Wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson
|Date||23 July 1986|
|Location||Westminster Abbey, London, England|
|Participants||Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Courtship and engagementEdit
Prince Andrew, the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson and his first wife Susan Wright, first met when they were children, but had not been romantically involved until they met again at a party at Floors Castle in 1985. They began their relationship that very same year, after a party held at Windsor Castle in honour of the Royal Ascot races. Diana, Princess of Wales, Andrew's sister-in-law, played a hand in matchmaking the couple.
Andrew proposed to Sarah on 19 February 1986, his twenty-sixth birthday. Their engagement was announced on 17 March 1986. Andrew presented Sarah with a Garrard engagement ring made from sketches he had made. The ring has a Burma ruby surrounded by ten drop-diamonds. The mounting was eighteen-carat white and yellow gold. Andrew's bachelor party was held at Aubrey House in Holland Park. It was attended by Prince Charles, Billy Connolly, David Frost and Elton John.
Four months after announcing their engagement, Andrew and Sarah married on 23 July 1986, at Westminster Abbey in London. Sarah made her way with her father Ronald from Clarence House in the Glass Coach, arriving at the church at 11:30. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted at the 45-minute wedding ceremony. As the couple exchanged vows, Sarah mistakenly repeated Andrew's middle name, Christian; five years earlier, Diana, Princess of Wales, made a similar mistake by reversing the order of Prince Charles's names.
Both Andrew's brothers participated in the wedding ceremony; Prince Edward was his best man, and Prince Charles read a lesson during the service. The bridesmaids and page boys included Princess Anne's children Peter and Zara Phillips, and Prince Charles's eldest son Prince William.
The Duke and Duchess of York left Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace in an open-top 1902 State Landau. Around 100,000 people gathered to witness the Andrew and Sarah's first kiss as man and wife on the balcony of the palace. After a traditional wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace, the married couple and some 300 guests moved to a party at Claridge's hotel.
Best Man, Flower Girls and Page BoysEdit
- The Prince Edward, age: 22 younger brother of the groom.
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's sister Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes
- Zara Phillips age: 5 niece of the groom
- Andrew Ferguson, age: 8 half-brother of the bride
- Peter Phillips age: 8 nephew of the groom
- Seamus Luedecke, age: 5 the son of Sarah's sister Jane Luedecke
- Prince William of Wales age: 4 nephew of the groom
Organist & Choir Director: Simon Preston
- Laudate Dominum (from Vesperae solennes de confessore) by W. A. Mozart sung by soprano Felicity Lott
- Exsultate, Jubilate by W. A. Mozart sung by Arleen Auger
- Alleluja (from motet Exsultate, Jubilate sung by Arleen Auger
British royal family and relativesEdit
- The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, the groom's parents
- The Prince and Princess of Wales, the groom's brother and his wife
- Princess Anne, Mrs Phillips and Captain Mark Phillips, the groom's sister and her first husband
- The Prince Edward, the groom's brother
- Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the groom's grandmother
- Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, the groom's grandaunt
- Prince George, Duke of Kent's family:
- The Duke and Duchess of Kent, the groom's cousin, once removed and his wife
- Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Mrs Ogilvy and The Hon. Mr Angus Ogilvy, the groom's cousin, once removed and her husband
- Mr James Ogilvy, the groom's second cousin
- Miss Marina Ogilvy, the groom's second cousin
- Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the groom's cousin, once removed and his wife
- Lady Mary Whitley, the groom's second cousin, once removed
- The Lady Saltoun, wife of the groom's third cousin
- The Countess Mountbatten of Burma and Lord Brabourne, the groom's cousin, once removed and her husband
- Lord and Lady Romsey, the groom's second cousin and his wife
- The Hon. Michael-John Knatchbull, the groom's second cousin
- Lady Joanna Knatchbull, the groom's second cousin
- Lady Amanda Knatchbull, the groom's second cousin
- The Hon. Philip Knatchbull, the groom's second cousin
- The Hon. Timothy Knatchbull, the groom's second cousin
- Lady Pamela and Mr David Hicks, the groom's cousin, once removed and her husband
- Lady Rose Anson, the groom's second cousin, twice removed (bridesmaid)
- The Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the groom's cousin, once removed and his wife
