When the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, had several dinners with her "friend," a Texan financier named Steve Wyatt, the duo left the palace courtiers "absolutely horrified" with their behavior.
The royal family is like all families — it also has its ups and downs. The only difference is that all of their actions are spied on and shared by the press.
After her marriage to Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II's child, Ferguson became Sarah, Duchess of York, soon having two princesses to take care of. By 1990, she was already well on her way to becoming a controversial figure in the royal family.
Photo of an older Sarah Ferguson and photo of Sarah Ferguson with Prince Andrew | Photo: youtube.com/People, Getty Images
Born on October 15, 1959, in London, Ferguson is the daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson. After school, she attended a course as a secretary and found a job at a public relations firm in London before moving on to an art gallery and an advertising company.
She is not a noble but frequents good circles. In Ascot, during an event, Ferguson met Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, again as adults after having known him when they were children.
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) with Sarah Ferguson at the Guard's Polo Club, Windsor, June 1983 | Photo: Getty Images
After Princess Diana encouraged their romance, the two officially got engaged on February 19, 1986, on the Prince's birthday. They publicly announced their engagement on March 17 and were married on July 23 the same year, at Westminster Abbey.
Her marriage with Prince Andrew was the royal wedding of that year, and no one imagined that quarrels and misunderstandings could ever arise between them.
The Duke and Duchess of York and their wedding party stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding | Photo: Getty Images
With the wedding, the redhead takes the title of Duchess of York. She gave birth to her first daughter, Beatrice, in 1988, and her little sister, Eugenie, in 1990.
Meanwhile, years before the invention of the term "body shaming," bad taste gossip targeted her only because she doesn't look like someone running after calorie counts.
The Duchess of York, Princess Eugenie, the Duke of York and Princess Beatrice attend a photocall on February 18, 2003 in Verbier, Switzerland | Photo: Getty Images
FERGUSON, WYATT, AND HER DIVORCE
Ferguson, even though she was married, was sometimes seen with other men and she seemed to have had a passion for Texan millionaires. She became a regular in the celebrity press, but not always for the right reasons.
In January 1992, compromising photos that were discovered by an overly curious tile washer and sold to a tabloid revealed the affair between the Duchess of York with Steve Wyatt, a Texan heir to an oil empire.
Prince Andrew with Sarah Ferguson at Buckingham Palace after the announcement of their engagement in London on March 17, 1986 | Photo: Getty Images
She was said to have been madly in love with Wyatt, whom she had met at the British Opera Festival in Houston Grand Opera in 1989. He became the love of her life while Andrew was her best friend.
Wyatt is the stepson of natural gas supplier Oscar Wyatt Jr., chairman of Coastal Corp. His mother, Lynn, is a wealthy jet-setter who's close to the stars and a lover of art and fashion.
According to David Leigh, the co-author of her biography "The Duchess of York uncensored," Wyatt became the main cause of her divorce and left Ferguson shattered when things didn't work out between them.
The Duchess of York on a visit to The Red Arrows at RAF Scampton, in Lincolnshire, on May 7, 1987 | Photo: Getty Images
The duo was so close that they had a few dinners together, and in one of their dinners, Wyatt insisted on sitting close to Ferguson. He said,
"She's my woman."
Statements like this and the way she flaunted Wyatt when her husband was away at sea left the Palace absolutely horrified. The images from their Moroccan trip in 1990 were the last straw for both Prince Andrew and the Queen.
Sarah, Duchess of York attends the British LGBT Awards 2021 at The Brewery on August 27, 2021 in London | Photo: Getty Images
After Wyatt, Ferguson was once again caught topless in France with the American financier John Bryan in August 1992; Bryan was Wyatt's friend. This was five months after the Royal family announced the Duke and Duchess of York's separation.
The tabloids stole some intimate photographs of Ferguson and Bryan. The shots, which were splashed on the cover of the Daily Mirror, appeared to show Bryan sucking on the royal's toes while sunbathing on the French Riviera.
Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Beatrice (pink dress) and Princess Eugenie at a garden party at the home of David Frost in June 1999 | Photo: Getty Images
Ferguson was in Balmoral with the royal family when the press got hold of those intimate photos of her and Bryan in Saint-Tropez. In 1993, she revealed that she wanted "out" to get on with her life without being blamed for everything.
The embarrassment is unimaginable. In 1996, the Duke and Duchess of York formalized their divorce. However, Ferguson retained the title of Duchess.
In 2017, Ferguson and Wyatt were reunited on Mother's day when she visited him and his family for lunch. Wyatt's mother Lynn, his oil tycoon stepfather Oscar Wyatt, and his close friend, shoe designer Joyce Echols were all present at the intimate lunch.
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