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Sarah Ferguson Was 'Disillusioned' after Being Refused Permission to Live with Andrew in Married Quarters

Olawale Ogunjimi
May 16, 2022
06:30 P.M.
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Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew were among the best royal couples of their time, but neither could withstand the pressures of being married, so they divorced. However, the pair remain friendly and might remarry.


It is not surprising that the simple life of the royals is often thoroughly scrutinized by the public. But somehow, some of them open up to the actual stories: breaking the palace protocol of silence to the public through interviews or publications.

One such person is Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and former wife to Prince Andrew. In her book "Finding Sarah: A Duchess's Journey to Find Herself," she revealed her time as a royal and a journey to self-discovery.

The Duke and Duchess of York on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding at Westminster Abbey. | Source: Getty Images


The duchess explained that her love life with Andrew was made possible with the help of Diana, her distant cousin and childhood friend.

The people's princess drafted a "mysterious" invitation to Ferguson, requesting her presence at the Windsor Castle to celebrate the Royal Ascot in 1985.

Although Ferguson was acquainted with the prince, as they played tag during their younger years and met occasionally, their relationship did not metamorphose until Diana's matchmaking, which brought them next to each other at a table.

Diana, Princess of Wales and Sarah, Duchess of York during the 50th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain Parade, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, on September 15, 1990 in, London, United Kingdom. | Source: Getty Images


Sitting next to him and engaging in a conversation made Ferguson conscious of his wonderful qualities. While recounting the experience, she said:

"When I turned to face Andrew, I was struck by how handsome he was. He was easy to talk to and I felt very relaxed with him even though I addressed him as "Sir," as per protocol."

At the party, the pair seemed smitten with each other, and the following year, they became husband and wife, sharing vows at Westminster Abbey.

The Duchess of York on a visit to The Red Arrows at RAF Scampton, in Lincolnshire, on May 7, 1987 | Source: Getty Images


Fans of the royals knew that Andrew had met the woman of his dreams once he became a married man because, during his bachelor days, he admitted that when the right one came along, it would be glaring to all. In his words:

"I know that if I do find somebody then it is going to come like a lightning bolt, and you're going to know it there and then."

Sarah, Duchess of York attends the British LGBT Awards 2021 at The Brewery on August 27, 2021 in London | Source: Getty Images


Outsiders were not the only ones rooting for the Queen's third child to fall in love. His mother, the Queen, also observed the blossoming romance following the party, and she confirmed that Ferguson would make an ideal partner, so she said:

"He's met his match this time!"

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and Sarah, Duchess of York leave Windsor Castle after their wedding for an evening reception at Royal Lodge on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images


Indeed, from all corners, the couple received love and support. Ferguson was also overwhelmed with joy following their marriage. She confessed at the time:

"I married Her Majesty the Queen's best-looking son. He loves the madness of me."

Prince Andrew, Duke of York visits Mother London on March 13, 2013 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images


Although Ferguson was not used to the protocols of royal living, it was a responsibility she was ready to bear, especially seeing how Andrew complimented her. She described him as her heaven-sent.

According to her: "In Andrew, I found my perfect man and soulmate. He was relaxed and endlessly charming, a prankster like me, yet solid and kind. In me, I suppose Andrew saw a wildflower — a bubbly and forthright woman without presence or motives. Together we were like well-matched bookends, pleasant to look at and equally supportive of each other."


Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York at day four of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2019 in Ascot, England. | Source: Getty Images


Once they were settled, the duo teamed up to carry out their duties as royals. Andrew worked as an active naval officer, while his wife occupied her mind with being the best princess the royal family could request.

Ferguson was willing to be relatable and friendly. While her husband lovingly showed her the ropes. While describing their marriage, the hopeful new bride stated:

"As man and wife, we were the Duke and Duchess of York, and together we seemed an unbeatable team."

The Duke And Duchess Of York Returning From Their Honeymoon On Board The Royal Yacht Britannia. | Source: Getty Images


Sadly, it was not as she had hoped. After their honeymoon, Andrew returned to his work at sea, leaving Ferguson to learn from the palace courtiers, who placed her in a "dimly lit suite" in Buckingham Palace.

The Duchess of York never really grew accustomed to the mode of operation in the palace. She considered their protocols too rigid, and sadly, Andrew's absence made it worse — she only saw him forty days a year during the first five years of their marriage.

Prince Andrew with Sarah Ferguson at Buckingham Palace after the announcement of their engagement in London on March 17, 1986 | Source: Getty Images


In her book, Ferguson characterized the palace as a government building and not a proper home. She wrote:

"It is a government building not a home, and you must keep to its rules and regulations. If you don't put in your order for meals and the kitchen is closed for the night, then that's it."


Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attends a commemoration service at Manchester Cathedral marking the 100th anniversary since the start of the Battle of the Somme. July 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. | Source: Getty Images


Two years after their marriage, the couple was set to welcome a new life, and this was their first daughter, Beatrice.

