Richard Kay reported earlier today in the Daily Mail that rumors are rife throughout Her Majesty’s realm that the long amicably divorced Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York wish to remarry, but Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s well known disgust for his former daughter-in-law, and his stubborn insistence on remaining alive, is preventing the middle aged love birds from again plighting their troth.
The author does not wish to bore his online friends with yet another retread of the well known royal train wreck that was Andy and Fergie’s marriage. In all honesty, this marriage, though legally dissolved in 1995, never really ended, for there has always been a revolving door wherever Andrew has resided that his ex-wife has continually gone in and out of depending on her emotional and financial needs at any given moment. Most people presume that His Royal Highness puts up with her because she’s the love of his life. Although that’s undoubtedly part of the story, there have long been rumors and published innuendos suggesting that the hold Sarah has on her royal ex has as much to do with her knowledge of his darkest secrets as it does with their now 26 year on again/off again romance. The author would like to make one thing clear before he continues: what he is about to write are rumors and nothing more. All of them have been corroborated by multiple sources, but then again so has the urban legend concerning Richard Gere and his favorite gerbil. The author would merely like to add some little reported facts and non reported insinuations to the entirely too well known tale of the Queen’s favorite son and his flame haired ex-wife in order to add some generally unseen layers to their over exposed love story.
First things first: allow the author to regurgitate a brief synopsis of their marriage. Although they were briefly childhood playmates owing to her father’s service in the Queen’s Household Cavalry and his friendship with Princes Philip and Charles forged on the polo field, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew didn’t become seriously acquainted until 1985 when she was invited by her bf somewhat f the Princess of Wales to Windsor Castle for Ascot weekend. After discovering they had a mutual love of chocolate profiteroles while sitting next to each other at lunch, they discovered that they had an even greater love for f*****g all the time, and around that same period they also realized they were in love with each other. They soon married to the consternation of a few silent courtiers, but the approval of the Queen and the general joy of most.
The new Duchess of York discovered to her dissolution that marriage to a non-heir apparent member of the Royal Family meant making do with his minuscule trust fund, his far more minuscule naval salary, and the annual welfare check they got from the Civil List. Sarah, in fact, held on to her book editing job until she became pregnant because the extra income came in handy. Andrew also spent a great deal of time away owing to his naval career. Sarah found royal duties boring, the press became merciless with her owing to her excess weight, self indulgence and sartorial tackiness, and before long she started cheating on her husband. She became indiscreet about her lovers, miserable with life in the Royal Family, her affairs were systematically and efficiently exposed to the tabloids, and by 1992 she asked the Duke of York for a divorce. She’s continued to make an ass out of herself since then, but she’s been a good mother and Prince Andrew has valiantly stood by her. They’ve apparently retained a flame for each other as well.
That’s the official story. Unofficially, according to the stories the author’s been told, the story’s a hell of a lot more complicated than that. In 1995 the author attended a dinner party at a Victorian manor house in Wales. He made the acquaintance of a man who shall remain nameless, but claimed to be a public school educated retired naval officer who was now managing the country estate he’d inherited. A subsequent inquiry by the author verified that this man was who he said he was. Although only acquainted with Prince Andrew, they were brother officers that had many close naval and social friends in common. As the evening progressed, and the alcohol flowed more freely, this fellow divulged two interesting tales about Andrew and Fergie before they tied the knot.
The first concerned Andrew. A mutual friend of my acquaintance and the Prince’s had served onboard a naval ship with His Royal Highness. He must’ve gained Andrew’s trust, for this man claimed to have stood guard in front of a cabin while Randy Andy spent the night engaged in sodomy with another man. My acquaintance further stated that he’d heard many eyewitness accounts of Prince Andrew’s bisexuality while serving on the high seas, but the author’s acquaintance was inclined to believe this report because of his absolute trust for his friend.
Lady Colin Campbell is to this day the only royal author whose been bold enough to insinuate in print, in her book The Royal Marriages, that Andrew might be a practicing bisexual. In the chapter entitled Rear Admiral, she makes it a point to state that one of the reasons why the Queen’s favorite son chose a naval career was because of the ease with which he could adjust to an all male environment for long periods of time without ever apparently missing feminine company. Kitty Kelley also reiterated in her tome , The Royals, the little reported story that by 1992 Fergie had taken 3 AIDS tests since marrying. Although according to Kelley the Duchess was a casual drug user at the time of her marriage, and had affairs with heavier drug users during it, the tabloids at the time insinuated that Andrew was the man Fergie had the most to fear from. Even Buckingham Palace took the unusual step of addressing the rumor directly by denying it. For some in British high society, the virulence of the denial lent credence to the idea that at least part of the story was true.
