Sarah, Duchess of York
Earl Of Inverness, Baron Of Kilyleagh
Born: 19 February 1960
Separation: 19 March 1992
Divorce: 20 April 1994
Prince Andrew had known Sarah or "Fergie" as she was known to friends, since childhood, and they had met occasionally at polo matches, since her father Ronald Ferguson was the polo manager for Prince Charles. Fergie and Diana, Princess of Wales, were very close friends and had known one another for years, and it is said that Diana engineered the match by inviting Fergie to Royal Ascot when the Queen suggested she bring a friend so she wouldn't be bored. Andrew and Sarah became re-acquainted with each other at Royal Ascot, (according to Sarah he tried to force feed her profiteroles when she was meant to be on a diet), then in 1985. They dated secretly for many months until, since Prince Andrew was in the Navy, Diana took Sarah on board Prince Andrew's ship on an official visit.
On 19 March 1986, HRH Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward and Miss Sarah Margaret Ferguson announced their engagement. Prince Andrew designed the engagement ring himself. It consists of ten diamonds surrounding a Burmese ruby. He chose the Burmese ruby to complement Sarah's red hair.
They married at Westminster Abbey on 23 July 1986. On the day of the wedding, the Queen created Prince Andrew Duke Of York
Earl Of Inverness, Baron Of Kilyleagh —the first two titles were previously held by his maternal great-grandfather King George V, and grandfather
The Wedding Dress was made from ivory duchesse satin and featuring heavy beading Designed by Lindka Cierach the beadwork incorporated various symbols including hearts representing romance, anchors and waves representing Prince Andrew's sailing background and bumblebees and thistles, which were taken from Sarah Ferguson's family crest.Copies of the dress, including the motifs specific to the royal family, went on sale in stores just hours after the end of the wedding. A notable feature of Sarah Ferguson's 17 foot long train was the initials A sewn in silver beads. The media immediately referred to it as the "A Train". Hair stylist Denise McAdam and make-up artist Teresa Fairminer attended to the bride, while florist Jane Packer designed the bouquet.
Their attendants were:
The Prince Edward, age: 22 younger brother of the groom, and youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II.
Flower Girls and Page Boys:
Lady Rosanagh Innes-Ker, age: 7 the daughter of Guy Innes-Ker, 10th Duke of Roxburghe
Alice Ferguson, age: 6 younger half-sister of the bride.
Laura Fellowes, age: 6 the daughter of Diana, Princess of Wales' sister Baroness Jane Fellowes,
Zara Phillips, age: 4 niece of the groom daughter of HRH Anne, Princess Royal
Andrew Ferguson, age: 8 half-brother of the bride
Peter Philips, age: 8 nephew of the groom son of HRH Anne, Princess Royal
Seamus Luedecke, age: 5 the son of Sarah's sister Jane Luedecke
HRH Prince William of Wales, age: 3 nephew of the groom, Son of HRH Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales
The Duke and Duchess of York made their way to Heathrow Airport in an open carriage, with a paper mache satellite dish and sign attached reading "Phone Home" put there as a practical joke by Prince Edward. The Princess of Wales and Viscount Linley, Princess Margaret's son, placed a king-sized teddy bear inside the coach. The couple boarded a royal jet, emblazoned with "Just Married" on the rear door, for the Azores Islands and then spent their five-day honeymoon aboard the royal yacht Britannia.
By 1991, the marriage was in trouble, and the couple had drifted apart. While her husband was away on naval or royal duties, the Duchess was frequently seen in the company of other men, notably Texan multimillionaire Steve Wyatt. The Duke and Duchess of York finally announced their separation on 19 March 1992.
In August 1992, surreptitiously taken photographs of the Duchess sunbathing topless with John Bryan, an American financial manager, were published in the British tabloid the Daily Mirror. The Duchess endured widespread public ridicule contributing to her further estrangement from the British Royal Family. After four years of official separation, the Duke and Duchess divorced.