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The Prince Andrew, Duke of York (Andrew Albert Christian Edward; born 19 February 1960), is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of his birth, he was second in the line of succession to the thrones of eight independent states; however, after additions to the Royal Family, and an evolution of the Commonwealth, Andrew is currently fourth in line to the thrones of 16 countries. He is resident in and most directly involved with the United Kingdommarker, the oldest realm, while also carrying out duties in and on behalf of the other states of which his mother is sovereign.

Known for his military service and participation in the Falklands War, Andrew's marriage to and subsequent divorce from Sarah Ferguson was widely followed by the tabloid media. As well as carrying out various royal duties, he currently serves as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.

Early life and education

Andrew was born in the Belgian Suite of Buckingham Palacemarker on 19 February 1960, the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and third grandchild of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Baptised in the palace's Music Room on 8 April 1960, by then Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, the Prince's godparents were Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester; Princess Alexandra of Kent; John Elphinstone, Lord Elphinstone; Hugh FitzRoy, Earl of Euston; and Georgina, Lady Kennard, and he was named for his paternal grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.

Andrew was the first child born to a reigning British or Commonwealth realms monarch since Queen Victoria's youngest child, Princess Beatrice, was born in 1857. As the child of the sovereign, Andrew was styled from birth as His Royal Highness and held the title The Prince Andrew.

As with his older siblings, a governess was appointed to look after the Prince and was responsible for his early education at Buckingham Palace. Andrew was then sent to Heatherdown Preparatory Schoolmarker before attending, in September 1973, Gordonstounmarker, in northern Scotlandmarker, as his father and elder brother had done before him. While there, Andrew spent six months from January to June 1977 participating in an exchange programme to Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario, and graduated in July two years later with A-Level in English, history, economics, and political science. Andrew eschewed university, however, choosing instead to enter the Britannia Royal Naval Collegemarker at Dartmouthmarker.

Military service

Royal Navy

It was announced in November 1978 that Andrew would be joining the Royal Navy the following year, and in December he underwent various sporting tests and examinations at the Aircrew Selection Centre, at RAF Biggin Hillmarker, along with further tests and interviews at HMS Daedalusmarker, and interviews at the Admiralty Interview Board, HMS Sultanmarker. Through March and April 1979, the Prince was enrolled at the Royal Naval College Flight, undergoing pilot training, until he was accepted as a trainee helicopter pilot and signed on for 12 years from 11 May 1979. On 1 September of the same year, Andrew was appointed as a midshipman, and entered Dartmouth. Through 1980 he also took the Royal Marines Green Beret commando course.

After passing out of Dartmouth, the Prince went on to elementary flying training with the Royal Air Force at RAF Leemingmarker, and later, basic flying training with the navy at HMS Seahawkmarker, where he learned to fly the Gazelle helicopter. After being awarded his 'Wings', he moved onto more advanced training on the Sea King helicopter, and conducted operational flying training until 1982, when he joined his first front-line unit, 820 Naval Air Squadron, serving aboard the aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible.

Falklands War

The British overseas territory of the Falkland Islandsmarker was invaded by Argentinamarker on 2 April 1982, an event that instigated the Falklands War. The Invincible was one of the two operational aircraft carriers available at the time, and, as such, was to play a major role in the Royal Navy taskforce assembled to sail south to retake the islands. However, Prince Andrew's place on board and the possibility of the Queen's son being killed in action made the British government apprehensive, and the Cabinet desired that Andrew be moved to a desk job for the duration of the conflict. The Queen, though, insisted that her son be allowed to remain with his ship, meaning Andrew remained on board Invincible to serve as a Sea King helicopter co-pilot, flying on missions that included anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, casualty evacuation, transport, and search and air rescue.

At the cessation of the war, Invincible returned to Portsmouthmarker, where the Queen and Prince Philip joined other families of the crew in welcoming the vessel home, after which Prince Andrew laid a wreath at the cenotaph each year on Remembrance Sunday to commemorate the South Atlantic campaign. Though he had brief assignments to HMS Illustrious, RNAS Culdrosemarker, and the Joint Services School of Intelligence, Andrew remained with Invincible until 1983. In Commander Nigel Ward's book, Sea Harrier Over the Falklands, Prince Andrew was described as "an excellent pilot and a very promising officer."

Career naval officer

In late 1983, Andrew transferred to RNAS Portland, was trained to fly the Lynx helicopter, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 1 February 1984, whereupon the Queen appointed him as her personal aide-de-Camp. Andrew then went on to serve aboard HMS Brazen as a flight pilot until 1986, including deployment to the Mediterranean Seamarker as part of Standing NRF Maritime Group 2, and undertook the Lieutenants' Greenwich Staff Course. On 23 October 1986, the Prince transferred to the General List, enrolled in a four month helicopter warfare instructor's course at RNAS Yeoviltonmarker, and, upon graduation, served from February 1987 to April 1988 as a helicopter warfare officer in 702 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Portlandmarker, as well as on HMS Edinburgh as an officer of the watch and assistant navigating officer until 1989, including a six month deployment as part of exercise Outback 88 to the Far East.

