Sarah Ferguson accompanied ex husband Prince Andrew to the Grand Prix while on an official trip in Bahrain last Sunday. The pair were official guests of their host the Bahrain Crown Prince, along with their daughter Princess Beatrice and her boyfriend Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. For Sarah and Andrew, it was the first time they had officially travelled overseas together in 25 years. Fans have always admired how the former couple remain such good friends since divorcing over 22 years ago. The foundation OF their bond is twofold; friendship and family. Both parents are devoted to their daughters Beatrice and her younger sister Princess Eugenie. They have worked hard over the years to give the girls a solid and stable upbringing, despite their decision to split.
We take a closer look inside Sarah and Andrew's unbreakable bond…
Sarah and the Prince – the second son of the Queen and Prince Philip – were introduced by the late Princess Diana. Initially, the couple met as children, but fell out of touch in later years; in her autobiography, Sarah recalled sneaking away from her father's polo matches as a youngster to "play tag with like-minded truants – including Prince Andrew, who was just my age". Years later, Diana invited Sarah to a party at Windsor Castle, where the pair met again and promptly started dating. Andrew proposed after a whirlwind romance and the couple announced their engagement in March 1986. They were married at Westminster Abbey on 23 July 1986, and welcomed daughter Beatrice in August 1988, followed by Eugenie in March 1990.
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew pictured together in 1986
But, by the following year, the marriage was in trouble. The couple decided to legally separate in 1992, triggered by the demands of his naval career – which meant the couple saw each other for a mere 40 days a year for the first five years – as well as rumours of her infidelity. Four years later, the Duke and Duchess announced their mutual decision to divorce, in May 1996. Reflecting on the split in a 2011 interview with Harper's Bazaar, Sarah admitted: "I didn't want a divorce but had to because of circumstance." Of her 1996 divorce deal with the Queen, she said she had opted for "friendship not money", explaining: "When I met with Her Majesty about it, she asked, 'What do you require, Sarah?' and I said, 'Your friendship,' which I think amazed her because everyone said I would demand a big settlement. But I wanted to be able to say, 'Her Majesty is my friend'— not fight her nor have lawyers saying, 'Look, she is greedy.' I left my marriage knowing I'd have to work. I have."
The couple on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, following their July 1986 wedding
Certainly, Sarah seems to remain on good terms with the royal family. Despite reports of a difficult relationship with her former father-in-law, Prince Philip, she has maintained a close connection with the Queen, who frequently invites her to join Andrew in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. She has also acted as a representative of the royal family in recent years, standing in for Prince Andrew with the approval of the palace, and has been welcomed as a guest at Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish estate, on a number of occasions.
Together at Royal Ascot in 2016
She and Andrew also maintain a close friendship, dining out together at restaurants and uniting for all major family events, including Princess Beatrice's graduation in 2011. More recently, Sarah and Andrew – who she described as "my handsome prince, he'll always be my handsome prince" in a 2013 interview - purchased a chalet together in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier, some 20 years after their divorce.
The former couple both attended eldest daughter Princess Beatrice's graduation in 2011
In an exclusive recent interview with HELLO! , Sarah gave a revealing insight into her bond with Andrew. "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. We support each other emotionally and we support each other health wise. At least every two weeks we sit down and communicate, the four of us." She continued: "I think the one thing I've done incredibly well – although I say it myself - is that I'm a really good mum. And I think my girls shows that."
The Yorks all came together again to watch Princess Eugenie marry Jack Brooksbank at a lavish Windsor ceremony last October. The following year, Sarah gave a rare interview to Lorraine about her family, saying: "The way we have always managed to be very, very solidified as a team together, of course with the Duke of York, who is a great father is family unity [and] talking about any issue."
Following their visit to Bahrain - which Sarah bought her own plane tickets for - a spokesman for the Duchess of York said in a statement: "The Duke and Duchess remain good friends as they have been for many years, and nothing has changed."
WATCH: A Royal Love Story: Sarah Ferguson & Prince Andrew
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