Sarah ‒ affectionately known as Fergie ‒ was known for her indiscretions while she was married to the Duke of York, and for not going to much trouble to hide it.
She was having an affair with Texan businessman Steve Wyatt when photographs of the pair on holiday with Beatrice and Eugenie splashed across the press.
One in particular picture grated on Andrew, who was hurt and angry at a photo of then-toddler Beatrice being cuddled by Mr Wyatt.
Fergie’s father said: “They were only holiday snaps.
Prince Andrew was particularly annoyed by a picture of Mr Wyatt cuddling Beatrice
Andrew and Fergie and their daughters in 1992
“But the one that really annoyed Andrew was little Beatrice with no clothes on being cuddled by Wyatt.”
Andrew and Fergie’s marriage struggled due to his extended periods of time away with the Navy.
According to royal biographer Sarah Bradford, the couple saw each other just 40 days a year in the first five years of their marriage.
By 1991, they had drifted apart and Fergie’s relationship with Mr Wyatt was gaining much publicity.
Steve Wyatt and Joyce Echols in 2015
Andrew and Fergie agreed to separate in 1992 and announced their decision in March that year.
They separated their households, and Fergie was no longer to carry out engagements on behalf of the Queen after Her Majesty said she would not take responsibility for her daughter-in-law’s numerous debts.
In August of that year, pictures hit the papers that were even worse than those with Mr Wyatt: the infamous toe-sucking photographs.
This showed a topless Fergie having her toes sucked by American financial manager John Bryan.
Sarah Ferguson and her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie in 1992
This not only embarrassed and infuriated the Royal Family, but also made the Duchess of York herself a target for relentless ridicule.
It resulted in her being shunned by the Royal Family. Princess Margaret told her in 1995: “You have done more to bring shame on the family than could ever have been imagined.”
Prince Philip, who was particularly enraged by it, never forgave Fergie and to this day cannot stand being in the same room as her.
He initially threatened to even boycott Princess Eugenie’s wedding in 2018 if Fergie was there, but eventually attended as a gesture to his granddaughter.
When Fergie and Andrew separated, their daughters were just three and two years old.
After four years of official separation, they finally divorced in 1996.
However, she and Andrew have remained close in the years since their divorce and have lived together for many of them.
Fergie has even hinted at the possibility of the pair remarrying, responding to a question about it with: “He’s still my handsome prince, he’ll always be my handsome prince.”
However, she has been excluded from many royal events over the years including the wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 and the wedding Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.
While she was invited to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018, she was not invited to the evening reception at Frogmore House hosted by Prince Charles and was reportedly “deeply upset” by this.
When Fegie spends Christmas with the Royal Family, she is usually exiled to Wood Farm rather than staying in the Big House.
‘Fergie & Andrew: The Duke and Duchess of Disaster’ is on tonight at 7:30pm on Channel 5.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK