The Embarrassing Reason Prince Andrew Had to Propose to Sarah Ferguson Twice

Although Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson parted ways more than 20 years ago, their former union is still talked about among royal fans. This is mostly because the two are still friends to this day and even live together.

Prince Andrew and Ferguson also had a relationship when they were younger that was different than what Prince Charles and Princess Diana had. In fact, they had a funny story about their engagement and it involved Prince Andrew proposing twice.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson met when they were little

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson after announcing their engagement in 1986.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson | John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

Prince Andrew and Ferguson knew each other when they were young. In one of Ferguson’s autobiography, she wrote about how, as a kid, she would sneak away from her father’s polo match to “play tag with like-minded truants – including Prince Andrew, who was just my age.”

However, the two of them reportedly did not keep in touch for a long time until 1985 when Princess Diana invited Ferguson to a party at one of the royal estates. This is where Prince Andrew and Ferguson got acquainted again. They began dating and quickly got engaged in 1986.

Prince Andrew had to propose to Sarah Ferguson twice

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The engagement did not go as smoothly as one would expect. Royal author Ingrid Seward wrote in her book, Sarah: HRH The Duchess of York, that the couple got engaged during a getaway to Floors Castle, though Ferguson thought it was a joke at first.

“Just before midnight Andrew went down on both knees and asked Sarah Ferguson to be his wife,” Seward shared. “Sarah was caught off-guard and, to cover her confusion, tried to make light of it. She told the prince: ‘If you wake up tomorrow morning, you can tell me it’s all a huge joke.'”

When Prince Andrew proposed again the next morning, Ferguson said yes.

According to Seward, the couple kept their engagement a secret from everyone, including Queen Elizabeth. They told her about three weeks after the proposal.

Why Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson divorced

Prince Andrew and Ferguson seemed like they were living a fairytale. The couple got married in a beautiful wedding in 1986 and had two daughters together: Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

However, by the early 1990s, their marriage was in trouble. Prince Andrew was a naval officer and often spent time away from his family, often seeing his wife for just 40 days year. This caused Ferguson to raise her daughters solely on her own. She would later say that being married to Prince Andrew was not at all like how she expected, saying: “What I got was not the man, I got the palace and didn’t get him.”

Some people also believe that Ferguson was looking to divorce Prince Andrew in order to pay back her debts. In 2008, she said in a BBC interview: “I ran up a lot of debts and I needed to get out to work. You can’t be a member of the Royal Family and work in this country.”

In any case, the couple announced their separation in 1992 and Ferguson subsequently found herself in the infamous scandal where she was seen having her toe sucked by her financial advisor in St. Tropez. Ferguson and Prince Andrew officially divorced in 1996.

After the divorce, Ferguson was allowed to keep her “Duchess of York” title, but she was not allowed to be a “Royal Highness.” She reportedly got £3 million in her divorce settlement. Ferguson was also allowed to work, and she became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and published many books. She gave interviews as well, sharing her side of what went on in the royal family.