Andrew Albert Christian Edward was born on February 19, 1960 at Buckingham Palace. He is the third of the four children of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born a Prince of Greece and Denmark). At the time of his birth, Andrew’s mother had been Queen for eight years and he was styled His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew. On April 8, 1960, Andrew was baptized in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace. The infant prince was wide awake throughout the ceremony and “let out two lusty yells” according to the UPI article about the christening. Andrew was named for his paternal grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece, who had died in 1944. His godparents were:
- Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, his maternal great-uncle
- Princess Alexandra of Kent, his first cousin once removed
- Hugh FitzRoy, Earl of Euston, later the 11th Duke of Grafton
- John Elphinstone, 17th Lord Elphinstone, his first cousin once removed
- Mrs. Harold Phillips, a friend of Queen Elizabeth
In 1964, when Andrew was four years old, Prince Edward, the youngest child of the family was born.
Like his elder brother and sister, Andrew began his education with a governess at Buckingham Palace. When he was eight years old, Andrew began to attend Heatherdown School in Winkfield, Berkshire, England. In 1973, when he was 13, Andrew moved on to Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland, which his father and elder brother had also attended. From January to June 1977, Andrew participated in an exchange program and attended Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada. Andrew graduated from Gordonstoun School in 1979.
In September 1979, Andrew was appointed as a Midshipman and entered Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth. Andrew also completed Royal Marines All Arms Commando Course. He then took his flight training and was certified as a pilot for the Gazelle helicopter and the Sea King helicopter. Andrew then joined the 820 Naval Air Squadron serving aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible.
Andrew served on the HMS Invincible during the Falklands War. The British government wanted Andrew assigned to a desk job for the duration of the war, but the Queen insisted that Andrew be allowed to stay with the ship. Andrew continued to serve in the Royal Navy until his retirement in July 2001.
Prince Andrew’s Naval Ranks
- 1979–1981: Midshipman
- 1981–1984: Sub Lieutenant
- 1984–1993: Lieutenant
- 1993–1999: Lieutenant Commander
- 1999–2005: Commander
- 2005–2010: Honorary Captain
- 2010: Honorary Rear Admiral
In 1985, Andrew became romantically involved with Sarah Ferguson. Sarah’s father, Major Ronald Ferguson, was polo manager for the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales, so Andrew and Sarah had first met as children. On February 19, 1986, Andrew’s birthday, at the Scottish home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, where their romance first started, Andrew proposed to Sarah. Their engagement was announced on March 17, 1986. The couple married at Westminster Abbey on July 23, 1986. On his wedding day, Andrew was created Duke of York, the traditional title of the second son of the monarch, along with the subsidiary titles, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killyleagh. These titles were also held by his maternal grandfather, King George VI, and his maternal great-grandfather, King George V, both of whom were second sons of monarchs. For more information on Andrew and Sarah and their wedding, see Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.
Andrew and Sarah appeared to have a happy marriage, producing two daughters, Princess Beatrice (born August 8, 1988) and Princess Eugenie (born March 23, 1990). However, it was reported that Andrew’s obligations as a naval helicopter pilot and negative attention Sarah received from the media contributed to the couple’s estrangement. Andrew and Sarah announced their separation on March 19, 1992, and divorced on May 30, 1996. The Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York (her style upon her divorce) are on amicable terms with each other and are both devoted parents to their daughters.
Andrew carries out engagements in support of The Queen in the United Kingdom and overseas. He also works to recognize the importance of service and the voluntary sector, supporting and acting as Patron of a number of charitable organizations. More information about Andrew’s work can be seen at The Official Website of HRH The Duke of York.
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