The Truth About Sarah Ferguson's Relationship With Her Kids

When we think about the royal family, we often envision lives adorned with tiaras, palaces, and every designer item under the sun. While the word "family" is right there, it's difficult to think of The Firm as just that — a family — given the monarchy's rich history of service and dedication above everything else. And while some royals have made it clear that their commitment to the crown outweighs everything else — such as Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne — others have tried to balance royal life with that of an everyday, personal life. Of course, we know of many royals who have gotten married and had children of their own, but some have dedicated themselves more to the personal experience than others.

One such royal who made it clear that her kids came before her dedication to the crown is Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson, Prince Andrew's ex-wife and former member of The Firm. Fergie has had controversies all her own over the years, and even though she and Andrew separated when their two daughters were really young, she's always made it clear that her kids come first. This is the truth about Fergie's relationship with her daughters.

How old were Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew's kids when the couple split?

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson had a whirlwind relationship, and it wasn't long after their romance went public that they tied the knot. As noted by Town & Country, the two got married in a lavish ceremony in July 1986, and just two years later, welcomed their first daughter. Princess Beatrice was born on August 8, 1988, and her little sister, Princess Eugenie, followed on March 23, 1990. However, Andrew and Fergie's marriage began to deteriorate in the early years, and by 1992, they had legally separated. If you're doing the math, then you've already realized that Beatrice was 6 and Eugenie was 2 — two tiny little kids going through an unspeakable shift in their family dynamic.

Because the girls were so little, the Duke and Duchess of York made it clear that their children were to stay out of the spotlight — the couple even got the queen's stamp of approval on the matter. "The queen hopes that the media will spare the Duke and Duchess of York and their children any intrusion," a palace statement said at the time, per Us Weekly.

The Duchess of York raised her children with her ex-husband, despite any bad blood

When we think of royal divorces, we often think of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, who made it clear that they were not fans of one another by the time their marriage came to an end. And while Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson separated and later divorced, they made it clear that their two daughters were their priority. In a sitdown with Harper's Bazaar, Fergie opened up about the decision to cohabitate with Andrew at Royal Lodge for the sake of her daughters. How many moms live with their ex-husbands so that their kids can have a semblance of normalcy? Not many. Fergie made it clear that she wanted her daughters to be raised by two dedicated, present parents and she even dished about how she felt about Andrew.

"He's a great man, and a first-rate father and the bestest friend," Fergie said about her ex-husband in the 2011 interview. "We honor and respect each other until death do us part. The only thing is, he has girlfriends and I have boyfriends." At least their kids knew that mom and dad were a unified team.

Sarah Ferguson claimed that the 'only thing' she's done right in life is be a mom

When Sarah Ferguson came onto the royal scene, she was met with a chorus of commentary, much of it negative. Fergie certainly had to learn how to navigate royal life, and there were a few blunders along the way. While she certainly fessed up to her own mistakes, Fergie told Harper's Bazaar that the only thing she has done right throughout her life is being a mom to Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.

"The only thing I know I've done 100% right is be a good mother. I'm proud to say I'm the best mom I know," Fergie said. "People say to me, 'What is your brand identity?' And I say, 'I'm a global mother.'" Don't think that Fergie is simply being boastful, either. Her close friend Lady Clare Milford Haven echoed the sentiment to Harper's Bazaar while also highlighting Fergie's charity work. "She has a big heart, and she is a hugely loyal and supportive friend. She's also a great mom," Haven said.

Fergie's daughters have another important woman in their lives: the queen

Sarah Ferguson made it clear over the years that she considered herself a dedicated mom above all else, and while she certainly has a close relationship with her daughters, she isn't the only important woman in their lives. As noted by Express, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have a very close relationship with Queen Elizabeth.

According to royal expert Tom Quinn, the queen "adores" Beatrice and Eugenie, in part because she sees her own relationship with sister Princess Margaret in their sisterly dynamic. "Beatrice and Eugenie were also doted on by their grandparents," Quinn shared in the "Beatrice and Eugenie: Pampered Princesses?" documentary. "The Yorks lived a short drive from Windsor Castle and visited often." 

Regarding the princesses' behavior, Quinn shared, "Fergie said they had three sets of manners: One was for her, one was for when they were out and the third was when they were with the queen."

