Why Sarah Ferguson Says She and Prince Andrew Divorced

Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, Duchess of York, opened up about why she and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, divorced. 

The Duke and Duchess of York, both now 59 years old, married in a fairytale wedding at Westminster Abbey in 1986, complete with a kiss on Buckingham Palace’s balcony five years after Prince Charles and Princess Diana made the practice a royal wedding tradition.  

Their romance happened quickly, some might say in a whirlwind-like manner. Princess Diana invited Ferguson to an event at Windsor Palace in 1985 where she introduced the redhead to Prince Andrew. 

“So in love” on their wedding day, according to Ferguson, the couple went on to divorce a decade later. 

The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, London, on July 23, 1986.| John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

During their marriage, Ferguson and Prince Andrew had two children — Princess Beatrice of York, 30, and Princess Eugenie of York, 29 — but the couple experienced hardships causing them to separate in 1992 and later divorce in 1996. 

Sarah Ferguson on her divorce from Prince Andrew

Years later the Duchess of York commented on her divorce from Prince Andrew, saying, “what I got was not the man, I got the palace and didn’t get him,” according to the Mirror

Surely, Ferguson thought it’d be her and Prince Andrew against the world after they said their nuptials. But reality didn’t meet her expectations. 

Prince Andrew spent the majority of his time away from home, meaning he and his wife were apart very often.

After they welcomed their children, the Duchess of York raised Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice largely as a single parent because of her husband’s prolonged absences due to his career in the Royal Navy. 

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, with daughters Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York, as children. | Princess Eugenie via Instagram.

The couple reportedly saw each other around 40 days a year. While the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, prolonged absences don’t bode well for marriages. 

This isn’t the first time Ferguson spoke publicly about her and Prince Andrew’s divorce. During a 2008 interview, she talked about their divorce. Her comments lead people to believe she may have divorced Prince Andrew for money

Here’s what the Duchess of York told BBC’s Michael Parkinson when he asked why the couple split: “Because, I suppose, 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,” Ferguson said, to which Parkinson replied, “Is that why you got divorced?” Ferguson replied, saying she and Prince Andrew had their “differences.”  

Princess Beatrice of York, Prince Andrew Duke of York, Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York, and Princess Eugenie of York. | Princess Eugenie via Instagram

Even though they’ve been divorced for decades, Prince Andrew and Ferguson get along well despite scandals. First, the infamous toe-sucking scandal in 1992 then the 2010 video that revealed Ferguson tried to make money by arranging an interview between her ex-husband and an undercover reporter. 

Although Ferguson had been exiled from the royal family, she’s now back to attending high-profile functions namely the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in 2018. And she and Prince Andrew appear to be getting along so well — they even lived together in the past — rumors of a rekindled romance have surfaced.