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The Surprising Royal Romance Causing a Rift Between the Queen and Prince Philip

Best Life logo Best Life 13/08/2019 Diane Clehane

Video provided by USA Today

Oh, to be a fly on the wall at tea time at the royal retreat this week. Just when it looked as if Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, were inching toward officially getting Queen Elizabeth’s approval on getting back together during their recent stay at Balmoral, Her Majesty’s favorite retreat in the Scottish highlands, things have taken an awkward turn with the arrival of Prince Philip.

The famously friendly exes, who married in 1986 and divorced in 1996 (but lived together after their spilt), have had the royal rumor mill working overtime with speculation that they may be getting remarried. I reported back in 2018 that the Queen was not in favor of a remarriage, but Her Majesty may be warming to the idea. In recent years, the Queen has included Fergie at several events, including Royal Ascot, while Philip has maintained his reportedly strong dislike of his ex-daughter-in-law since her headline-making spilt from Andrew.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
© Getty

“Her Majesty has grown more accepting of her sons’ relationships in recent years,” a royal source disclosed to me. “She eventually came around to Charles marrying Camilla, but in the case of Andrew and Sarah, the Duke’s objections are a sticking point.”

Sarah and Andrew have been spotted together with increasing frequency in the past year, including their joint appearance at their younger daughter Princess Eugenie’s wedding in the fall of 2018. “Sarah and Andrew have never been closer,” the insider said. “They’ve always had feelings for one another and now, it seems, something has changed and they seem intent on being more public with their relationship. But the Duke of Edinburgh does not approve and it’s causing some tension.”

a man sitting on a motorcycle: During World War II, then 16-year-old Princess Elizabeth, heiress to the British throne, was eager to join the armed forces. But her father, King George VI, was wary. Eventually, he relented and she was commissioned as an honorary second subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.When she began training in 1945, at 19 years old, she became the first woman in the royal family to be a full-time active member in the women’s service. She passed a military driving test, learned to read maps, and repaired engines. There is a famous photograph of her working on a vehicle, which is currently displayed at the International Museum of World War II in Massachusetts. © Provided by Best Life

During World War II, then 16-year-old Princess Elizabeth, heiress to the British throne, was eager to join the armed forces. But her father, King George VI, was wary. Eventually, he relented and she was commissioned as an honorary second subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

When she began training in 1945, at 19 years old, she became the first woman in the royal family to be a full-time active member in the women’s service. She passed a military driving test, learned to read maps, and repaired engines. There is a famous photograph of her working on a vehicle, which is currently displayed at the International Museum of World War II in Massachusetts.

So, when Philip arrived unexpectedly early at Balmoral this past weekend, Fergie was forced to bolt and was spotted on a British Airways flight back home on Sunday. A source told the Daily Mail: “In previous years the duchess has left the day before the Queen’s husband arrives. This year he arrived several days earlier than expected, which is rather strange, so the duchess left.”

As if having being named in the exhaustive coverage of Jeffrey Epstein’s death wasn’t enough to deal with, Andrew now has to face his father—who insiders tell me is “livid” about having his son’s name mixed up with the accused pedophile who committed suicide last week—without Fergie by his side.

The Duchess of York has remained an outsider for decades and was not invited to Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011. When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2019, she was invited, but was not seated with Andrew and their daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, at St. George’s Chapel. Nonetheless, the duchess made sure the press recorded how happy she was to be included in the festivities. “The duchess took it as a good sign and was hopeful the family’s feelings towards her were finally changing,” my royal source said.

But, for the Queen’s reportedly favorite son, his notoriously opinionated father may be the final stumbling block to remarrying Sarah. “Andrew is also quite strong-willed, but the Queen will not go against Philip’s wishes on this,” the insider added. “It’s a delicate situation.” And for more about royal nuptials of the past, check out the 30 Most Fascinating Facts About Royal Weddings.

Pictures: 40 not-so-flattering photos of the Royal Family


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