Ferguson family and relativesEdit
- Mr and Mrs Ronald Ferguson, the bride's father and stepmother
- Mrs and Mr Hector Barrantes, the bride's mother and stepfather
- Mrs Jane Ferguson, the bride's sister
- Mr Seamus Makim, the bride's nephew
- Miss Ayesha Makim, the bride's niece
- Miss Heidi Luedecke, the bride's niece
- Mrs Jane Ferguson, the bride's sister
- Mr Andrew Ferguson, the bride's paternal half-brother
- Miss Alice Ferguson, the bride's paternal half-sister
- Miss Eliza Ferguson, the bride's paternal half-sister
Members of foreign royal familiesEdit
- King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes
- Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia
- Prince Christopher of Yugoslavia
- Princess Maria Tatiana of Yugoslavia
- Prince and Princess Alexander of Yugoslavia
- Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia
- The Margrave and Margravine of Baden
- Princess Marie Louise of Baden
- Princess Margarita of Baden
- Prince and Princess George William of Hanover
Hesse and by Rhine:
- The Princess of Hesse and by Rhine
- The Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
- Princess Cécile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
- Prince Andreas and Princess Luise of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
- Princess Beatrix of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Other notable guestsEdit
- Mr. John Cully, RN Lt
- Sir Michael Caine, CBE
- Sir Elton John, CBE
- Estée Lauder
- Nancy Reagan, the First Lady of the United States
The BBC reported that 500 million television viewers tuned in to watch the wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson worldwide. An estimated crowd of 100,000 gathered to see the couple's first public kiss as man and wife on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
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 in the Atlantic.
Titles upon marriageEdit
On the day of the wedding, the Queen created Prince Andrew Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh—the first two titles were previously held by his maternal great-grandfather King George V, and grandfather King George VI. By marriage, Sarah became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York, Countess of Inverness and Baroness of Killyleagh, also attaining the rank of Princess of the United Kingdom.
The Duke and Duchess of York appeared to have a happy marriage, producing two daughters, Princess Beatrice (Beatrice Elizabeth Mary; born 8 August 1988) and Princess Eugenie (Eugenie Victoria Helena; born 23 March 1990), who were, as of December 2017[update], seventh and eighth, respectively, in the line of succession to the British throne. However, it was reported that Andrew's obligations as a naval helicopter pilot and critical attention Sarah received from the media contributed to the couple's estrangement. Andrew and Sarah announced their separation on 19 March 1992, and divorced on 30 May 1996.
After the couple's divorce, Sarah lost the style Her Royal Highness, becoming "Sarah, Duchess of York", and she was no longer a British Princess. The custody of Beatrice and Eugenie was shared between their parents, and Sarah continued to live at the Duke's home, Sunninghill Park, until 2004, when he moved to the Royal Lodge. Sarah even hinted at the idea of remarrying Andrew in several interviews, but numerous personal scandals in which she was involved after her divorce led to Sarah's exclusion from the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011. In August 2013, Sarah was invited to stay at Balmoral Castle with Andrew and their daughters as guests of the Queen, and in September 2013, in response to a question about the possibility of remarrying Andrew, Sarah said, "He’s still my handsome prince, he’ll always be my handsome prince."
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- Ferguson, Sarah (2011). Finding Sarah: A Duchess's Journey to Find Herself. New York: Atria Books. pp. 234–235. ISBN 9781439189566.
I had become Princess Andrew and the Duchess of York, as well as the Countess of Inverness and the Baroness of Killyleagh
- "From outcast to US princess: Fergie at 40". BBC News Online. London. 15 October 1999. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- "On this day, 19 March – 1992: Andrew and Fergie split". BBC News Online. London. 19 March 2005. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
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- Wilson, Christopher (12 August 2013). "Her Majesty requests... the presence of Fergie". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- Furness, Hannah (29 September 2013). "Duchess of York hints of remarriage to Prince Andrew and says 'he'll always be my prince.'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 October 2013.