Paying their respects. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson appeared alongside their daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, at Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral on Monday, September 19.
The Duke and the Duchess of York, both 62, joined Beatrice, 34, and Eugenie, 32, at Westminster Abbey to honor the late monarch after previously reuniting to look at floral tributes left outside Windsor Castle on Friday, September 16.
During the memorial service on Monday, Andrew appeared in his morning suit instead of his military outfit. He was previously granted permission to dress in his military attire at the final vigil on Saturday, September 17, as a sign of respect for his mother.
Andrew and Ferguson previously exchanged vows at the same royal church in July 1986. Following six years of marriage, the duo announced their decision to separate and were officially divorced four years later in 1996.
The A Gift of Kindness author later opened up about how she maintained a close bond with her ex-husband following their split. “Although we are not a couple, we really believe in each other. The Yorks are a united family. We’ve shown it,” she told the Daily Mail in November 2018. “You saw it at the wedding. My duty is to him. I am so proud of him. I stand by him and always will. The way we are is our fairytale.”
Ferguson continued: “So many people have asked me [if we’ll get back together], but we’re so happy with the way we are right now. We enjoy each other’s company; we allow each other to blossom. I know it sounds like a fairytale but that’s the way we are.”
The Young Victoria star also referred to the queen as her “greatest mentor” years after her divorce. “I think to myself that honestly, my mother-in-law has been more of a mother to me than my mother,” the Weight Watchers spokesperson said on an episode of the “Tea with Twiggy” podcast in August 2021. “[She’s] never faltered.”
At the time, Ferguson gushed about Elizabeth’s support of her over the years, adding, “I absolutely admire the incredible way Her Majesty is so modern … and how flexible, and how understanding, and how forgiving and how generous.”
After 70 years on the British throne, Elizabeth passed away at her Balmoral estate in Scotland on September 8. Ahead of her funeral, Andrew paid tribute to his mother in an emotional message.
“Dear Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty, three in one. Your Majesty, it has been an honor and privilege to serve you,” he wrote in a statement on Sunday, September 18. “Mother — of the nation, your devotion and personal service to our nation is unique and singular; your people show their love and respect in so many different ways and I know you are looking on honoring their respect.”
His message continued: “Mummy, your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence I will treasure forever. I have found your knowledge and wisdom infinite, with no boundary or containment. … I will miss your insights, advice and humor. As our book of experiences closes, another opens, and I will forever hold you close to my heart with my deepest love and gratitude, and I will tread gladly into the next with you as my guide.”
As members of the royal family honored Elizabeth, Ferguson took to social media to reflect on the queen’s legacy. “I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen,” she wrote via Twitter that same day. “She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 60 years.”
In the heartfelt message, the England native praised the sovereign for giving “her whole life selflessly to the people” of the U.K. and Commonwealth. “I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce,” she concluded. “I will miss her more than words can express.”