Fergie & Andrew: Inside their unusual marriage

For years, the fact that Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York have lived – and indeed holidayed – happily together despite divorcing in the ’90s has raised eyebrows across the Commonwealth.

Friends have long insisted that Andrew and Fergie, both 60, “love each other, but aren’t in love with each other”, and have separate rooms at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.

However, some palace insiders have suggested rumours the pair is getting back together may not be true – and in fact they have privately considered themselves still married all along, despite romances with other people.

“They’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in recent years,” says a source. “They’ve seen both their daughters happily married to wonderful men, and Andrew is still struggling against accusations that he slept with an underage girl ‘procured’ by his paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein – despite this, Fergie has stood by him.

There has been speculation that they might get remarried, both for love and for her to show public support to Andrew. But it won’t be a conventional royal marriage in the way you might think.”

Our insider speculates that the pair has remained together despite separating in 1992 and not divorcing until 1996.

In that time, both were enjoying flings with others, but neither “seemed too worried about their estranged spouses finding out”.

An insider says: “It’s been long suspected that they never really split, but were in a sort of open marriage situation and when they kept getting publicly caught out, they agreed to make a show of splitting and divorcing to save embarrassment to the monarchy”.

And now, in what may prove our source’s claims, New Idea has exclusively uncovered a strange encounter between Fergie and a male fan during a royal trip to LA back in 1988.

On arrival into Southern California, a rapturous crowd greeted the pair with cries of “Fergie! Fergie! We love you!” as Andrew, according to an onlooker, “affably took a back seat to his megastar wife”.

The witness, who reported the scene to a 1988 issue of Time magazine, says Fergie publicly and suggestively propositioned a “male admirer” with “I’ll see you later!”

It’s not clear whether Fergie made good on her promise, but an insider says: “Fergie has always been a massive flirt, and Andrew a ladies’ man. It wouldn’t surprise me if despite being together, they had their own little flings with each others’ approval, even to this day.”

Late last year, at the height of Andrew’s scandal, he was asked to step back from official royal duties.

But even as the Queen publicly distanced herself from her second son, Fergie stood by him, releasing a statement declaring: “Andrew is a real and true gentleman, and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness of seeing the best in people…”

Says a source: “That’s about as close to a confession of lasting devotion as you’ll get and it suggests that in their minds, they’re still very much married, even if not in a conventional sense.”