The rumours surrounding Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s divorce have been rife since the ’90s.
Fergie, the Duchess of York, and Prince Andrew, the son of the Queen and Prince Philip, have remained famously close despite their scandal-ridden split, they even still live together – leaving many wondering about the real reasons behind their divorce.
Although divorce is extremely common nowadays, it wasn’t back then, but for the royal family in 1996, both Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, and Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced just months apart.
The former were married in 1986 in what has long been described as a whirlwind romance. It is understood they were childhood friends who reconnected at a party Diana had invited Ferguson to, and became engaged shortly after. They married in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
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According to the Express, their issues began soon after they married – it was reported they frequently spent months apart while Prince Andrew’s navy career took off.
In a 2011 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Ferguson said: “I married my boy, who happened to be a prince and a sailor, because I loved him — my only condition being, ‘I have to be with you,'” she said. “And two weeks after the wedding, the courtiers told Andrew, who thought he’d be stationed in London, ‘You have to go to sea.’ I spent my entire first pregnancy alone. When Beatrice was born, Andrew got 10 days of shore leave and when he left I cried.”
After six years together, in 1992, they separated before their official divorce in 1996 – during which the infamous images of Ferguson having her toes sucked by an American financial advisor arose.
The photos added fuel to swirling rumours of Fergie’s infidelity being behind the initial separation.
She told Harper’s Bazaar that at the time, she wasn’t on board with the divorce, but “had to because of circumstance”, adding that she wanted to get a job – something which wasn’t viewed as appropriate for a member of the royal family.
Fergie, whose reputation suffered from the sensational photos and rumours, added that instead of requesting a sum of money from the Queen, which many people expected from her in the wake of the divorce – all she asked for was “her friendship”.