed both Sarah and Andrew to Balmoral on Tuesday.
Here’s everything we know about the relationship between the Duke of York and Ferguson:
How did Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson meet?
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson reportedly first met as children, but it wasn’t until the 1985 Royal Ascot when they met for the first time as adults.
According to reports, Princess Diana played an instrumental role in setting the couple up. Sarah and the Princess of Wales were childhood friends, with Ferguson attending her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981.
Vanity Fair reported that it was Diana who recommended that Ferguson be invited to an event at Windsor Castle during the Royal Ascot, and that she encouraged the romance between Sarah and Andrew.
Less than a year after they met, Andrew proposed to Ferguson on 19 February 1986, on his 26th birthday. He proposed to her at Floors Castle in Scotland with a bespoke ring featuring oval-cut Burmese ruby surrounded by 10 diamonds.
They announced their engagement publicly on 19 March 1986.
When did Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson marry?
On 23 July 1986, Andrew and Ferguson tied the knot in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey. They received the title of Duke and Duchess of York on the same day.
The duchess wore an embroidered ivory silk wedding dress, designed by Linda Cierach, which had a 17-foot train and the letters ‘A’ and ’S’ sewed in silver beads.
Ferguson arrived at the ceremony wearing a flower crown, but then changed into the York Tiara for the rest of the day. The tiara was gifted from the Queen and Prince Philip as part of a set that also included a necklace, bracelet and earrings.
The wedding was attended by 2,000 guests and was watched by 500 million people on television. Andrew and Ferguson shared their first kiss as husband and wife on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
They went on to have two children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
When did Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson divorce?
Andrew and Ferguson’s divorce became official on 30 May 1996, but the couple separated four years prior.
Following the separation, the palace announced that Ferguson would no longer carry out public engagements on behalf of the Queen.
Ferguson moved out of the residence she shared with Andrew, the Royal Lodge, and into Romenda Lodge, Surrey, in 1992.
Why did Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson divorce?
The couple’s relationship is believed to have begun unravelling soon after they were married. Andrew’s career in the Royal Navy meant he was away for long periods of time and as a result, the couple reportedly only saw each other for around 40 days per year.
Ferguson told Harper’s Bazaar in 2007: “I spent my entire first pregnancy alone. When Beatrice was born, Andrew got 10 days of shore leave.”
After the couple separated in March 1992, Ferguson became embroiled in a scandal that saw photographs of her and and John Bryan, an American business manager, published in the Daily Mirror.
In the photographs, Bryan is seen kissing the duchess’ toes as she sunbathed topless. The scandal further estranged her from the royal family.
Speaking about the split, she told Harper’s Bazaar: “When I met with Her Majesty about it, she asked, ‘What do you require, Sarah?’ I said, ‘Your friendship’, which I think amazed her because everyone said I would demand a big settlement.
“But I wanted to be able to say, ‘Her Majesty is my friend’ – not right her nor have lawyers saying, ‘Look, she is greedy’. I left my marriage knowing I’d have to work.”
Are Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson still close?
Andrew and Ferguson remain close and live together at Andrew’s home at the Royal Lodge in Windsor whenever she is in the UK.
Ferguson told The Sunday Times that the couple “are very good co-parents together” and said she was “lucky” to have the unusual living arrangement.
“I travel a lot and I’ve always been able to make wherever I am home. If I am staying in a hotel I have the same family photographs and scented candles around me.
“When I’m in the UK, I’m lucky enough to stay at the Royal Lodge. I wouldn’t call it my home as that would be presumptuous.”
In 2013, during a promotional event for her children’s book, Ferguson was asked if she and Andrew would remarry.
She replied: “He’s still my handsome prince, he’ll always be my handsome prince. It’s lovely that we are such a family and the story has a happy ending all the time.”
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