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Why Sarah Ferguson attended the Queen's funeral – but not Prince Philip's

Prince Andrew's ex-wife was among the mourners at Westminster

sarah ferguson queen philip
Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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The royal family were united in their grief on Monday as they came together for the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.

MORE: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie spark confusion at the Queen's funeral

Among the 2,000 mourners at Westminster Abbey was Sarah Ferguson – ex-wife of Prince Andrew and mother to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

WATCH: Sarah Ferguson arrives at the Queen's state funeral

The 62-year-old was seen supporting her grieving daughters and sat behind the Prince and Princess of Wales for the service, alongside her youngest Beatrice.

READ: Emotional Sarah Ferguson arrives at Queen's funeral at Westminster Abbey

MORE: 'Heartbroken' Sarah Ferguson wears statement accessory for the Queen's funeral

Despite her divorce from Andrew in 1996, Sarah has retained a strong connection to the royals. She also lives with her ex-husband at The Royal Lodge, in Windsor Great Park.

sarah ferguson the queen diana

Sarah remained close to her mother-in-law even after her divorce

She also stayed close to her late mother-in-law and, as such, was included in Monday's events. Even after the end of her marriage, Sarah would be invited to spend time at Balmoral during the Queen's summer break.

READ: The Queen's funeral: The hugely poignant moment you might have missed

MORE: The Queen's funeral as it happened: George & Charlotte's bravery & most moving royal moments

Their bond was particularly evident in the loving tribute to the Queen that Sarah shared following her death on 8 September. It read, in part: "To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend.

sarah ferguson the queen

Prince Andrew and Sarah split in 1996 - but continue to live together

"I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce. I will miss her more than words can express."

Notably, Sarah did not attend the funeral for Prince Philip following his death in April 2021, however.

READ: Sarah Ferguson and the Queen's sweet mother-daughter bond following royal divorce

MORE: Royal in-laws: Meghan Markle, Sarah Ferguson and more eventful first meetings

At the time, there was speculation about the strained relationship between the pair. But the reason for her absence was far more straightforward.

queen prince philip funeral

The Queen pictured at her husband's funeral

The guest list was strictly limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. Just 30 people were in attendance – including the grieving Queen, Sarah's ex-husband Andrew and their two daughters.

It's thought that Sarah actually spent the day looking after her grandchildren, August and Sienna.

sarah ferguson beatrice eugenie

Sarah is a doting mum to Eugenie and Beatrice

Eugenie welcomed son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank in February 2021 and chose one of his middle names as a sweet tribute to her grandfather, Prince Philip. He passed away just two months later, on 9 April 2021.

Beatrice, meanwhile, delivered her first baby, Sienna, in September 2021. Her middle name is Elizabeth, in honour of her beloved grandmother.

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