The next story my acquaintance divulged concerned Sarah Ferguson’s sex life prior to her marriage. Although the bare outline of it was not made a secret at the time of her betrothal, one chapter was left out. It concerned the skiing holidays she spent as a hostess in Verbier, Switzerland for her longtime boyfriend Paddy McNally. A successful race car manager and widowed, older father of two with no desire to remarry, it was well known that he cheated on Fergie liberally and was stringing her along by the mid 80’s. He also didn’t have a problem with her sleeping around, and may’ve encouraged it as a networking tool. My acquaintance had personal knowledge of this because he regularly went skiing in Verbier, and on one occasion asked five of his friends whom, among all the women sleeping around the resort, in their opinion was the best in the sack. They all emphatically replied that it was Sarah Ferguson. Unfortunately, my acquaintance did not get a chance to sample Miss Ferguson’s wares before she married his brother officer.
In Fergie Confidential, authors Chris Hutchins and Peter Thompson state that by the early 90’s senior Buckingham Palace officials, including the Queen’s private secretary and Fergie’s first cousin Sir Robert Fellowes, had decided that the Duchess was more trouble than she was worth. These authors suggest that it was MI5 that planted the photos of Fergie and Steve Wyatt on holiday in Morocco in his apartment after they had given him a death threat that made him end the affair and abruptly leave the country. In Elizabeth ll, A Woman Not Amused, Nicholas Davies corroborates this claim and further states that the protection officers that guard individual Royals, and follow them everywhere, are a primary source of information for the Queen and her senior courtiers regarding the private goings on of her children and in-laws. These officers certainly made it a point to intimidate, though stop short of actually harming, men who got too close to the married ladies within the Royal Family when it appeared their affairs were getting too serious. This is the reason why the late Diana, Princess of Wales believed to her dying day that her first extramarital lover, protection officer Barry Mannakie, was murdered. There is, however, no evidence at all to back that claim up, and the fact that most of hers and all of Fergie’s former lovers are still walking the Earth lends credence to these threats having been just threats and nothing more. Hutchins and Thompson also make a plausible argument for the infamous topless toe sucking photos of Sarah with her lover John Bryan, and their leaking to the press at the precise time that Fergie was at Balmoral Castle in Scotland surrounded by her in-laws, were the result of Her Majesty’s secret service as well.
Several journalists have intimated that part of the reason why the Duke of York keeps his ex-wife so close is because she knows the truth about his “bachelor” lifestyle. High society columnists reported at the time of their legal separation that they had long entered into an agreement regarding each other’s extramarital sex life, and that’s among the reasons why Andrew didn’t seem to ever get jealous over his wife’s blatant affairs.
Andrew’s personal reputation has never been exemplary. Spoiled, unintelligent, boorish, obnoxious, and childish even by the standards of the House of Windsor, there are numerous eyewitness accounts of Prince Andrew having verbally abused his wife in public. It’s also rumored that the abuse took on a physical dimension in private. Fergie, however, has kept quiet concerning her husband’s behavior toward her behind closed doors. Her memoir ,My Story, proved point blank that Sarah, in spite of her many personal f**k ups, knows how to keep her mouth shut about anything her ex-husband might find truly embarrassing. Even though a definite gag order was put on her as a condition of her lump sum divorce settlement, that money ran out long ago. Fergie could’ve moved permanently to the U.S. and cashed in on all their dirty laundry if she wanted to, especially after her daughters grew up and could choose to see their mother independently, but she hasn’t. Of course, if she were to do that, Andrew’s life saving financial support would stop. Perhaps they are both holding these mutual swords of Damocles over each other’s heads and that’s part of what keeps them together.
None of this is to suggest that they aren’t in love. They must be to have endured each other for so long. There’s no one in Britain who’s in the know who actually believes they’ll marry while Prince Philip still lives and breaths, but if they’ve waited this long to put a legal stamp back on their relationship, then they can wait the year or two that’s left of the Duke of Edinburgh’s life to remarry shortly after he dies.