Strange Things About Prince Andrew And Sarah Ferguson's Relationship

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew's unconventional relationship has been the subject of much speculation. Despite getting divorced in 1996, the Duke and Duchess of York have remained thick as thieves, and they even live together in the family home. Unsurprisingly, many have even wondered if Ferguson and Andrew may have gotten back together in secret. Regardless of whether they're romantically involved or not, it's clear that the Yorks are a tight-knit family who have been through some extraordinary ordeals and shady scandals.

In 2018, Ferguson opened up about her unusual connection with her ex-husband, telling the Daily Mail, "My duty is to him. I am so proud of him. I stand by him and always will. The way we are is our fairy tale." She continued, "Although we are not a couple, we really believe in each other. The Yorks are a united family. We've shown it."

From a much-reported friendship with Jeffrey Epstein to an international toe sucking scandal, join us as we explore some of the strangest things about Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew's relationship.

Prince Andrew was inspired by Sarah Ferguson's hair while ring shopping

Sarah Ferguson is known for her vibrant auburn hair, and it seems that her former husband was drawn to this particular attribute while ring shopping ahead of their engagement. During a televised interview (via YouTube) to announce their engagement in 1986, Ferguson said of her unusual ring, "Stunning. Red. I wanted a ruby. ... Certainly, it's a lovely stone, and I've got red hair too." Nodding to his partner's hair, Prince Andrew confirmed, "We came to the mutual conclusion that red was probably the best color for Sarah." Basically, Ferguson's stunning hair color became the inspiration for her incomparable engagement ring, helping to make the iconic piece of jewelry unmistakeable.

During their engagement interview, the prince was also asked what he liked about his bride-to-be, and he replied, "... the red hair," proving that he was most definitely drawn to Ferguson's gorgeous tresses. Clearly, a lot of thought went into the ring selection, and Prince Andrew seemingly had his partner on his mind the entire time. Presumably there aren't too many people who can claim that their engagement ring was inspired by their hair color. According to Hello! Magazine, the jaw-dropping ring reportedly cost £25,000 (approximately $32,000) when it was purchased in 1986, but now could be worth as much as £70,000 (approximately $90,500).

Sarah Ferguson was alone throughout her first pregnancy

After announcing their engagement in March 1986, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on July 23, 1986. However, the couple's fairytale romance seemingly didn't last for long, with Prince Andrew's role in the Royal Navy taking precedence over his marriage. In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Ferguson got candid about what happened after she married into the royal family, saying, "... two weeks after the wedding, the courtiers told Andrew, who thought he'd be stationed in London, 'You have to go to sea.'" Having joined the Navy in 1979, Andrew would go on to have a 22-year career in service after training to be a helicopter pilot.

Because of Andrew's busy naval career, when Ferguson fell pregnant with her first child, Princess Beatrice, she sadly didn't have the support of her husband. "I spent my entire first pregnancy alone; when Beatrice was born, Andrew got 10 days of shore leave," she told Harper's Bazaar. Princess Beatrice was born on August 8, 1988, just over two years after Ferguson and Andrew tied the knot. The couple would welcome their second child, Princess Eugenie, on March 23, 1990. But it's clear that Ferguson felt lonely during her first pregnancy, which must have had an impact on her relationship with the prince.

Sarah asked for a divorce after 'reaching the end' of her 'royal rope'

Despite welcoming two daughters together, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson quickly found their relationship fraying. On March 19, 1992, after fewer than six years of marriage, the couple announced their decision to separate. In her 1996 memoir "My Story," Ferguson detailed her decision to split from Andrew, writing (per Express), "Andrew and I had been discussing a separation. Not because we'd stopped caring for one another, but because I had reached the end of my royal rope." 

The Duchess of York elaborated on how she'd reached the difficult decision to separate from Andrew. "I'd endured the constant scrutiny of the British press and the barely veiled hostility of the Royal Household, the courtiers who run the show," she continued. "Gradually, relentlessly, they had beaten me down." Seemingly, life as a member of the royal family was far from idyllic, and Ferguson felt forced to make the impossible choice of leaving her husband. With two young children to think of, and facing immense pressure from the general public and the press, Ferguson and Andrew went their separate ways. Their divorce would be finalized on May 30, 1996, but the Duke and Duchess of York managed to remain incredibly close, much to everyone's surprise.

Sarah Ferguson's toe-sucking scandal rocked the royal family

After announcing her decision to separate from Prince Andrew in March 1992, Sarah Ferguson found herself at the center of a very public controversy. In August 1992, Ferguson hit the front page of the Daily Mirror newspaper, a British tabloid, for all the wrong reasons when photos emerged of the duchess on vacation with another man. In the pictures, Ferguson could be seen lounging by the pool in Saint-Tropez while her so-called financial advisor, a man named John Bryan, sucked on her toes. Understandably, the unexpected images caused quite the furore.

In November 2022, Bryan opened up about the scandal for the very first time. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Bryan explained, "Yes, Sarah was topless, but this was the South of France for heaven's sake. And we were in private — or so we thought." Bryan also revealed that Ferguson's two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, were present for the moment, which was apparently part of a game. "On this day we were playing Cinderella and I said, 'Look, let's kiss Mummy's toes.' ... I did it first and then I think one of the girls, probably Beatrice, did it." He continued, "It was totally innocent; a beautiful family moment of love." Unfortunately, that moment was printed for the entire world to see, and the general public speculated about the supposedly debaucherous life Ferguson was living just months after separating from Prince Andrew.

