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Prince Andrew - Biography

The third child of Queen Elizabeth II is no longer a working royal...

prince andrew attending prince philip memorial
Updated: 1 August 2023
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A Falkland War veteran with a 20-year career in the Royal Navy, the second son and third child of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made his debut into the world at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 1960 - the first child to be born to a reigning monarch for 103 years. Educated initially by a governess, he followed in the footsteps of his father and elder brother when, aged 13, he was enrolled at Gordonstoun in Scotland. 

Prince Andrew is the third child of Queen Elizabeth II© -
Prince Andrew is the third child of Queen Elizabeth II

Navy Career

Andrew's naval career began in 1979, and he soon saw active service when, along with his squadron, he sailed for the Falkland Islands in HMS Invincible. After completing front-line duty, he continued to serve in the Forces until 1997, when he took up a desk job in the Ministry of Defence, finally retiring from the Navy in July 2001.

Marriage to Sarah Ferguson

He married Sarah Ferguson, the down-to-earth redhead who had captured his heart, in Westminster Abbey on July 23, 1986, when the couple were awarded the titles Duke and Duchess of York. The Duke, whose relationship with photographer and actress Koo Stark had caused much consternation within the Palace in the early Eighties, appeared to have finally settled down. 

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson on their wedding day© Anwar Hussein
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson on their wedding day

He and Sarah welcomed the arrival of their first child , Princess Beatrice in 1988 and, two years later, Princess Eugenie. In 1992, it was announced that Andrew and Sarah were to separate; the couple finally divorced in 1996. Loyally, Prince Andrew stuck by his ex-wife and has always proved himself to be her "bestest friend", as she once described him. The two remain extremely close, so much so that a year after their divorce, Sarah and their daughters moved back into the family home in Sunninghill Park where Andrew had continued to live.

Stepping Down from Royal Duties

The disgraced Duke of York stepped back from public duties in November 2019, following his controversial TV interview with BBC Newsnight, which focused on his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

And in February 2022, Andrew reached an undisclosed out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, after she sued him claiming she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with the royal when she was 17 and a minor under US law. The Duke has vehemently denied the allegations.

Ahead of the US lawsuit, the late Queen Elizabeth II stripped Andrew of his honorary military roles and he stopped using the style 'His Royal Highness' in any official capacity.

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