Following the announcement of Prince Philip’s death on April 9, 2021, many questions have been raised about what the Duke of Edinburgh‘s funeral will look like during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and who will be invited. One person who royal fans are particularly curious about is Prince Andrew‘s ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York.
Prince Philip famously feuded with his former daughter-in-law for years even after she and the Duke of York divorced. But more recently Queen Elizabeth II welcomed Sarah back into the royal circle and these days the duchess and Andrew live under the same roof. So will she attend Philip’s funeral?
Who is expected to attend the funeral and will Sarah Ferguson be there?
Under the U.K. government’s Covid-19 guidelines only 30 people will be able to attend Prince Philip’s funeral on April 17. Among those in attendance will be the queen and the duke’s four children and their spouses as well as their grandchildren and some of their partners including Prince William and his wife, Prince Harry, Peter Philips, Zara Tindall, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
Beatrice and Eugenie’s mother canceled her daily storytime YouTube series for a week as well as a recent appearance in the wake of Prince Philip’s death. However, it’s believed that she won’t be at the service given the strained relationship she and Philip had over the years.
“It is unlikely Andrew’s former wife and close companion Sarah Ferguson will attend the funeral,” TV host and Daily Mail columnist Dan Wootton said (per the Express).
Did Philip and Fergie bury the hatchet before his death?
Sarah and Andrew tied the knot in 1986 but a few years later their marriage started to crumble and in 1992 an embarrassing scandal made front page news. While vacationing in St. Tropez, the duchess was photographed sunbathing topless with her toes in the mouth of her financial adviser John Bryan.
The morning the pictures were published Sarah was staying at the Balmoral estate with her in-laws when they came across the photos during breakfast. The news was a huge embarrassment for the royal family and something that Philip, in particular, was livid about. For decades, the Duke of Edinburgh refused to even be in the same room as Sarah but after appearing at some of the same royal events many have wondered if the two were ever able to bury the hatchet.
According to The Telegraph’s associate editor Camilla Tominey, while the royal family patriarch never fully forgave Sarah he did soften his stance toward her in the later years of his life.
“Prince Philip has never really forgiven Fergie for some of the unfortunate headlines of the past,” Tominey previously said, before adding, “It used to be the case that when the queen invited Fergie and the girls up to Balmoral, he would disappear and go to the Isle of Wight because he didn’t want to be in the same place as her. That slightly melted in that he was at both Eugenie and Beatrice’s wedding.”
Princess Eugenie shares touching tribute to her grandfather
On April 14, Sarah’s daughter Eugenie posted a heartfelt tribute to Philip on her Instagram account.
“We all miss you,” she wrote. “You would be so touched by all the tributes that have been shared with me the past few days. People remember sitting next to you at a dinner, or shaking your hand once, who remember you saying hello in passing, or remember how much their DofE award meant to them. I remember learning how to cook, how to paint, what to read. I remember laughing at your jokes and asking about your spectacular life and service in the navy. I remember incinerating the sausages and you swooping in to save the day. I remember your hands and your laugh and your favorite beer. “
The princess concluded her post by saying, “I will remember you in your children, your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Thank you for your dedication and love for us all and especially Granny, who we will look after for you. “
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