Their divorce was incredibly amicable

Despite finalizing their divorce in 1996, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew managed to remain incredibly close, keeping the entire split as amicable as possible. In an interview with Hello! Magazine, Ferguson discussed her unusual relationship with her ex-husband, saying, "A table goes best with four legs. A table can't stand on three legs, really, so you have the Duke and I, and the two girls. We're a family unit and we lead by example." For the sake of their two daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, Ferguson and Andrew appear to have prioritized communication after their split, to ensure that their family remains intact. 

The Duke and Duchess of York's plan to put on a united front for their family appears to have worked well. In a 2008 interview with Tatler (via the BBC), Princess Eugenie revealed, "They are the best divorced couple I know. I don't remember much of the divorce happening. They just always went out of their way to make us feel loved and secure." While getting a divorce can't have been easy, it seems as though Ferguson and Andrew managed to remain more amicable than most throughout the process.

Sarah Ferguson offered access to her ex-husband for cash

In May 2010, Sarah Ferguson found herself in the news once again after she allegedly offered an undercover reporter access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, in exchange for a large sum of money. As reported by, British tabloid newspaper News of the World captured Ferguson on camera receiving a bribery of $40,000, with the promise of approximately $750,000 to come. The deal would supposedly provide the full business support of Prince Andrew, who at the time was the United Kingdom's special representative for international trade and investment. 

After the sting operation was revealed, Ferguson faced the wrath of the press, who denounced her seemingly sordid attempt to sell access to the royal family. In an interview with, Ferguson addressed the scandal, saying, "There aren't really very many words to describe an act of such gross stupidity." Before watching a clip of the video with Oprah Winfrey, Ferguson revealed that she'd shied away from seeing the footage, saying, "I haven't faced the devil in the face, because I was in the gutter at that moment. I'm aware of the fact that I've been drinking, that I was not in my right place." 

Clearly, Ferguson felt a lot of contrition following the devastating sting operation. In an official statement, per ABC News, Ferguson noted that she was having financial problems at the time, and claimed that Prince Andrew was not privy to the arrangement.

Both Sarah and Andrew were linked to Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew's friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made international news. In 2021, the Duke of York faced a sexual assualt lawsuit, which was brought by Virginia Giuffre, a woman who was allegedly trafficked by Epstein and alleged that the prince assaulted her when she was a minor. However, Andrew isn't the only member of the royal family with ties to Epstein. In fact, it was reported that Sarah Ferguson had accepted £15,000 (approximately $19,450) from Epstein to help pay off some of her financial debts in 2010, per the Daily Mail

As a result of his connection to Epstein, Prince Andrew lost his military titles, and it was announced that he was no longer allowed to go by "His Royal Highness." Despite being at the center of a very public scandal, Ferguson stood by her ex-husband. In March 2023, the duchess appeared on "Good Morning America" (via Parade), and was asked what it had been like to see Andrew face allegations of assault and wrongdoing. "So sad, so sad," Ferguson said, "We've been there for each other — you know, when I've gone through really bad times in the past, Andrew's always been there." During an appearance on "Good Morning Britain" (via Marca), Ferguson also asserted, "With Prince Andrew, he's such a good man. He's a kind good man, and I think the spotlight needs to come off him and let him get on with his life to rebuild."

The divorcees still live together in the family home

Although Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew have been officially divorced since 1996, the pair still continue to live together in the family home, Royal Lodge in Windsor. While more than three decades have passed since they announced their separation in 1992, the Duke and Duchess of York seem perfectly happy to cohabitate all these years later. The palatial royal property sits within Great Windsor Park, and apparently has as many as 30 rooms, meaning that it's easy to find privacy. 

In 2023, it was rumored that Andrew was being asked to leave Royal Lodge by King Charles III. However, following news of Ferguson's breast cancer diagnosis and surgery, it was reported in July 2023 that the Yorks would be staying in their family home throughout her recovery. In a statement, via LBC, a spokesperson for Ferguson said, "The Duchess is receiving the best medical care and her doctors have told her that the prognosis is good. She is now recuperating with her family." 

Whether or not Ferguson and Andrew will be asked to move in the future remains unclear. Still, the duchess has revealed that she is now able to financially support her family, telling Hello! Magazine, "Well, since [Andrew] stepped back [from royal duties] he doesn't actually take taxpayers' money. And I'm in a position where I can support him and the rest of the family through my work. And I'm really pleased and proud to do that."

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew are in no rush to remarry

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew may not be married anymore, but they certainly remain extremely close. In a 2018 interview with the Daily Mail, Ferguson revealed, "July 23, 1986 was the happiest day of my life. Andrew is the best man I know." However, when it comes to the topic of getting remarried, Ferguson suggested that they're not in any rush to head down the aisle again. "So many people have asked me that, but we're so happy with the way we are right now," she told the Daily Mail. "We enjoy each other's company; we allow each other to blossom. I know it sounds like a fairy tale but that's the way we are."

In an interview with The Telegraph, Ferguson reiterated her adoration for Andrew, saying, "We're divorced to each other, not from each other." While their arrangement may seem strange to onlookers, it's obvious that Ferguson is very happy in her current situation. Whether or not the Duke and Duchess of York will ever get married again remains unknown, but the Yorks seem to have created a life that works for them and their children.