Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson may no longer be married, but the pair still enjoy a close bond.
After announcing their separation in 1992, the Duke and Duchess appeared to split rather amicably. And it looks as though the pair have allowed their relationship to endure by establishing a stable friendship.
Mostly recently, they reunited for the annual Royal Ascot race meeting in June – and appeared to be getting on like a house on fire (below).
Sarah joined her ex-husband for a rare outing with the Queen and the rest of the royal family for the second-to-last day of the horse racing event.
And of course, the former couple recently expressed their joint delight over the engagement of their eldest daughter Princess Beatrice, to her fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
The Duke of York and his ex-wife, the Duchess of York, were married for 10 years. The former couple wed in 1986, but sadly divorced in 1996 after welcoming their two children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Sarah and Andrew have long spoken about how important it was to them to maintain a tight family unit, despite no longer being a couple.
Speaking to Hello! magazine, Sarah revealed, “A table can’t stand on three legs, really. So you have the Duke and I, and the two girls. We’re a 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 and communicate, the four of us.”
So how did they get to where they are today? We take a look at the couple’s fun and supportive – but undeniably tricky – relationship over the years…
Announcing their engagement, 1986
It’s thought that Fergie and Andrew were childhood friends, given that they’re families were close, but the two grew apart as they got older. But Prince Andrew and Sarah were reportedly reunited by Princess Diana herself, after the Princess invited Fergie to Royal Ascot in 1985. And from there, the pair quickly embarked on a relationship.
The happy couple then revealed that they were engaged on 19th March 1986, after a year-long courtship.
Prince Andrew designed Sarah’s Burmese ruby engagement ring himself, revealing that the stone was chosen in order to complement Sarah’s red hair. The couple revealed that they were set to marry in the summer of that year, after receiving the Queen’s permission.
On their wedding day, 1986
On 23rd July, Sarah and Prince Andrew married at Westminster Abbey – just six months after becoming engaged. The BBC reported that 500 million television viewers tuned in to see the Queen’s second eldest child marry. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service, and around 100,000 people gathered outside of Buckingham Palace to see the couple’s first kiss on the royal balcony.
They later went on to their reception at Claridge’s hotel.
On their honeymoon, 1986
After their Westminster Abbey wedding, Sarah and Andrew quickly jetted off in the royal plane to the Azore Islands in Portgual. The pair enjoyed five days aboard the royal yacht Britannia in the Atlantic.
Here, they are seen heading off on their honeymoon from London in a royal carriage, with plenty of celebrations and excitement from royal fans in the capital.
At the hospital after the birth of Princess Beatrice, 1988
Two years after their wedding, Prince Andrew and Sarah welcomed their first baby daughter, Beatrice. Sarah gave birth at the Portland Hospital in London on 8th August, and Beatrice became the fifth grandchild of the Queen. Here, they are pictured emerging with their daughter for the first time.
At Princess Eugenie’s christening, 1990
Joined by the Queen, Princess Diana, and Prince Charles, Sarah and Andrew celebrated the birth of their second baby girl, Princess Eugenie, at the church on the Sandringham Estate – where the family now annually celebrate Christmas Day.
After announcing their separation, 1993
After weeks of speculation in the media, Buckingham Palace was forced to announce that Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew would in fact be separating.
In the below picture, they are seen at daughter Princess Beatrice’s sport day, months after sharing with the world that they would be parting ways.
The statement from the palace was unprecedented, as it discussed the Queen’s own personal unhappiness surrounding the situation.
It read, ‘In view of the media speculation which the Queen finds especially undesirable during the general election campaign, Her Majesty is issuing the following statement:
‘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.’
Despite the news, the Duke and Duchess of York went on to put in appearances together for some years – and their divorce was not finalised until 1996 – four years later.
At a golf club in Surrey, 1995
Despite having announced their separation, the pair look happy and relaxed while enjoying a day at the Wentworth golf club in Surrey, in 1995. But the photo was taken just a year before the pair filed for divorce, four years of after announcing their separation.
At a celebrity golf tournament, 1997
The former couple appeared to be maintaining a strong friendship after their divorce, seen here as the Duke accompanied his ex-wife to a celebrity golf tournament in aid of Motor Neurone disease, a charity of which she was royal patron.
On a family skiing trip, 1998
Although the Duke and Duchess of York had been separated for over two years by this point, the former couple made sure to keep their family together, heading off on regular holidays together, as they had always done. Here, the foursome happily pose for the cameras during a skiing trip to Verbier – where it’s reported that Sarah and Andrew later purchased a chalet together.
At a film premiere, 2000
The York family attended a lavish premiere of 102 Dalmatians back in 2000, as a happy family of four. Since divorcing Prince Andrew, Sarah appeared in a number of TV and film projects herself, including The Vicar of Dibley and Friends. She worked as a producer on the 2009 film, The Young Victoria – a fitting job, considering her royal family connections.
Princess Eugenie’s first day of school, 2001
Sarah and Prince Andrew joined forces on this day, as they posed for pictures alongside their youngest daughter Princess Eugenie, ahead of her first day at school. Eugenie was heading off for her first day at independent prep St. George’s School in Windsor – with her proud as punch parents by her side. Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, currently attends the school.
At an event at the Tower of London, 2002
The former royal couple looked to be getting on like a house on fire, laughing together while celebrating at a party for a jewellery company. We guess this proves that the Sarah and Andrew still enjoy a great relationship as friends!
At the London Marathon, 2010
While the Duchess of York is no longer an official member of the royal family, Sarah occasionally joins the family in an official capacity, often alongside Prince Andrew, at important events. Here in 2010, the Duke and Duchess represent the royals at the London Marathon. It was an important event for the former couple, as their daughter Beatrice was taking part in the race.
At Princess Beatrice’s graduation, 2011
Ever the proud parents, the former couple look delighted as they attend Princess Beatrice’s graduation ceremony at Goldsmith’s College in London. At 22, the Princess achieved a 2.1 in History from the college. And at the time, Sarah couldn’t hold back her excitement at her daughter’s achievement, writing on Twitter, ‘Beatrice graduating today from Goldsmiths… So proud of her achievement. As all mothers/parents are, well done… All graduates.’
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At Ascot races, 2017
Sarah and Andrew once again joined the rest of the family in royal box at Ascot last year to watch the King George VI stakes – and it seems the pair were on tenterhooks as they kept their eyes on the race.
It’s great to see the couple and family still as close knit as ever!