Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson may no longer be married, but the pair still enjoy a close bond.
Fergie’s Instagram account showcases many heartfelt tributes to her ex husband. Whether she’s praising Andrew for his good looks, or saying how ‘proud’ she is of his military achievements, the Duchess isn’t afraid to show she still cares.
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.
They even recently reunited for the annual Royal Ascot race meeting – and appeared to be getting on like a house on fire.
Sarah joined her ex-husband and daughter Beatrice 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 whilst there, Andrew and Sarah were seen laughing uproariously together, clearly enjoying one another’s company. At one point, the Duchess even paused to straight her ex-husband’s suit out, in a touching and affectionate gesture.
The Duchess of York later opened up about her day at the races with the royals, confessing simply that it was a ‘Great day with my family’. She shared the above picture on her Instagram account, alongside the hashtags, ‘@ascotracecourse @hrhthedukeofyork #Beatrice @princesseugenie #royalascot #racing’.
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 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…
Meeting for the first time, 1969
In perhaps the first ever picture of the couple, taken by trusted royal photographer John Scott, we can get an early glimpse into the future romance of Sarah and Prince Andrew.
The rare photograph, which will soon be sold at auction, shows two 10-year-olds at the Guards Polo Club, set up by both of their father’s,Ronald Ferguson and Prince Philip. In the picture, Sarah (far left), glances back at Prince Andrew (left), the man who, 20 years later, would become her husband.
This picture also show’s the shows the Ferguson clan, including Sarah’s older sister Jane, spending quality time with the Queen and her children, including Prince Edward.
According to the Daily Mail‘s royal reporter Rebecca English, the sweet photo marks the first moment Sarah and Andrew began to fall in love.
Reportedly, a friend of the Duchess’ told her, “Even at the age of ten, Andrew and Sarah knew that they would marry!”
The image was of course captured years before the couple actually began dating. It’s thought that the pair were close childhood friends, but grew apart. Andrew and Sarah were reportedly reunited by Princess Diana herself, after the Princess invited Fergie to Royal Ascot in 1985. From there, the pair quickly embarked on a relationship.
Announcing their engagement, 1986
The happy couple revealed that they were engaged on 19th March 1986, after 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 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 – and are here seen waving happily from the boat.
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 became the fifth grandchild of the Queen. Here, they are pictured emerging with Beatrice 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.
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 the golf club, 1996
Just weeks before announcing that they were divorced, Prince Andrew and Fergie put on an affectionate display at a charity golf event, sharing a kiss in front of their two children, Beatrice and Eugenie.
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 thought 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.
At a gallery dinner and auction, 2000
Despite being divorced for four years by this point, Andrew and Sarah still attended the occassional official event together. Here, the pair put on a united front as close friends, at the Serpentine Gallery anniversary gala dinner and charity auction, at Kensington Gardens.
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 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!
In New York, 2006
The Duke and Duchess of York came together once again in 2006, to honour the lives lost during the 9/11 attacks in New York. The former couple marked the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks at a solemn remembrance ceremony.
At the London Marathon, 2010
While the Duchess of York is no longer an official member of the royal family, Sarah occassionally represents the family in an official capacity, often alongside Prince Andrew. Here in 2010, the Duke and Duchess represent the royals at the London Marathon.
At Princess Beatrice’s graduation, 2011
Ever the proud parents, the former couple look delighted as they leave 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.’
At Royal Ascot, 2016
Prince Andrew, Sarah, and all the family – including Eugenie, Beatrice, the Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie Wessex – headed to the royal family’s most important horse racing meeting of the year in 2016. The former couple looked to be in great spirits on the sunny day, happily chatting and laughing with one another.
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! And on that note, we’ll just leave this final tribute from Sarah to the ‘best looking’ Andrew here…
Could Fergie still hold a candle for her ‘best man, father and friend’?