Sarah Ferguson is speaking about the scrutiny Prince Andrew has faced in recent years.
The Duchess of York, 63, appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday to discuss her new novel, A Most Intriguing Lady, on the day of the book’s release. The Duchess spoke about life after Queen Elizabeth‘s death, relating to her text’s heroine Lady Mary and the upcoming coronation of King Charles III before the conversation turned to her ex-husband, the Duke of York.
“You’ve been divorced for many, many years, and yet you’ve been Andrew’s rock,” correspondent Juju Chang asked. “What’s it been like watching him go through this withering public scrutiny?”
“So sad, so sad,” Sarah replied. “We’ve been there for each other — you know, when I’ve gone through really bad times in the past, Andrew’s always been there.”
“He is exceptionally kind, and he is a very, seriously good grandfather. He’s very steadfast for the girls,” she continued, referencing their daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. “We are women that also have had to see the demise of a very strong man, and that has been really difficult to see.”
Sarah and Andrew wed in 1986, receiving the titles of Duke and Duchess of York upon their marriage. They went on to welcome their two daughters before splitting in 1992 and divorcing in 1996. Though the marriage ended over 25 years ago, the pair remained close and even live together in Windsor.
Prince Andrew made headlines worldwide when his affiliation with the now-convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein came to light in 2019. The royal has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In January 2022, the day after a judge in the U.S. rejected Andrew’s attempt to have Epstein tracking victim Virginia Giuffre‘s sexual assault lawsuit against the prince dismissed, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth had stripped her son of his military titles and patronages. The Duke of York would no longer undertake public engagements as a working royal. About a month later, Andrew and Giuffree reached an out-of-court settlement.
During the Duchess’ new GMA interview, Chang noted in a voiceover that Sarah said the scandals surrounding Prince Andrew brought her closer to the Queen.
“We were his bookends during the last three years, and she really was my idol. Really was my legend,” Sarah told Chang of her relationship with Queen Elizabeth, who died in September at age 96.
The Duchess’ relationship with her ex-husband similarly came up during her appearance at The 92nd Street Y, New York on Monday night to discuss A Most Intriguing Lady. Sarah shared similarly supportive words on Andrew’s behalf when moderator Samantha Barry brought up the topic.
“You live with him when you’re in the U.K. Talk to me about that relationship. It seems like a very modern divorce, you live with your ex-husband,” the Editor in chief of Glamour asked.
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“Well, I don’t really. I live in the clouds — not in my head, I travel a lot, and just very lucky. I really believe that family unity is to communicate, as we’ve created. I really feel strongly about it. I also feel that he… in 1986, I married a very good man,” she replied.
Pushing the subject, Barry said, “Let’s be honest, he’s had a pretty challenging couple years. He’s stepped away from royal duties because of what’s been in the news. How has that affected you, though?”
“Well, the thing is that the girls and I are called ‘the tripod,’ but it’s very sad to see the cruelty given to another, and I feel very strongly that the most important thing is keep Beatrice and Eugenie and the tripod, and the best way we can win is by success. And my goodness, the girls are incredible at what they do,” the Duchess replied.