Sarah Ferguson—everything you need to know about Fergie as she enjoys family time with the Queen

Sarah Ferguson officially joined the Royal Family in 1986

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York attends the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston
(Image credit: Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York has maintained strong relationships within the Royal Family since she and Prince Andrew divorced, describing the Queen as a “mentor”. 

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York has remained a firm favorite with royal relatives and fans alike from the moment she joined the Royal Family. From her close bond with the Queen, to her supportive relationship with her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, she has often given a unique and down-to-earth insight into royal life. Having established herself as a children’s book author in recent years, Sarah, often nicknamed Fergie, delights her younger fans with regular YouTube videos and has even recently compared herself to Jennifer Aniston

Though following the release of her first adult book, Her Heart For A Compass, earlier this month, it seems she is enjoying some quiet family time. It’s understood that the Duchess of York has traveled to Aberdeenshire to visit the Queen at Balmoral Castle during the monarch’s annual trip. 

Here we reveal all you need to know about Fergie, the Queen’s former daughter-in-law...

How old is Sarah Ferguson?

Sarah Ferguson is 61 years old and was born October 15, 1959 at the London Welbeck Hospital. In tribute to her mother’s 61st birthday last year, her daughter Princess Eugenie shared a selection of adorable family photos from throughout Sarah’s life. 

The Princess wrote simply, ‘Happy Birthday to my dear mumsy... ⁣You are one of a kind.⁣ There were too many pictures to choose from that show how completely unique you are. ⁣🎉🎊🎉🎊’. 

Princess Eugenie of York (L) and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, attend the Art Antiques London Gala Evening

(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Sarah herself later took to social media to thank everyone for their birthday wishes in a video shared on Instagram, joking that she was “61, still red-headed and not out”. 

Susan Barrantes was Sarah’s mother and she married Ronald Ferguson at St Margaret’s, Westminster in 1956. The couple went on to have two daughters, Sarah and her older sister Jane Ferguson, who was born in 1957. 

Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York with her mother, Susan Barrantes, at Polo in Windsor

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The family grew up together in Hampshire, until Susan left in 1972 to begin a new life in Argentina. It was here that she married her second husband, professional polo player, Hector Barrantes, who passed away in 1990. 

Sarah was just 13 years old at the time Susan settled in South America and her father Major Ferguson later also married again, to Susan Deptford. He and his second wife had three children together, Sarah’s half-siblings: Andrew, Alice and Eliza Ferguson.   

What happened to Sarah Ferguson’s mother?

After spending several decades out in Argentina, Susan was tragically killed in a car accident on an Argentinian provincial highway in September 1998, just over a year after Princess Diana’s death in Paris. The Irish Times (opens in new tab) claimed back then that police said Susan had died instantly after her Land Rover allegedly collided with another vehicle. At the time, Sarah was reportedly away on holiday in Italy and returned quickly to the UK, before flying out to Argentina for her mother’s funeral. 

On the anniversary of Susan’s passing on September 19 last year, Sarah took to Instagram to share a heartbreaking tribute to happier times with her mom when she was a child.

‘Happy days with Mum (always in my heart) my sister Jane and Puff the Poodle on a lake in Scotland. She died far too young .. we miss you Mum ❤️❤️❤️’, her caption bravely declared. 

Alongside the poignant words, fans were given a glimpse into Sarah’s childhood with a family snap of a young Sarah and Jane alongside Susan, her hair swept back with a fashionable headband, one hand stroking Puff. A second photo of just Susan showed Sarah’s mother in later years, standing in glorious sunshine, her long hair loose over her elegant white shirt. 

Whilst Sarah Ferguson is not biologically related to Her Majesty, she has remained an important member of the Royal Family ever since she married Prince Andrew. After tying the knot with one of Queen Elizabeth’s children, Sarah became the monarch’s daughter-in-law and the two are understood to have maintained a close relationship. 

During a rare podcast appearance on Tea with Twiggy on August 16, Sarah opened up about their bond, revealing that the Queen is “more of a mother” to her than her own was. Discussing what it’s been like having the Queen as a “mentor” to her all these years, Sarah explained that she’s learnt so much from her former mother-in-law. 

Queen Elizabeth ll, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Sarah, Duchess of York attend the Braemar Highland Games

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

“I absolutely think there is no greater mentor because, from a little girl to now, the consistency of Her Majesty has been a great honour, it’s a huge honour — makes me want to cry,” she told listeners. “I absolutely admire the incredible way Her Majesty is so modern… and how flexible, and how understanding, and how forgiving and how generous.”