Things may have been awkward between them when she was left off a guest list

Family dynamics are always a bit difficult to handle, so we can't even imagine what it's like to deal with familial drama in the public eye. Of course, the royals are known for lavish events and jaw-dropping weddings, but it's often the behind-the-scenes drama that impacts the day of the event. When it came to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, Sarah Ferguson and her daughters had an awkward experience, as the princesses were invited and Fergie was not. The mom of two spoke about what went down during her interview with Harper's Bazaar, and it was clear through her "wistful smile and ... shrug" that the lack of invite was a bit of a sore spot.

"Ah, well," Fergie started when asked about the royal wedding. "My girls are going. They're a part of the royal family, and they're a tremendous credit to me. People move on, you know?" Fergie went on to share that, despite her daughters' attendance at the wedding, she hadn't even met Kate Middleton up to that point. "I'm divorced from Prince Andrew. I think it's a new chapter and a fresh page," she said.

Sarah Ferguson used her own mistakes to guide her daughters' lives

Sarah Ferguson knows what it's like to live life in the public eye. From her whirlwind marriage to Prince Andrew to becoming a mom of two, to the toe sucking-gate and everything in between, she has certainly been the subject of intense media scrutiny and public attention. Her own experiences, however, may have helped her be an even better mom to Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, and in a sit-down with People, Fergie shared what it was like to raise her daughters with a keen sense of awareness.

In the interview, the Duchess of York shared that she encouraged Eugenie and Beatrice to steer clear of the embarrassing moments she had endured throughout her own life in the spotlight: "When the girls used to say, 'Why can't we do that?' I would say, 'Well, I've already made those mistakes. The world's press has written about my mistakes, so you don't need to make them now.'" The mom of two went on to say that she "clear[ed] the way" for her daughters so they could "dream and grow" on their own terms.

Sarah Ferguson got involved with her daughters' love lives early on

Any involved mom knows what it's like to see their children grow up, fall in love, and have discussions about their own futures. For Sarah Ferguson, she was involved with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie's love lives way back in the beginning, and she basically even adopted one of her daughter's boyfriends into the family. As noted by Express, Beatrice was linked to Uber executive Dave Clark for about a decade, and throughout that extended period of time, Fergie grew very fond of him. With such a long-term relationship, everyone was waiting for them to tie the knot, and Fergie described Clark "like family." 

But in 2016, Beatrice and Clark called it quits, and while their break-up was mutual and seemingly very cordial, Fergie and family members alike were shocked that the two hadn't stuck it out. "After 10 years together, Beatrice and Dave had to wonder why they were not married," an inside source shared about the split. 

Speaking of Beatrice's mom, another source noted, "Sarah considers Dave to be part of the family. She is very sad it didn't work out. They have been together longer than many marriages last."

When COVID-19 derailed Princess Beatrice's wedding plans, her mom showed her support

To say that COVID-19 disrupted life as we knew it is a serious understatement. The pandemic changed everything — education, dining, public safety, graduations, weddings, you name it. Among the canceled plans due to the health crisis was Princess Beatrice's wedding to husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, a disappointment no doubt given the grandeur and formality of royal weddings. So when the original wedding date rolled around, Sarah Ferguson did what any good mom would do and gave her daughter a sweet shout-out on social media, supporting her amid changing plans, as noted by Vanity Fair.

Sharing a photo of Beatrice from when she was a little girl on Instagram, Fergie wrote, "Love you my darling Beatrice. You have given me more joy than I could ever wish for. I am so excited to celebrate yours and Edo's love when we all are out of lockdown." The Duchess of York went on to share that the "most important thing is health and love," and she sent well wishes to other couples who postponed or changed their wedding plans amid the pandemic.

Sarah Ferguson had a special role during her daughter's wedding

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi did eventually tie the knot, and while their wedding was scaled back due to COVID-19, the ceremony was a beautiful exchange of love. People reported at the time that the short wedding ceremony followed pandemic protocols — no hymns were sung in the church, for example. Despite the very different nature of the wedding in comparison to royal nuptials past, Beatrice did receive a very touching moment when her mom, Sarah Ferguson, stood up and read one of the couple's favorite poems: Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare.

In another touching move on her daughter's wedding day, Fergie hosted the wedding reception at the Royal Lodge. The setting allowed for an outdoor gathering, and it was said to be a small yet joyous occasion. "A few more people were there than the wedding, but it was still very small and intimate," a source told People about the reception at Fergie's home. "It was all outdoors and under a tent with the same matching floral design and theme as the wedding."

