Behind the scenes

Living with Prince Andrew

Although divorced, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew have lived together at Andrew’s official residence since 2006

Sarah Ferguson’s six-year marriage to Prince Andrew ended in 1992, and they divorced four years later. Yet the pair remain unusually close – Ferguson calls them “the happiest divorced couple in the world”. Since 2006, they have lived together at Andrew’s official residence, Royal Lodge; and their loyalty to one another is undimmed by scandal. 

Andrew stood by her when she was filmed in a newspaper sting accepting cash for access to him in 2010; she is now steadfast in her belief that he had no involvement in the crimes of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. 

“Andrew and I call it divorced to each other, not from each other,” she told Henry Mance in the FT. “We support each other like pillars of strengths with the honour and integrity of truth.” Maybe so. But how normal is her life? She claims she could go to the supermarket, but “I’m very lucky to be a guest at Royal Lodge so I don’t have to. I don’t cook, shan’t cook, won’t cook. I hate cooking.” 

As for sharing a house with her ex, it’s perhaps easier than it sounds. They don’t have breakfast together, for instance, because they don’t need to. So they have two dining rooms? “Have you seen Royal Lodge? It’s quite big...”

Prince Andrew

Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Andrew: a ‘deafening’ silence

Prince Andrew might have thought things couldn’t get much worse for him, after his disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019. Well now they have, said Jenny Hjul on Reaction.life. Last week, his “long-time accuser”, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, filed a civil lawsuit against the prince in New York. In it, she accused him of sexually abusing her on three occasions in 2001 (when she was only 17), one of them at the London home of his friend, the socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre alleges that he knew she was a minor under US law at the time, and that she’d been trafficked for sex by Maxwell – who denies wrongdoing – and Andrew’s former friend, the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Now she’s suing the prince for damages. Andrew has consistently denied such allegations; he says he has “no recollection” of even meeting her – despite the existence of a photo of him with his arm around her waist.

These are the most serious allegations against a royal in modern times, said Richard Kay in the Daily Mail. As well as sexual assault, Giuffre has accused Andrew of battery. And how has he responded? By fleeing to Balmoral and maintaining a “deafening” silence. Andrew would love this story to go away, said Peter Hunt in The Spectator, but he is not in control of events. He and his lawyers must come up with a response to the Giuffre lawsuit – which is just one of the challenges he is facing. Maxwell is due for trial in November, on sex trafficking charges. “And the prince has yet to resolve, to the satisfaction of the FBI, his promise to help them with their investigations.” 

His critics say he should stop hiding behind the walls of Balmoral, said The Times. But given the reputational damage he does to the monarchy whenever he opens his mouth in public, staying in a remote Scottish castle indefinitely might be his “best course of action”. After his Newsnight interview, only 6% of viewers said they believed his denials; it became a “national joke”. And Prince Charles has rightly decided that his return to frontline duties is now “out of the question”. Andrew still gives the impression of a man “more sinned against than sinning”, but “he is in disgrace, and should behave accordingly”.

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