Sarah Ferguson: Her scandalous divorce from Prince Andrew and why it happened


Sarah Ferguson, 58, married Prince Andrew, 58, in a very romantic, highly publicised wedding in 1986.

The pair had a whirlwind romance, with Andrew proposing to Sarah after just a short time dating.

It seemed like a match made in heaven, with the two having been in each other’s lives for a long time.

The couple met back when they were children, with Fergie revealing in her autobiography that she would sneak away from her father’s polo matches to “play tag with like-minded truants – including Prince Andrew, who was just my age”.

After falling out of touch, Sarah and Andrew where then reintroduced by Princess Diana, when she invited Sarah to a party at Windsor Castle.

The couple began dating and announced their engagement shortly after, going on to be married for 10 years.

It is reported that the couple’s marriage problems started in 1991, just one year after the birth of their second daughter, Princess Eugenie, 28.

Prince Andrew had a successful navy career going, meaning the two would go for months without seeing each other, reportedly 40 days a year in the first five years of their marriage.

In 1992 the Palace announced Fergie and Andrew’s separation, issuing a statement reading: “…Last week, lawyers acting for the Duchess of York initiated discussions about a formal separation for the Duke and Duchess.

“These discussions are not yet completed and nothing will be said until they are. The Queen hopes that the media will spare the Duke and Duchess of York and their children any intrusion.”

However, it was something surprisingly scandalous that broke down the couple’s relationship even more.

Fergie was photographed with her toes in the mouth of Texan financial advisor John Bryan, while wearing a bikini and lounging in the sun.

Andrew and Sarah were still married at the time, with the photographs also showing the two kissing and canoodling in their swimwear.

Speaking to CNN in 2002, People magazine senior editor Anne-Marie O’Neill commented: “The tabloids had such a good time with it that it really was the first time that the royal family was opened up to such ridicule.”

The 58-year-old spoke to Harper’s Bazaar in 2011 admitting that she didn’t want a divorce, but had to because of “circumstance.”

She said: “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.

“But I wanted to be able to say, ‘Her Majesty is my friend’— not fight her nor have lawyers saying, ‘Look, she is greedy.’ I left my marriage knowing I’d have to work. I have.”

Fast forward 22 years and Fergie and Prince Andrew remain very close, with the two recently spotted together at Royal Ascot.

Attending the horse racing meet with their daughter Princess Beatrice, 29, the former spouses howled with laughter with each other, with Sarah even spotted chatting to the Queen.

Rumours have even circulated of a romantic reunion between the former Duke and Duchess of York. 

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