New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - THIS WEEK IN... - Vivi­enne Archer

The Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge’s third baby hasn’t even been born yet, but the lit­tle prince or princess is al­ready mak­ing his­tory.

Re­gard­less of gen­der, Wil­liam and Cather­ine’s new­born will take its place as fifth-in-line to the throne, thanks to the laws of suc­ces­sion chang­ing prior to the birth of Prince George in 2013, which ended male pref­er­ence pri­mo­gen­i­ture.

Baby Cam­bridge num­ber three also knocks the rest of the House of Wind­sor down a rung on the lad­der of suc­ces­sion – and cru­cially for the Duke of York, his new niece or nephew could prove the an­swer to a sit­u­a­tion fraught with prob­lems.

Ru­mours are swirling in Bri­tain that Prince An­drew and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York are back to­gether and plan­ning to re­marry. It’s a wish made pos­si­ble by the fact An­drew is soon to be­come sev­enth in line to the throne, and crit­i­cally, would no longer need the Queen’s per­mis­sion to tie the knot, as it’s only the first six roy­als in line who must legally do so.

While the pair have been sep­a­rated for 25 years and di­vorced for more than 20, they have re­mained fa­mously close, liv­ing to­gether in Wind­sor and even pur­chas­ing a lux­ury Swiss re­sort to­gether.

‘ It’s lovely that we are such a fam­ily and the story has a happy end­ing all the time’

But while the no­tion An­drew (57) doesn’t need his mother’s bless­ing to re­marry makes the prospect of a re­union that much eas­ier, spec­u­la­tion that the former lovers have reunited has been grow­ing stronger since as early as 2013. That year, Fergie (58) was sur­pris­ingly in­vited to Bal­moral by the Queen (91) af­ter years of ex­ile. Plus, in an in­ter­view dur­ing that pe­riod, the duchess called An­drew her “hand­some prince”, and re­fused to deny re­ports the pair were plan­ning a wed­ding.

“He’s still my hand­some prince, he’ll al­ways be my hand­some prince,” she told The Tele­graph news­pa­per.

“It’s lovely that we are such a fam­ily and the story has a happy end­ing all the time... and that’s the way we are.”

And last year dur­ing

an in­ter­view with an Aus­tralian ra­dio sta­tion, the duchess re­vealed she and An­drew had ap­par­ently reunited.

“We’re di­vorced to each other right now,” she said, fol­low­ing a di­rect ques­tion ask­ing if she and An­drew will get back to­gether, be­fore adding, “We’ve never re­ally left each other.”

When the host asked if that meant “you’re still to­gether sort of”, she replied, “Yes.”

“I think the hap­pily ever af­ter... I’m ac­tu­ally writ­ing a book about that too.”

But the one thing stop­ping an ap­par­ent hap­pily ever af­ter is An­drew’s fa­ther, Prince Philip (96). The Duke of Ed­in­burgh is said to de­test Fergie fol­low­ing the mul­ti­ple scan­dals she in­flicted on the royal fam­ily, in­clud­ing the in­fa­mous toe-suck­ing pic­tures of 1992, and the shock­ing in­ci­dent in 2010 where she was ex­posed try­ing to sell ac­cess to her ex-hus­band to an un­der­cover re­porter for al­most $1 mil­lion.

Philip (96) has fa­mously vowed to never be in the same room as his former daugh­ter-in-law, and called her “odd and point­less” fol­low­ing her and An­drew’s break-up, an in­sult that stuck with Fergie in the years fol­low­ing and which she says caused her to plunge into a dark de­pres­sion.

While the Queen’s at­ti­tude to her former daugh­ter-in-law has soft­ened in re­cent years – largely to please An­drew who is said to be her favourite son – ac­cord­ing to royal in­sid­ers, there is ab­so­lutely no chance of Philip fol­low­ing suit.

Fergie pulls An­drew’s strings,” says a source close to the royal fam­ily.

“An­drew pulls the Queen’s strings. That’s why she’s at

‘A ta­ble can’t stand on three legs, re­ally, so you have the duke and I, and the two girls. We’re a fam­ily unit’

Bal­moral. For some­one who can be so bonkers in her per­sonal life, she is ex­traor­di­nar­ily shrewd when it comes to man­ag­ing her re­la­tion­ship with the Queen.”

How­ever, de­spite Philip’s dis­dain for Fergie, once the new Cam­bridge child is born, there will be noth­ing stop­ping the Yorks from ty­ing the knot for the sec­ond time – a thought that’s sure to bring joy to the cou­ple’s two chil­dren, Princesses Beatrice (29) and Eu­ge­nie (27).

“A ta­ble goes best with four legs,” Fergie said of her fam­ily in Septem­ber this year.

“A ta­ble can’t stand on three legs, re­ally, so you have the duke and I, and the two girls. We’re a fam­ily

unit and we lead by ex­am­ple. We sup­port each other emo­tion­ally and we sup­port each other health­wise.”

Fergie has also been qui­etly, but notably, re-en­ter­ing royal life fol­low­ing years of self-ex­ile. Last year, her name was fea­tured on the Court Cir­cu­lar, which de­tails en­gage­ments of the royal fam­ily, for the first time since 1997 when she at­tended the fu­neral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

She has also be­come an am­bas­sador for the Bri­tish

Heart Foun­da­tion – “it’s what I love to do,” she says of rep­re­sent­ing char­i­ties.

“But it’s been many years since I’ve been for­mally out in public, so this is a huge first for me... The dam­age of neg­a­tive press can com­pletely change your life. But for the first time in seven years, this is me want­ing to step for­ward.”

And, per­haps fore­shad­ow­ing what is to come, she adds,

“It’s a mas­sive step – big­ger than any­one can imag­ine.”

MARCH 1986The play­ful cou­ple posed for pho­tos as they an­nounced their en­gage­ment.APRIL 1986Early in their en­gage­ment, the Queen al­ready ap­peared to have her con­cerns for the pair­ing. Be­low: Fergie found a royal friend in Diana.JUNE 1987

J U LY 1987Above: See­ing dou­ble on an of­fi­cial visit to In­ver­ness, Scot­land. Right: De­spite break­ing up two years ear­lier, the pair re­mained lov­ingly close. Be­low: The proud par­ents wel­comed their daugh­ter, Princess Beatrice, to the world.M AY 199 4 Howdy, part­ner! The pair were bliss­fully in love when they em­barked on a royal tour of Canada.AU­GUST 1988 JULY 1987

The cou­ple were in good spir­its at Royal As­cot in June 2015.

AU­GUST 1995Nine months be­fore of­fi­ciallydi­vorc­ing, the sep­a­rated cou­plewere all smiles.

Di­vorce did not put a stop to fam­ily ski hol­i­days with daugh­ters Eu­ge­nie (left) and Beatrice.

SEPTEM­BER 1997Fergie leaned on An­drew af­ter Princess Diana’s death.

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