A close bond. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson‘s marriage — and subsequent split — has become a major topic of discussion in British monarchy history through the years.
After meeting as children, the couple reconnected in 1985 and started dating later that year. Andrew’s proposal to Ferguson — a.k.a. Fergie — one year later caused a stir since he allegedly didn’t get permission from Queen Elizabeth II at the time.
“Just before midnight Andrew went down on both knees and asked Sarah Ferguson to be his wife. Sarah was caught off-guard and, to cover her confusion, tried to make light of it,” royal biographer Ingrid Seward claimed in her 1991 book, Sarah: HRH The Duchess of York. “She told the prince: ‘If you wake up tomorrow morning, you can tell me it’s all a huge joke.'”
Seward wrote that the prince proposed for a second time in the morning — and later obtained consent from his mother. Andrew and Ferguson tied the knot five months later and expanded their family following their nuptials.
After six years of marriage, the pair made headlines in 1992 when they decided to separate. (Their divorce was finalized four years later.)
Over the years, Ferguson has been candid about remaining friendly with Andrew for the sake of their children. “A table goes best with four legs. A table can’t stand on three legs, really, so you have the duke and I, and the two girls,” she explained to Hello! in September 2017. “We’re family unit and we lead by example. We support each other emotionally and we support each other health-wise. At least every two weeks, we sit down together and communicate, the four of us.”
Ferguson also stood by Andrew’s side after he was accused of sexual assault by Virginia Roberts Giuffre in November 2019. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2022, but Andrew was stripped of his military titles after serving more than 20 years in the Royal Navy. He stopped participating in senior royal duties as well.
His ex-wife, for her part, paid tribute to the royal on his birthday amid the controversy. She shared a black-and-white photo of Andrew in February 2020, writing via Instagram, “Happy 60th Birthday to Andrew.”
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