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Sarah Ferguson Still Has Regret about Marriage with Andrew Whom She Was Forced to Agree to Divorce

Olawale Ogunjimi
May 29, 2022
05:00 A.M.
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Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew's fairytale romance turned sour at the demands and challenges of being a royal couple. Still, Ferguson wishes they did not get legally separate to this day.

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When Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, got married, it had been a love match orchestrated by the late Princess Diana. Although Diana fostered their romantic life, the pair grew up in the same circle.

Ferguson wrote in her memoir, "Finding Sarah: A Duchess's Journey To Finding Herself," that they played together as kids. Then, as an adult, she got invited to the royal family, and that was her first encounter on a romantic level.

Prince Andrew and his wife Sarah (nee Ferguson) at Heathrow Airport as they leave for their honeymoon, 23rd July 1986. | Source: Getty Images

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She recalled sitting close to him at the long dinner table and being awestruck at his handsomeness. Ferguson wrote that she married the Queen's "best-looking son."

Ferguson noted that she found the "perfect match" in Andrew, as they were both pranksters. She added that he saw in her "a wildflower" and a woman without "pretense or motives." She wrote of herself:

"I'm not the sort of woman who is going to meekly trot along beside her husband."

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

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A whirlwind romance ensued, and by 1986, Ferguson and Andrew were headed down the royal aisle. But, after marriage, things swiftly changed, as Ferguson realized her fairytale was a facade.

Following their honeymoon, the palace officials sent Andrew back to his station as a Naval officer, leaving her to her home on the second floor of Buckingham Palace. Ferguson wrote that in the first year of their marriage, she saw Andrew for forty days in a year.

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

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THE COUPLE'S UNSTEADY FAMILY LIFE

The Duchess Of York became pregnant with her first child in 1988, and two weeks before she had her child, Andrew came home from his station to be with her.

She wrote in her memoir that the baby's birth was induced to fit his Royal Navy schedule. She added:

"I spent my entire first pregnancy alone. When Beatrice was born, Andrew got 10 days of shore leave."

Sarah, Duchess Of York With Prince Andrew, Duke Of York, Watching A Fashion Show At The Royal York Hotel In Ontario, Canada, 17th July 1987. | Source: Getty Images

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Ferguson had somewhat difficult labor but was grateful Andrew was by her side, holding her hands. Ferguson experienced change being a new mother, and the press did not make it easy for her.

When her daughter Beatrice turned six weeks old, Ferguson headed to Australia to meet her spouse on tour. She left her daughter behind because it was against the royal establishment.

The film producer left her infant with her trusted nanny, knowing she was in good hands. However, the press thought ill of her. Ferguson was branded an imperfect mother in the news articles.

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

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She described it as "grueling, sad and dreadful." However, by the time she had her second child, Princess Eugenie, Ferguson was more experienced, as she got a personal trainer and snapped back in little time.

She also spent more time with her daughters. This once again had the press spinning their pens. And referring to her as "work-shy." Ferguson noted that she became one of the most-criticized royal members five years into her marriage.

While she dealt with the challenges, Ferguson's marriage with Andrew grew hollow. She noted that they lived in two distinct worlds. While he was fulfilling his duty at the Royal Navy, Ferguson tried to do her royal responsibilities without the stress of press scrutiny.

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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

SCANDAL THAT SHOOK THE ROYAL FAMILY

The constant distance between Ferguson, also known as Fergie and Prince Andrew, ultimately led to their separation in 1992. Following that, there was an even more explosive issue in their marriage.

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Five months after the separation, paparazzi got risque images of Ferguson with her millionaire lover, John Bryan, at her vacation home in St. Tropez, France. Bryan had been photographed sucking her toes.

When the photos got out, Ferguson could not have been in a worse situation. The duchess was at Balmoral with the royal and had to face her ex-in-laws at breakfast.

The Duke Of Edinburgh And The Duchess Of York At Easter Service At Windsor Circa 1990s. | Source: Getty Images

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A night before the images were released, Princess Diana had sent out a message to Royal writer Richard Kay stating:

"The redhead's in trouble."

Bryan also contacted Kay asking to see a copy of the news article before being released to the public.

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

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Bryan was enraged at how their activities were described, noting that he only kissed her toes and did not suck them. Kay pointed out in an article about Bryan:

"Bryan promised her everything would be fine, but I could see in his face that he didn't really believe it."

Following the scandal, Sarah and Prince Andrew ended their marriage in 1996. Despite the scandal and legal separation, she continued to have tea with the Queen. However, Prince Philip did not hide his dislike.

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

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SARAH DIDN'T WANT TO DIVORCE

According to Ferguson, the failing state of her marriage and Andrew's distance drove the couple to be separated, but she did not want to be divorced. Instead, she explained that the terms of things forced her to opt out of marriage.

Ferguson also wanted to have employment, and being a royal member, could not permit her that wish. She and Andrew then unanimously agreed to make the separation official. She wrote in her book:

"What I got was not the man. I got the palace and didn't get him."

The Duke And Duchess Of York During A Visit To Winnipeg In Canada. | Source: Getty Images

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On her exit from the royal household, Ferguson retained her title as a duchess, with a clause to relinquish it once she remarried. She also asked to be Queen Elizabeth's friend despite her broken marriage.

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

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SARAH'S REGRET ABOUT HER MARRIAGE WITH ANDREW

Years after their scandal, Andrew and Ferguson remained cordial, and even towards their daughter, Princess Eugenie's wedding, the pair were seen horse riding together.

Ferguson wrote in her book that her marriage did not fail because they fell out of love but because a vacuum was created between them. She noted that she and Andrew were never together to do the mundane things in marriage.

For her, it was not about the lavish holidays and dazzling parties. It was all about the little things. She shared that she and Andrew believed they would still be married if they had fought for what was right.

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Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York at the day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 17, 2016 in Ascot, England. | Source: Getty Images

She wrote of how she wanted to live with Andrew at the Royal Navy quarters when they were married and was denied permission.

Ferguson also stated that she and Andrew initially planned to have him become a Governor, but they had not been strong enough to decide.

She wrote in her book of her regrets stating that she wished she had fought harder for her marriage and had Andrew leave the Royal Navy. Ferguson included that it was difficult to stand up for oneself at a younger age.

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