She has come to Eugenie's defense

Sarah Ferguson is certainly used to living life in the public eye, and she has jumped to her daughters' defense when necessary — even in their adulthood. One such example of Fergie stepping in to protect Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, came just a couple months after the pair welcomed their first child. As reported by the Daily Mail, Brooksbank was seen in Capri shortly after Eugenie gave birth, accompanied by three female friends on a boat while sipping rosé. The look certainly did not paint Brooksbank in the best light, but Fergie was right there to defend him.

In a statement on "The One Show" (via the Daily Mail), Fergie expressed her trust in Brooksbank and explained that he was simply doing his job as a brand ambassador for Casamigos tequila. "He's just a superhero in my book, and he's a great father, a fabulous husband, and he's never at front of house, he always likes to be at the back," Fergie said of her son-in-law. "He was on doing his job, and so I think it's really important that we clarify that for Jack's sake," she continued.

Sarah Ferguson thinks that both her daughters are amazing mothers

We love when moms just gush about their kids, and Sarah Ferguson did not hold back when she was asked about Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice during Hello! magazine's 2021 Inspiration Awards. Fergie took the opportunity to share that not only were her daughters great kids themselves, but they'd turned into such amazing moms in their own right. How sweet is that? "My children are phenomenal mothers," Fergie said. "And now, I have these two exceptional grandchildren all in one year. Everyone asks me, 'How are your grandchildren?' Well, firstly, I look at my girls being wonderful mothers and then I see these incredible beings."

Fergie went on to say that Eugenie's son, August, was just starting to genuinely smile at the time — as babies don't really know what they're looking at in those early months of their lives. "He's seven and a half months, you actually know he genuinely likes you," Fergie said. "It's not a put-on smile, he genuinely finds me very funny which is quite lucky." How cute is that? We love a mom who takes so much joy from watching her kids become parents!

The Duchess of York praised her daughters' tenacity in an open letter

Fans of the royal family know that Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice have often gotten the short end of the stick, especially when it comes to press coverage. The comparisons made between them and the two stepsisters from "Cinderella" were abhorrent, and that's just one example of the cringeworthy and awful coverage they've endured since childhood. Sarah Ferguson clearly wanted her daughters to know just how proud she was of them for sticking to their morals, and in an open letter published in September 2021, the Duchess of York shared exactly what was on her mind.

"You have both withstood cruelty in the face of cyberbullying, keyboard warriors and social media trolling," Fergie wrote in the open letter, published by Good Housekeeping. "You have stood strong in the face of such adversity. Whatever faces you, still you remain in harmony with life." The mother of two went on to share how appreciative she is of her daughters for sticking to the three C's she taught then when they were young: "communication, compromise and compassion." It's clear that she's one proud mama bear.

She has supported her daughters' father amid his scandal

You knew we had to get into it at some point ... the Prince Andrew scandal. Andrew was at the center of a lawsuit involving Virginia Giuffre, who claimed she was trafficked for Andrew by Jeffrey Epstein when she was just 17 years old, per the BBC. In the wake of the lawsuit, Andrew was stripped of titles and honors, essentially all royal perks, and reportedly had to cough up millions of dollars to his accuser to settle the case. You'd think that given the severity of the situation, Andrew's ex-wife and daughters would be horrified, but as noted by The International News, Sarah Ferguson has been by his side the entire time.

In an appearance on the show "Porta a Porta," Fergie said, "I completely stand by Andrew 100%," sharing that her ex-husband is "a brilliant father and now a fantastic grandfather." "I feel very strongly that in this day and age that we must stand by our hearts, what we think is right with integrity and honor and loyalty," she said. But we wonder how Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice feel about all this.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Eugenie and Beatrice are reportedly struggling amid their mom's support of their dad

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice may have an incredibly close bond with their mother, but the allegations poised against Prince Andrew have certainly made things difficult for the sisters and the family as a whole. Columnist Hilary Rose stated, as Express reported, "With Prince Andrew's removal from public life surely permanent, his daughters are in an awkward limbo," highlighting just how uncomfortable his daughters must be hanging in the balance between parents, the royal family, and the public.

Rose also highlighted that, given Andrew's indiscretions, his daughters' standing in the royal family may very well be impacted. Eugenie and Beatrice are now "princesses with no royal role, and a toxic father who, while not admitting liability, has just agreed a multimillion dollar settlement in a sexual assault case," Rose asserted. 

So where does Sarah Ferguson fall into the equation? While she is certainly close with her daughters, she is also incredibly supportive of her ex-husband. In Rose's words, "You can't overestimate how hard it is being the child of Prince Andrew and Fergie."