Prince Andrew, now the Duke of York, served as flight commander and pilot of the Lynx HAS3 on HMS Campbeltown from 1989 to 1991, during which he also acted as Force Aviation Officer to Standing NRF Maritime Group 1 while the Campbeltown was flagship of the NATOmarker force in the North Atlanticmarker from 1990 to 1991. He then passed the squadron command examination on 16 July 1991, attended the Staff College, Camberley, the following year, and completed the army staff course, becoming a lieutenant-commander on 1 February and passing the ship command examination on 12 March 1992. From 1993 to 1994, Andrew commanded the Hunt Class Minehunter HMS Cottesmore; one of his officers aboard was Sub-Lieutenant J.W. Gold, a special duties electronic warfare officer. This was unusual as such highly specialised officers were usually deployed to major warships that contained a strategic intelligence suite, which did not exist on a mine countermeasures vessel.

From 1995 to 1996, the Prince was posted as Senior Pilot of 815 Naval Air Squadron then the largest flying unit in the Fleet Air Arm his main role in that position being to supervise flying standards and to guarantee an effective operational capability. He was then made a commander on 27 April 1999, and went on to finish his naval career at the British Ministry of Defence until 2001, as an officer of the Diplomatic Directorate of the Naval Staff. In July of that year, the Duke of York was released from the Active List of the navy, and, three years later, was made an honorary captain, rather than the substantive rank of captain, as was traditional.

Marriage and divorce

In his thirties, the prince's apparent reluctance to marry and settle down fueled speculation on the nature of his sexuality. The rumours were vehemently quashed by several of his past girlfriends.

Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbeymarker on 23 July 1986, the same day the Queen created him Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killyleagh all titles previously held by both his maternal great-grandfather and grandfather. Andrew had known Ferguson since childhood, and had met each other occasionally at polo matches, and became re-acquainted with one another at the Royal Ascot in 1985.

The couple appeared to have a happy marriage, producing two daughters, and presenting a united outward appearance through the late 1980s; the Duchess was seen as refreshing in the context of the royal protocol surrounding the Royal Family. However, the Duke of York's frequent travel due to his military career, as well as relentless, often critical, media attention focused on Sarah, led to fractures in the marriage. On 19 March 1992, the couple announced plans to separate, and did so in an amicable way. Some months later, pictures appeared in the tabloid media of Sarah in compromising positions with her then-financial advisor, John Bryan, which effectively ended any hopes of a reconciliation between the Duke and Duchess. Thereafter, the marriage was ended in divorce on 30 May 1996, though the split was friendly, and the Duke of York spoke fondly of his ex-wife: "We have managed to work together to bring our children up in a way that few others have been able to and I am extremely grateful to be able to do that." It was stipulated that the custody of the two Princesses would be shared between their parents, and the Duchess even continued to live at Andrew's home, Sunninghill Parkmarker, until 2004, when he moved to the Royal Lodgemarker. In 2007, Sarah purchased Dolphin House, a mansion directly beside the Royal Lodge.

Official duties

Currently, the Duke of York works with UK Trade & Investment, part of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, as the United Kingdommarker's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. It was from Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, that Andrew took over in this role, which involves the Duke representing the UK at various trade fairs and conferences all over the world. Andrew was also a member of the Scout Association.

Prince Andrew also tours Canada to frequently undertake duties related to his military role there. Rick Peters, the former commanding officer of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada stated: "[Andrew]'s very well informed on Canadian military methods."

Personal interests

The Duke is also a keen golfer, and plays to a low single-figure handicap standard. He was captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrewsmarker between 2003 and 2004 during the club's 250th anniversary season is patron of a number of royal golf clubs, and is an honorary member of many others. This is not without controversy, and the Duke has been criticised for using the Queen's Flight for transport to various golfing functions. In recent years, he has developed strong links with Kazakhstanmarker and is a regular goose hunting companion of the country's dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 19 February 1960 23 July 1986: His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew
  • 23 July 1986 : His Royal Highness The Duke of York

The Prince's style and title in full: His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, Baron Killyleagh, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Canadian Forces Decoration, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty. In May 2007, Andrew was entitled to be called His Grace The Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Naval ranks





Honorary military appointments


New Zealand

United Kingdom




Name Birth Marriage Issue
Princess Beatrice of York 8 August 1988 N/A N/A NA
Princess Eugenie of York 23 March 1990 N/A N/A NA

External links


 in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland

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