The Complex History Between Sarah Ferguson and Queen Elizabeth II
Princess Eugenie marries her boyfriend Jack Brooksbank on Oct. 12, and the event will bring together — for the first time in decades — many members of her father Prince Andrew’s side of the family, and her mother Sarah Ferguson. To say there has been a lot of water under the bridge since the announcement of Andrew and Sarah’s separation in 1992 might be a teensy bit of an understatement. There have been lurid newspaper headlines, well-publicized indiscretions, and one epic lapse in judgment. Through it all, Prince Andrew and Sarah have remained best friends, and their daughter Eugenie has called them “The best divorced couple I know.” However what about Andrew’s family – most specifically, the queen?
It had all started off so well. Sarah’s father, Major Ron Ferguson, ran the Guards Polo Club for Prince Philip, and as a young girl Sarah often found herself in the presence of the queen. She used to play tag with Prince Andrew behind the stands at polo matches, and then later, after crossing paths several times socially as young adults, Sarah and her childhood playmate Andrew started a relationship, before marrying a year later.
During her marriage, Sarah was close to the queen. Her Majesty’s relationship with her other daughter-in-law, Princess Diana, was sometimes strained, but the queen and Sarah had plenty in common, and an easy chemistry. Sarah wrote in her autobiography My Story, “In private I called her mama . . . When she waved me to sit next to her in the car or at church, I felt favored and blessed.”
Andrew and Sarah decided to separate in January 1992, and Sarah wrote in her autobiography that when they broke the news to the queen: “She asked me to reconsider, to be strong and go forward.” However, the relationship between the two women felt the strain when the duchess was photographed with another man just five months after the separation had been announced. Sarah had taken a holiday with her new partner, financial adviser John Bryant, and…