Signs Prince Andrew And Sarah Ferguson Weren't Going To Last

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson have been making headline news on and off over the last few decades. According to Hello!, the couple married in 1986, officially split up in 1992, and officially divorced in 1996. Although they haven't officially been together (in a romantic sense — as far as we can tell) since 1992, Prince Andrew and Ferguson are frequently mentioned together in the press. Notably, the couple has two daughters together, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and though they're no longer together, the two exes seem close even to this day (so close, in fact, that rumors of them remarrying have circulated).

Like most relationships, there were undoubtedly signs that the two weren't necessarily suited for married life. From a scandal to intimate details about their private life released years later, these are some of the signs that Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's romantic relationship just wasn't going to last.

They didn't date for very long

According to Hello!, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson have known each other since they were children because they were in similar social circles. However, they didn't become romantically involved until after they got to know each other as adults in 1985. Then, they got engaged in March of 1986, and by the end of the July of 1986, they were married — meaning they only dated for about a year! We won't deny that there is something romantic about the idea of being so in love you want to marry quickly, but there's also no denying that marriages that progress quickly don't have the best reputation for longevity.

While every couple is different and the duration of a couple's dating life doesn't necessarily determine their likelihood of staying together (let's get real — there are SO many factors when it comes to what makes a successful marriage), there is something to be said about getting to know someone well before tying the knot. In fact, according to a 2017 survey conducted by researchers at Emory University (via Insider), waiting for a minimum of three years before getting married when you're dating decreased a couple's chance of getting divorced by as much as 50%.

They didn't spend much time together even at the start of their marriage

Even though Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson seemed to be deeply in love during their courtship, engagement, and incredibly public wedding, the two may not have been as inseparable as they appeared. According to Harper's Bazaar, due to the demands of Prince Andrew's naval career, the couple only spent a minuscule 40 days together each year for the first five years of their marriage. Ferguson even admitted in the interview with Harper's Bazaar, "I spent my entire first pregnancy alone; when Beatrice was born, Andrew got 10 days of shore leave, and when he left and I cried, they all said: 'Grow up and get a grip.'"

This would put a strain on any relationship, let alone a newlywed couple that was already subject to public scrutiny and demanding familial obligations. And this was all while Fergie was dealing with pregnancy and new motherhood without her husband by her side. With all of this in mind, it's not so surprising that the couple became legally separated by 1992.

Fergie was seen with someone before their divorce

According to the BBC, on March 19, 1992, the queen released a statement in light of "media speculation" about her son and daughter-in-law's relationship, saying, "Last week, lawyers acting for the Duchess of York initiated discussions about a formal separation for the Duke and Duchess. These discussions are not yet completed and nothing will be said until they are." 

Then months later in August, photos of Sarah Ferguson were published in the Daily Mirror with her American financial advisor, John Bryan, according to The Washington Post. In the photos, Ferguson is seen being kissed on the sole of her foot by Bryan and acting a bit more than friendly. While Fergie and Prince Andrew were already separated at the time, this scandal certainly seemed to squash any hopes for a reconciliation, which had been rumored. And we're sure the queen was not pleased by the reports.

Sarah Ferguson wanted to work

By 1996, after her separation but before her divorce from Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson wanted her own career, but, as she told Harper's Bazaar, it isn't considered "right for a princess of the royal house to be commercial."

Since she "wanted to work," she and Prince Andrew decided to officially and formally divorce. Ferguson described this time to Harper's Bazaar as the "most painful time of [her] life," saying, "I didn't want a divorce but had to because of circumstance." Noting that she only requested the queen's friendship in their divorce, she added, "I left my marriage knowing I'd have to work. I have."

Free to work, Ferguson ultimately went on to write several books, including children's books, self-help books, and memoirs. She also served as a long-time spokesperson for Weight Watchers and started several other business ventures, such as the line Sarah Senses (via Express).

Was Sarah Ferguson 'too sensitive' for the royal marriage?

Another reason Sarah Ferguson may not have been as cut out for the royal life as she may have hoped was that she is, as she describes, "too sensitive," according to a "Larry King Live" interview from 2000 (via CNN). Although being sensitive can have its advantages, in the way that Ferguson is referring to it, it may have had the opposite effect, putting her at a huge disadvantage as someone whose life is in the public eye.

According to Ferguson's interview on "Larry King Live," being "too sensitive" regarding how the press talked about her was her "trouble," saying, "Coming to terms with the press has taken a huge toll on me." While spending a long time apart from Andrew during their marriage certainly contributed to their eventual divorce, Fergie expressed that there were other issues. "But on top of that, I dealt with all the other issues, and so, of course, I became more and more self-[sabotaging]," she said.

They seem to be better friends than spouses

Ever since Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew separated in 1992, the odd closeness of their seemingly still-civil relationship has made headlines. In fact, in 2000, Ferguson even told Larry King that she and Andrew were the "happiest divorced couple in the world," noting that they even "live[d] in the same house" at the time. She added that Andrew was "one of the finest, bestest friends" she had (via CNN). King even commented about having received a Christmas card from the divorced couple sent out together from their family.

Not only do the two seem to still be close friends and successful co-parents (and now grandparents), but the two also seem supportive of each other, and Ferguson has been very loyal to Andrew over the years. According to Mail Online (via Insider), Ferguson stands by Prince Andrew "100%," even today after his reported association with Jeffrey Epstein and the accusations of sexual abuse against him came to light.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, there has even been speculation that their romance may have been rekindling. A source told Vanity Fair that the exes have spent more time together during the pandemic and that "has rekindled something and I can see a second wedding happening if it all goes Andrew's way." However, whether Ferguson would agree remains to be seen.