Though despite having a heart-warming friendship with the Queen, it’s thought that the Duchess of York and Prince Philip initially had a frostier relationship. However, this all changed as time went on and it’s said that Prince Philip was won over by Sarah Ferguson after she put her skills to the test at carriage driving.

When was Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew’s wedding?

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew married on July 23 1986 in a magnificent ceremony held at Westminster Abbey and it was on this day that the Queen bestowed upon them the titles of Duke and Duchess of York. For the momentous occasion, Sarah opted for a stunning white dress featuring puffed sleeves, her red hair worn loose underneath her veil. 

The couple had reportedly met thanks to Princess Diana, who is said to have recommended Sarah be invited to an event at Windsor Castle where Andrew and Sarah reconnected. According to Town&Country (opens in new tab), they had supposedly met before in childhood and Major Ronald Ferguson had been Prince Charles’ polo manager. 

The Duke and Duchess of York and their wedding party stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding

(Image credit: Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

The publication also reports that Prince Charles and Prince Edward both had huge parts to play in Prince Andrew and Sarah’s wedding day, with the Prince of Wales reading a lesson during the service and Prince Edward acting as best man. 

As might have been expected given recent royal weddings, the younger royals served as adorable page boys and bridesmaids, with Peter Phillips, Prince William and Zara Phillips, now Tindall, fulfilling these roles. 

The Duke And Duchess Of York On Their Wedding Day

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

A staggering two thousand guests are understood to have attended the Duke and Duchess of York’s wedding, including Margaret Thatcher and Nancy Reagan. Whilst the couple also shared their first kiss on the Buckingham Palace balcony, much to the excitement of the crowd. 

When did Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew get divorced?

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew separated in 1992 and went on to officially divorce in 1996. Their separation in the early 90s came the same year as two other royal marriages sadly broke down. Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as Princess Anne and her first husband Captain Mark Phillips all announced their separations that year, thought to be the major factor in the Queen terming 1992 as her “annus horribilis” or “horrible year”.

Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Duchess of York has previously opened up about her divorce during an interview with Harper’s Bazaar (opens in new tab)in 2007, where she revealed there was just one thing she asked of the Queen amidst her divorce.

“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,” Sarah claimed to the publication.

“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," she added.

Who are Sarah Ferguson’s daughters?  

Sarah Ferguson has two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, who affectionately refer to themselves as “the Tripod”. As reported by the Daily Mail (opens in new tab), in her 2011 book Finding Sarah: A Duchess’s Journey To Find Herself, Sarah included a heartfelt message reiterating their bond on the final page.

‘Girlies, we are the Tripod; we are united with our golden cord wrapped around our Hearts... I am honoured to be your Mother, in fact, it is the one job that I have done really well,’ she wrote. 

Sarah Ferguson with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie on holiday

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Princess Eugenie gave birth to her and her husband Jack Brooksbank’s first child and the Queen’s ninth great-grandchild. The delighted parents later revealed his name is August Philip Hawke Brooksbank and he was named after his royal relatives, including the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Upon the announcement of his name, Sarah took to Instagram to proudly share pictures of her new grandson. Already a grandmother to Princess Beatrice’s stepson, Christopher ‘Wolfie’ Mapelli Mozzi, Sarah was excited to see their family grow once more.

‘As Grandparents, The Duke and I are thrilled and blessed at the arrival of our grandson August Philip Hawke Brooksbank,’ she declared in her caption. 

‘He is a beautiful blessing and a bringer of such love and joy to all our Family. I am so proud of Jack and Eugenie, they are and will be wonderful parents’.

Edo Mapelli Mozzi and Princess Beatrice, Mrs Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi attend Wimbledon Championships Tennis Tournament

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

And this year will soon become even more exciting for the York family, as Princess Beatrice announced her pregnancy with a sweet post in May. She and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi are reportedly set to move into a $3.5m country retreat in the Cotswolds before the birth of their baby in the autumn. 

If these reports do turn out to be true, it’s likely that Sarah Ferguson will be paying frequent visits to spend time with her new grandchild.

Where does Sarah Ferguson live? 

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew live together at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, close to the Queen’s Berkshire home, Windsor Castle. Speaking recently during an interview with the Financial Times (opens in new tab), the Duchess of York said that she was  “lucky enough to be a guest at Royal Lodge” and that when it comes to cooking at home, she “can’t cook, won’t cook”.

Royal Lodge, Windsor: The Country Home of the Royal Family', 1937

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It was at the Royal Lodge that the proud parents hosted both of their daughters’ wedding receptions. Whilst it’s thought that Princess Eugenie also spent some of her pregnancy with her parents there before she and Jack welcomed little August in February 2021. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.