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The heartbreaking truth behind Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew's divorce.

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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”.

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“When I met with Her Majesty about it, she asked, ‘What do you require, Sarah?’ and I said, ‘Your friendship,’ which I think amazed her because everyone said I would demand a big settlement,” she said. “I left my marriage knowing I’d have to work. I have.”

In the years since their divorce, Fergie has worked as a writer, public speaker, film producer, charity patron, television personality and brand ambassador. While she wasn’t invited to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, she did attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal nuptials.

Speaking to KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O on an Australian visit previously, the 58-year-old Duchess discussed her relationship with Prince Andrew – sharing how the pair have an amicable relationship, and even remain living together.

“He is the finest man in my life – he is a nugget of goodness. I threw myself into a love affair for life,” she said of her ex-husband.

“I’m in and out all the time and he’s in and out all the time,” she added.

“I think we absolutely are the most extraordinary example of a unified family.”

Fergie and Prince Andrew are regularly photographed at events together and, in the run-up to their daughter Princess Eugenie’s wedding this week, have been spending even more time together as a family.

When she posted an image of her with Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice on Instagram earlier this year, the comments section filled with urges for them to reunite:

 

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Great day with my family @ascotracecourse @hrhthedukeofyork #Beatrice @princesseugenie #royalascot #racing

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