Fortunately, Andrew came home to be with his pregnant wife two weeks before the delivery —the doctors had induced the delivery so that the naval officer would be around to see his child.

The Duchess Of York (Sarah Ferguson) and Prince Andrew At The Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, For Princess Beatrice's Christening. | Source: Getty Images


She was administered an epidural following the medical process, but eventually, the baby was born through normal delivery instead of the cesarean section, as scheduled. According to Ferguson:

"I'm eternally grateful that Andrew was there throughout, holding my hand. I couldn't have wished to have someone more special or more calm by my side."

This was Ferguson's first child, and even though she had no information about the pros and cons of handling a toddler, she did her best— in an attempt to fulfill her expectations of dependency.

The Duchess of York, Princess Eugenie, the Duke of York and Princess Beatrice at a photocall on February 18, 2003 in Verbier, Switzerland | Source: Getty Images


However, earlier than expected, the media shamed the new mom. She had left for Australia to tour with her husband and did not take the six-week-old baby because the palace advised against it.

So Ferguson kept the child in the care of one Alison Wardley, ensuring that she would do a great job. But while her daughter was safe and she was on tour, the tabloids ran stories discrediting the new mom.

Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie, during a Skiing holiday in Klosters, Switzerland, on January 4 1995, in Klosters, Switzerland. | Source: Getty Images


This was hurtful to Ferguson, who had only begun understanding her life as a mother. In her book, she wrote:

"When the press ridicules you, it's grueling, sad, and dreadful on your heart, and you feel an acute sense of loneliness."

Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Beatrice (pink dress) and Princess Eugenie at a garden party at the home of David Frost in June 1999 | Source: Getty Images


Somehow, the negative talks affected Ferguson, who aimed to prove the media wrong when her second child was born. So first, she took her workout routines seriously, staying in great shape, then she decided to remain a housewife, nurturing her girls at home.

But what came after was disapproval from the same sources that had condemned her parenting with Beatrice.

In her words: "When Eugenie was born, I spent more time at home with both my daughters, only to have the media accuse me of being work-shy. I could not win. Five years after my marriage, I went from being a Royal darling feted by the media as "a breath of fresh air" to the most criticized female member of the Royal Family."



The Duke and Duchess of York, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie, during their trip to the London Eye, on Prince Andrew, The Duke of York's 40th Birthday, on February 19, 2000 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Sadly, what started as a lively expression of love between Ferguson and her husband was thwarted by continuous absence. Absence never made the couple grow fonder; instead, it severed their strong bond.


By 1989, they had already lived in two separate worlds. Andrew was away as a naval officer, and his wife, who would have loved to become employed, was left alone to battle the wild comments from the media as she succumbed to the royal status quo.

The Duke And Duchess Of York With Their Daughters, Princess Beatrice And Princess Eugenie, At Wentworth Golf Club For A Charity Golf Match In Aid Of Children In Crisis. | Source: Getty Images


Eventually, they decided to separate, and even though it did not have to mean that they would divorce, they did, as Ferguson tenaciously opted to be a career woman. It was against the royal family rules. In her words:

"I wanted to work; it's not right for a princess of the royal house to be commercial, so Andrew and I decided to make the divorce official so I could go off and get a job."

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie during the a National Service of Thanksgiving as part of the 90th birthday celebrations for The Queen at St Paul's Cathedral on June 10, 2016 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images


Decades after losing her perfect match and soulmate, Ferguson confessed that their union was never void of love but the willingness to withstand the obstacles and fight back.

According to her: "To this day, Andrew and I both believe that we would still be married had we fought for what we believed was right. I would have followed him anywhere, but I was disillusioned after being refused permission to live with Andrew in Married quarters where he was stationed."


Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Princess Eugenie, and Princess Beatrice as they arrive in Western Isles of Scotland, on August 02, 2010 in Scrabster, Scotland. | Source: Getty Images


Ferguson and Andrew remained an unlikely divorced couple as they maintained an adorable closeness. However, there have been speculations that they may end up together again in recent times.

In 2020, the former couple was quarantined together, and they seemed to have an even better relationship. A source hinted that:

"It has rekindled something and I can see a second wedding happening if it all goes Andrew's way."

Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York talks with ex-husband HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York as they wait for daughter HRH Princess Beatrice of York to complete the Virgin London Marathon as part of the 'Caterpillar Run' Team, consisting of 32 runners tethered together on April 25, 2010 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images


Ferguson has not confirmed that there could be another wedding. Instead, she explained that they have remained great company with each other and are satisfied with their relationship. However, she has been quick to assert that they are still in love. According to her:

"We both say it. We are completely compatible. Our bywords are communication, compromise, and compassion." Sarah added that her wedding day was "the happiest day of my life."

Although it is not sure whether they would share wedding vows, these two have proven that love cannot be conquered by remaining knitted and refusing to marry other partners.