Why Did Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson Get Divorced?

Five years after Princess Diana and Prince Charles‘ fairytale wedding, another royal family member said: “I do.” But much like the Prince and late Princess of Wales’ marriage, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s union was no fairytale and riddled with scandals.

When Queen Elizabeth II’s third child married Fergie at Westminster Abbey on June 23, 1986, the pair became known as the Duke and Duchess of York. In 1988, their eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice, was born and then in 1990, they welcomed another daughter, Princess Eugenie. The happiness didn’t last though and two years later, the couple separated before eventually divorcing in 1996. Ferguson has said that she did not want to separate from the duke at all but had to.

Sarah Ferguson on her wedding day in 1986
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew’s wedding day | Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York via Instagram

Here’s the real reason they got divorced and why many have speculated that they would like to get back together but can’t for one reason.

Why Prince Philip and Princess Margaret disliked Fergie

Something Queen Elizabeth’s husband and sister had in common was that they both disliked Ferguson. Prince Philip and Princess Margaret could not stand the Duchess of York for the headlines she made in 1992.

While Ferguson was staying at the Balmoral estate with her in-laws and enjoying breakfast, the family was given the morning paper which featured pictures of the duchess sunbathing topless in St. Tropez and getting her toes sucked by financial adviser John Bryan. The news was a huge embarrassment for the royal family and something that Philip and Princess Margaret were livid about.

After separating from Andrew, Fergie tried to get back in Margaret’s good graces but it was no use. The princess cut her out of her life and even sent back flowers she received from Ferguson and asked why she dared to send them after ruining the family’s reputation. Princess Margaret died in 2002 but never made amends with the duchess.

To this day, Prince Philip still holds a grudge against Fergie for the damage she caused to the family’s reputation as well. There’s was even speculation that the prince wasn’t going to attend Princess Eugenie’s nuptials in October 2018 because he cannot stand her mother. In the end though, Philip did make his grandaughter’s wedding and luckily he and Ferguson kept things civil for the bride’s big day.

The reason Prince Andrew and Ferguson got divorced

Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson | Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

After that morning at Balmoral the daggers were out for Fergie and in 2011, she admitted to Harper’s Bazaar that she didn’t want a divorce but had to because of  “circumstance.” Even though the way the royals felt about her made it impossible for the couple not to split for good, Ferguson still wanted something from one family member.

“When I met with Her Majesty 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,” Ferguson recalled from her conversation with the queen. “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.”

What their relationship is like now

Despite their divorce being finalized in 1996, Fergie and Andrew have stayed close ever since. There were reports that they lived together long after the divorce and they have been photographed at different events together over the years.

They’ve remained on such good terms that many believe they would like to remarry one another but understand that can’t happen because of Prince Philip’s feeling towards his former daughter-in-law.

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