The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson was held on 23 July 1986 at Westminster Abbey in London, the United Kingdom.


23 July 1986: Prince Andrew (later the Duke of York) and his bride Sarah Ferguson wave to crowds as they leave Westminster Abbey after their wedding ceremony



Courtship and engagementEdit

Prince Andrew, the third child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, and Miss Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson and his first wife Susan Wright, first met when they were

kids, but had not been romantically involved until they met again at a party at Floors Castle in 1985. Th

ey began their relationship that very same year, after a party held at Windsor Castle in honour of the Royal Ascot races.[1] Diana, Princess of Wales, Andrew's sister-in-law, played a hand in matchmaking the couple.[2]

Andrew proposed to Sarah on 19 February 1986, his twenty-sixth birthday.[3] Their

engagement was announced on 17 March 1986. Andrew presented Sarah with a Garrard engagement ring made from sketches Andrew himself had made. The ring features a Burma ruby surrounded by ten drop-diamonds. The mounting w

as eighteen-karat white-and-yellow gold.[4]

Andrew's bachelor party was held at Aubrey House in Holland Park. It was attended by Prince Charles, Billy Connolly, David Frost and Elton John.[5]

Wedding ceremonyEdit

Four months after announcing their engagement, Andrew and Sarah married on 23 July 1986 at Westminster Abbey in London. Sarah made her way with her father Ronald from Clarence Hous

e in the Glass Coach, arriving at the church at 11.30.[1] The 45-minute wedding ceremony was conducted by the Most Reverend Robert Runcie, the Archbishop of Canterbury. As the couple exchanged their vows, Sarah mistakenly repeated Andrew's middle name, Christian;[6] five years ago, Diana, Princess of Wales, made similar mistake by reversing the order of Prince Charles's names.[7]

Both of Andrew's brothers participated in the wedding ceremony; Prince Edward was his best man, while Prince Charles read a lesson during the service. The bridesmaids and page boys included Princess Anne's children Peter and Zara Phillips, and Prince Charles's eldest son Prince William.

The Duke and Duchess of York left Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace in an open-top 1902 State Landau. Around 100,000 people gathered to witness the Andrew and Sarah's first kiss as man and wife on the balcony of the palace. After a traditional wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace, the married couple and some 300 guests moved to a party at Claridge's hotel.[6]


Main article: Wedding dress of Sarah Ferguson Prince Andrew was dressed in a ceremonial attire of a naval lieutenant, while Sarah wore an ivory-silk wedding grown designed by Lindka Cierach.[6]

Best man, bridesmaids and page boysEdit

The Prince Edward, Prince Andrew's younger brother, was his best man. The flower girls were Alice Ferguson, Sarah's half-sister from her father Ronald Ferguson's second marriage; Lady Rosanag

h Innes-Ker, the daughter of Guy Innes-Ker, 10th Duke of Roxburghe; Laura Fellowes, the daughter of Diana, Princess of Wales's sister Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes; and Zara Phillips, the daughter of Andrew's sister Anne, Princess Royal. Andrew Ferguson, Sarah's paternal half-brother; Seamus Luedecke, the son of Sarah's sister Jane Luedecke; Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne; and Prince William of Wales were the page boys.[8]

Guest listEdit

Commonwealth realms royal family and relativesEdit

Other descendants of the Prince's great-grandfather King George V and their families:

Other descendants of the Prince's great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria and their families:

The family of Sarah FergusonEdit

  • Major Ronald Ferguson and Susan Ferguson, Sarah's father and stepmother
  • Susan Barrantes and Hector Barrantes, Sarah's mother and stepfather
  • Jane Ferguson, Sarah's sister, twice divorced.
    • Seamus Makim
    • Ayesha Makim
    • Heidi Luedecke
  • Andrew Ferguson, Sarah's paternal half-brother
  • Alice Stileman, Sarah's paternal half-sister
  • Eliza Ferguson, Sarah's paternal half-sister

Members of foreign royal familiesEdit


Other notable guestsEdit

Public receptionEdit

The BBC reported that 500 million television viewers tuned in to watch the wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson. An estimated crowd of 100,000 gathered to see the couple's first public kiss as man and wife on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.[9]


The Duke and Duchess of York made their way to Heathrow Airport in an open carriage, with a paper maiche satellite dish and sign attached reading "Phone Home" put there as a practical joke by Prince Edward, Andrew's younger brother. The Princess of Wales and Viscount Linley, Princess Margaret's son, placed a king-sized teddy bear inside the coach. The couple boarded a royal jet, emblazoned with "Just Married" on the rear door, for the Azores Islands, and then spent their five-day honeymoon aboard the royal yacht Britannia in the Atlantic.[10]

Titles upon marriageEdit

On the day of the wedding, The Queen created Prince Andrew Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh — the titles previously held by his maternal great-grandfather George V and grandfather George VI.[11] Sarah automatically assumed her husband's royal and ducal status, and became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York, Countess of Inverness and Baroness Killyleagh, also attaining the rank of Princess of the United Kingdom.


The Duke and Duchess of York appeared to have a happy marriage, producing two daughters, Princess Beatrice (Beatrice Elizabeth Mary; born 8 August 1988) and Princess Eugenie (Eugenie Victoria Helena; born 23 March 1990), who are currently fifth and sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. However, due to Andrew's obligations as a naval helicopter pilot, as well as critical attention Sarah received from the media, contributed to the couple's estrangement.[12] Andrew and Sarah announced their separation on 19 March 1999,[13] and divorced on 30 May 1996.[14]

After the couple's divorce, Sarah lost the style Her Royal Highness and styled Sarah, Duchess of York.[15] The custody of Beatrice and Eugenie was be shared between their parents, and Sarah even continued to live at the Duke's home, Sunninghill Park, until 2004, when he moved to the Royal Lodge. Sarah even hinted at the idea of remarrying Andrew in several interviews,[16] but numerous personal scandals she was involved in following her divorce led to Sarah not receiving an invitation to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011.[17]

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