Who Is Prince Andrew?
Prince Andrew, Duke of York was born in 1960 at Buckingham Palace, to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. He joined the Royal Navy in 1979 and subsequently became a helicopter pilot, serving as such for 22 years. In 1986 he married Sarah Ferguson in a whirlwind of media attention, but in 1996, the couple divorced amid further media attention. He has served England in various capacities, most recently as a special representative for international trade and investment.
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Early Life and Education
Prince Andrew (Andrew Albert Christian Edward, in full) was born on February 19, 1960 at Buckingham Palace, in London. The first child born to a sitting monarch in 103 years, his mother was Queen Elizabeth II and his father was Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Young Andrew was taught by a governess at Buckingham Palace until he was eight years old, and then he was sent to Heatherdown Preparatory School, in Ascot. When he was 13, Prince Andrew moved on to the Gordonstoun School in Morayshire, Scotland, where his father and older brother, Prince Charles, went before him.
The year 1977 found Prince Andrew at Lakefield College School in Ontario, Canada, and in 1979, he attended the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth — a path that led to joining the Royal Navy as an officer and training to become a pilot.
When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a British territory, in 1982, the ship on which Prince Andrew was stationed, the HMS Invincible, was to be sent to retake the island. Throughout the conflict, he flew on various missions and helped with casualty evacuation, transport and search-and-rescue operations. After completing his first frontline tour, Prince Andrew was promoted to lieutenant in February 1984, and the queen appointed him as a personal aide-de-camp.
Marriage and Divorce From Sarah Ferguson
In July 1986, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, whom he had known since childhood — Princess Diana, a longtime friend, was reported to have encouraged the pairing — and once they were married, the queen named the newlyweds the duke and duchess of York. The wedding and subsequent marriage were conducted amidst a media frenzy, which in part contributed to the pair's eventual separation in 1992, as well as their divorce four years later.
They had two children together, Beatrice Elizabeth Mary (born on August 8, 1988) and Eugenie Victoria Helena (born on March 23, 1990).
Posts and Patronages
Prince Andrew formally left the Royal Navy at the end of July 2001. Four years later, in July 2005, he was promoted to honorary captain. He went on to hold several posts in the British army, navy, air force and Commonwealth forces, and became the UK's special representative for international trade and investment.
Also involved with numerous organizations, he has served as patron of Fight for Sight, the British Deaf Association, the Children's Foundation, the British Science Association and the Outward Bound Trust.
In November 2019 Prince Andrew announced he was stepping back from public duties over the "disruption" caused by his connection to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who had died by suicide in a Manhattan jail a few months earlier.
"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein," the duke said in a statement, adding that he would be willing to help with any law enforcement investigations.
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