Long before Jen and Ben, Bruce and Demi and Mariah and Nick, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were the absolute embodiment of friendly exes who co-parent. Despite divorcing in 1996 — 10 years after they wed and four years after they separated — amid all kinds of scandal, they’ve always remained close. So close, in fact, that Fergie moved into Royal Lodge, Andrew’s country home, with him and the girls in 2008 and the pair still attend functions and go on vacations together. Some have suggested The Duke and Duchess of York are still in love with each other, and would remarry in a heartbeat but for one thing stopping them: Prince Philip.
Despite how amicable the exes are, some things — like topless sunbathing and toe-sucking — are reportedly unforgivable as far as The Duke of Edinburgh is concerned. The Daily Mail reports that unlike with The Queen, who’s always had a fondness for Fergie, and is “unlikely to raise any serious objections” should her youngest son and his ex-wife decide to remarry, “no such decision could be taken while Philip is alive.” The Prince’s antipathy reportedly goes so far, that he leaves the room in protest when the Duchess comes to the castle for tea.
Andrew and Fergie’s domestic arrangement may have begun as a way to make life easier for daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, but after a decade, the girls are all grown up. Do the parents still need to reside in the same household? Well, it seems like maybe they do. For their own reasons.
“It isn’t as though they are young people jumping from one mistake to another,” a senior courtier told the Mail. ” Prince Andrew and the Duchess are moving into their 60s, mature and experienced. But, of course, they seem very happy as they are and no one can say that they ever will want to remarry.”
But if they do, they’re not going to disrespect Philip again. They learned that lesson the first time around. That being said, Andrew has clearly been slipping Fergie back into the royal mix when given the chance, having the Duchess stand in for him at various court occasions. Their daughter’s wedding was a perfect opportunity to integrate the Duchess back into the family fold. Baby steps.
So for now, we’re not hearing any wedding bells. But there will come a time, albeit a sad time, when the barrier to a more formal union between the Duke and Duchess is no more. At which point it shouldn’t shock anyone if Andrew and Fergie make it official. Again.