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Pages from royal history: Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson

On 23 July 1986, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey in London.

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Thousands of people lined London’s streets, and an international audience of approximately 500 million gathered around their television sets to catch a view The Queen’s second son marry.

Sarah Ferguson arrived at Westminster Abbey 1130 BST arriving from Clarence House in the Glass Coach with her father, Ronald Ferguson.

The Glass Coach is one of the primary State carriages. Built by Peters & Sons of London in 1881, it was designed as a Sheriff’s coach. In 1911, it was purchased for the Coronation of King George V.

The Coach is used for State occasions, but it is most recognised for its use at Royal Weddings. In 1947, it was used to carry Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh from their wedding at Westminster Abbey. In 1981, the Coach carried the then Lady Diana Spencer to her wedding to Prince Charles.

Prince Andrew wore the ceremonial dress of a naval lieutenant, his soon to be wife wore an ivory silk wedding gown designed by Lindka Cierach.

On his wedding day, Her Majesty conferred Prince Andrew with the titles, The Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh. The first two titles were formerly held by his great-grandfather King George V and grandfather King George VI. Upon marriage, Sarah became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York, Countess of Inverness and Baroness of Killyleagh.

Prince Edward was best man for the wedding, and Prince Charles read the lesson. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie conducted the service.

Joining the families of the bride and groom, were guests that included numerous foreign royals, First Lady Nancy Reagan and Elton John.

After signing the register, The Duke and Duchess of York rode to Buckingham Palace in the 1902 open-topped State Landau.

It is estimated close to 100,000 people gathered at the gates of Buckingham Palace to witness the newlyweds kiss on the balcony.

Andrew and Sarah’s wedding party was held a Claridges Hotel later that day. The Duke and Duchess spent their honeymoon in The Azores aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Photo Credit: By Elke Wetzig (Elya) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Ricky

    I see that one of Prince Andrew’s titles is Baron Killyleagh. Wouldn’t his wife be Baroness Killyleagh, without the word “of” in between? (the article says “of”)

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