Royals

Happy Birthday Prince Andrew: 7 things you may not know about the Duke of York

The Duke of York is celebrating his 59th birthday!

He's Queen Elizabeth's third child and father to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie - ahead of Prince Andrew's 59th birthday on February 19, we take a look at seven things you may not know about the Duke of York.
Two-year-old Prince Andrew at Windsor Castle in September 1962. (Image: Getty)

1. He was born second in line for the throne

Born Andrew Albert Christian Edward on February 19 1960, Prince Andrew is the younger brother of Prince Charles and Princess Anne and the older brother to Prince Edward.
Despite being the Queen's third child, because he was the second eldest son, he was born second in line for the throne, in accordance with the Royal Marriages Act 1772.
Several decades later this was replaced by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which now means anyone born after 28 October 2011, will precede their younger siblings in the line of succession, regardless of sex.
Prince Andrew currently sits seventh in line to the throne but following the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes first child he will become eighth.
The Royal family in the gardens of Windsor in 1968. From left: Prince Philip, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, the Queen, Prince Andrew and Prince Charles. (Image: Getty)

2. He was the first child born to a reigning monarch in 103 years

Because Prince Charles and Princess Anne were born before the Queen ascended the throne, Prince Andrew became the first child born to a reigning monarch for 103 years.
The last child born before him was Queen Victoria's youngest child, Princess Beatrice in 1857.

3. Princess Diana played matchmaker for Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson

While Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson's mothers both went to school together, the pair didn't become friends until their teenage years.
Diana reportedly played matchmaker for Prince Andrew and Fergie, who had met each other several times growing up, by inviting her to stay at Windsor Castle in 1985 for the Queen's Ascot Week.
Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana were close friends growing up and it was reportedly Diana who played matchmaker for Prince Andrew and Fergie. (Image: Getty)
After a whirlwind romance, he and Fergie tied the knot one year later on July 23, 1986 at Westminster Abbey.
Their wedding was televised and watched by more than 500 million people.
Theirs was the last royal wedding at the abbey before Prince William and Kate's fairytale nuptials in 2011. On the same day the pair were given the titles Duke and Duchess of York.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson seal their marriage with a kiss on the balcony on July 23, 1986. (Image: Getty)

4. He served 22 years in the royal navy – beginning his military career in 1978

Prince Andrew began his military career in 1978 at the age of 18 when he entered the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth after graduating school.
During his career he served as a helicopter pilot and captain of a warship and was active during the Falklands War.
It was reportedly his long periods away from home for his career that lead to his separation with Fergie.
Prince Andrew at Port Stanley following the Falklands War in June 1982. (Image: Getty)

5. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson separated in 1992 but remain very close

The Prince's extensive travelling for his career as a naval officer reportedly put strain on his marriage with Fergie and the couple announced their separation in 1992, finalising their divorce in 1996.
During an interview with Oprah Sarah said, "I saw him 40 days a year for the first five years of our marriage.
"I had to learn how to be a princess on my own."
Following the divorce the couple had shared custody of their children, Princess Beatrice, 30, and Princess Eugenie, 28, and have remained remarkably close, with Fergie still residing with the Prince at the Royal Lodge, Windsor.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson with their daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice in 1999. The couple have stayed remarkable close despite finalising their divorce in 1996. (Image: Getty)
The couple's closeness has fuelled rumours that they may get remarried, however in an interview with The Daily Mail in late 2018, Fergie revealed the pair are happy the way they are.
"We're so happy with the way we are right now. We enjoy each other's company; we allow each other to blossom.
"I know it sounds like a fairytale but that's the way we are," the 59-year-old said, putting speculation of a rekindling romance to rest.

6. He is now a full-time royal

Following his career in the military, Prince Andrew is now a full-time working member of the Royal Family, carrying out official engagements in support of the Queen and working to promote economic growth and skilled job creation in the UK.
According to his royal bio, the Duke of York focuses his activity on three core areas; education and skills, entrepreneurship and science, technology and engineering.

7. A photo that his daughter posted of him on Instagram got her in trouble

In 2018, a sweet and seemingly innocent photo Princess Eugenie posted of her father on Instagram apparently got her in a lot of trouble.
The image showed her father posing in the halls of Kensington Palace.
It was captioned, "A wonderful and proud day celebrating Her Majesty's birthday and @hrhthedukeofyork for his first Trooping the Colour as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards. #troopingthecolour."

However, the snap revealed a part of the palace normally closed off to the public – giving us an unprecedented peek at treasured royal paintings and stately furniture.
Talking to British Vogue, Princess Eugenie told the publication, "I recently got in trouble for posting a picture of Papa in a corridor of the palace that was off-limits to the public."
Happy Birthday Prince Andrew! We're looking forward to seeing how the Duke of York chooses to celebrate his 59th birthday.
And after Princess Eugenie's adorable shout out to her husband Jack Brooksbank on Valentine's Day, we can't wait to see if she'll post an equally sweet photo for her father's birthday.