The One Royal Wedding the Queen Doesn’t Want to Happen

Ex-spouses are meant to stay exes, per the matriarch.

The One Royal Wedding the Queen Doesn’t Want to Happen

Ex-spouses are meant to stay exes, per the matriarch.

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There may be another royal wedding in the offing, but this time Queen Elizabeth II won’t be happy about it.

The rumor mill in Britain is working overtime speculating on whether Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson are planning to remarry. The ex-spouses appeared very chummy when they were recently spotted together at the Royal Enclosure at Ascot with their daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and have been spending more time together since Eugenie’s engagement to Jack Brooksbank.

Earlier this year, Sarah told Hello, “A table can’t stand on three legs, really, so you have the Duke and I, and the two girls. We’re a family unit and we lead by example.”

“The duke and duchess have always had a close relationship,” one palace insider told me. “It appears that since Eugenie’s engagement something has changed. Sarah appears much happier and has been seen publically in Andrew’s company a great deal more than she had in the past.”

The ex-couple, who married in July 1986, have remained close, even though they divorced in 1992. In fact, they live in the same house. They are frequently spotted dining together in London and, in 2013—twenty years after their divorce—purchased a ski chalet in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier together.

Sarah still refers to Andrew as “my handsome prince” and “best friend.” Plus, Andrew has reportedly not been involved in a serious relationship since his divorce.

Fergie, as she is known in the British tabloids, is one of the most infamous figures of the royal family. The daughter of Prince Charles’ polo manager, Ronald Ferguson, she was introduced to Andrew by Princess Diana. The Duchess of York (she retained her title, but lost her HRH designation in the divorce) became restless early in her marriage, when Andrew was away serving in the royal navy, and had some high profile dalliances that embarrassed the royals. The last straw came in 1992 when she was photographed lounging poolside topless in the South of France while her “financial advisor,” Texan John Bryan, appeared to be sucking her toes. She was summoned back to England by the Queen and summarily banished from the family shortly thereafter.

She was not invited to Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton. But Prince Harry, who is close to Beatrice and Eugenie, invited her to St. George’s Chapel for his wedding to Meghan Markle, though Prince Charles reportedly left her off the guest list for the black tie dinner at Frogmore House he hosted for the newlyweds that evening.

“The Queen has been welcoming to Sarah in recent years—but only when Prince Philip isn’t there. Some members of the family have kept their distance,” said my source. “But they have to deal with her now that Eugenie is getting married. The duchess is taking the opportunity to try to mend some fences in the process.”

There’s another reason some royal watchers think the couple are thinking of remarrying. With the birth of Prince Louis, Andrew has been bumped down to seventh in line for the throne. Only the first six in line need the Queen’s permission to marry.

“The Queen has relaxed her attitude on divorce, as we first saw with the Prince of Wales, and then when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle,” my source told me. “She has been accepting of Sarah back into the family, but there is next to no chance Her Majesty would want Andrew and Sarah to remarry. Prince Philip would most certainly disapprove.”

But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

“There is the definite possibility they may remarry, but it is highly unlikely that would happen during the Queen’s or Prince Philip’s lifetime,” said my source. “When Prince Charles becomes king, everything is going to change. Charles waited four decades to be with his true love. It’s not a huge leap to think he won’t try to stop his brother from reuniting with his.” And for more royal intrigue, Here’s How the Queen Really Feels About Meghan Markle.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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