Sarah Ferguson: Why She Once Thought Prince Andrew Would ‘Write’ Her ‘Off’

To this day the Duke and Duchess of York, Prince Andrew and Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, remain close despite being divorced (learn why they divorced here). But their romance almost ended before it really began.

In Ferguson’s 1996 autobiography, My Story: Sarah the Duchess of York, released in the wake of the couple’s highly publicized split, the royal revealed she once feared her future husband might put an end to their relationship for one specific reason, according to Express. Continue reading to learn why Ferguson thought Prince Andrew would stop dating her.

The two royals, who are the parents of Princess Beatrice of York, 31, and Princess Eugenie of  York, 29, have always supported each other, even when they announced their separation in 1992 and officially called it quits in 1996 after 10 years of marriage. 

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew in 1995
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew in 1995 | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

In the years since their split, the two have had nothing but positive words to say about each other. Earlier this year when rumors spread about the two rekindling their romantic relationship, Ferguson made a statement in which she said she and Prince Andrew are “bigger than friends” and remain united in the goal of being good parents to their daughters. 

But before their romance had a chance to really blossom, Ferguson thought Prince Andrew would end it when he learned one thing about her.

Why Sarah Ferguson feared Prince Andrew would end their relationship

When they first began dating in the 1980s when the two were in their twenties, Ferguson felt something from her recent past might jeopardize her relationship with Prince Andrew, now eighth in the line of succession.

The Duchess of York wrote in her book that she had been seeing another man, Paddy McNally, whom she “wanted desperately to marry” when she met Prince Andrew. 

Ferguson recalled the summer she met her future husband when she received an invitation to Balmoral Castle. She went but was nervous because her relationship with McNally had recently gone public. 

Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for IWC

“Andrew was there with a friend; a girl,” she wrote. “I was anxious because Nigel Dempster’s ‘Diary’ in the Daily Mail had just noticed my involvement with Paddy McNally,” Ferguson continued. 

She asked herself, “Would Andrew write me off?”

Her worry became too much and she had to address it with Prince Andrew. 

“I took him aside and told him that I’d been going out with Paddy, and I hoped he didn’t mind,” she recalled. 

How did he respond? Ferguson remembered Prince Andrew saying, “Why should I mind – I like you! I couldn’t care less about that.”

She thought “that was a very good reaction” because he took her as she was “without prerequisites or conditions.” 

Prine Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson in 1986 | PA Images via Getty Images

Also in her book, the royal said rumors about Prince Andrew seeing other people didn’t bother her. 

“Nor was I ever jealous of the gossip of Andrew with some other woman,” she wrote before adding, “He cared for me, and that was enough.”

The Duchess of York dated McNally for three years. She met him in Verbier, Switzerland, in 1982. She described him as her father’s “worst nightmare” because he was more than 20 years Ferguson’s senior and didn’t have the right background. But Ferguson “loved Paddy for the things he wasn’t.” 

Their relationship ended when things got more serious between Ferguson and Prince Andrew. After announcing their engagement in early 1986 and married later that year.