Prince Andrew, Duke of York

The Duke of York
The Duke of York

The Prince Andrew, Duke of York (Andrew Albert Christian Edward Mountbatten-Windsor), styled HRH The Duke of York, (born February 19, 1960), is a member of the British Royal Family, the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II. He has held the title of Duke of York since 1986. The Duke of York is currently 4th in the line of succession.

The Duke of York married and subsequently divorced Sarah Ferguson. He also served in the Royal Navy, seeing action in the Falklands War aboard HMS Invincible. He currently serves as United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.

Early life

Styles of
HRH The Duke of York
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Andrew was born on February 19, 1960 in the Belgian Suite of Buckingham Palace, London. His mother is the current reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the eldest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. His father is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the eldest son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Prince Andrew was named after his paternal grandfather. The Prince was baptised in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace on 8 April 1960 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Geoffrey Fisher and his godparents were: the Duke of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, Lord Elphinstone, the Earl of Euston and Georgina, Lady Kennard.

Andrew was the first child born to a reigning monarch since Queen Victoria's youngest child, The Princess Beatrice, in 1857. As a child of the reigning monarch, he was styled His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew from birth.


The Prince Andrew received his early education at home, before attending Heatherdown Preparatory School, near Ascot, Berkshire. In September 1973, he followed his father, The Duke of Edinburgh, and his elder brother, HRH Prince of Wales, to Gordonstoun, in Morayshire, Scotland. From January to June 1977, Prince Andrew went on an exchange programme to Lakefield College School, Ontario, Canada. He left Gordonstoun in July 1979 with A-levels in English, history and economics, and political science. Unlike his brothers, Prince Andrew did not attend university.

Military Service

British Royal Family

Joined Royal Navy (1979)

In November 1978 it was announced that Prince Andrew intended joining the Royal Navy in the following year. In December he underwent various sporting tests and examinations at the RAF Officers' Selection Centre, RAF Biggin Hill. Further tests and interviews were conducted at HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-Solent, and interviews at the Admiralty Interview Board, HMS Sultan. In March and April 1979 he was with the Britannia Royal Naval College Flight, and underwent pilot grading. He was accepted as a trainee helicopter pilot and signed on for 12 years 11 May 1979.

Prince Andrew was appointed a Midshipman 1 September 1979 and entered Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth 12 September. He also undertook the Royal Marine 'Green Beret' course during 1980.

After passing out of Dartmouth, Prince Andrew went on to elementary flying training with the Royal Air Force at RAF Leeming, Yorkshire, and later basic flying training with the Royal Navy at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose, Cornwall, where he learned to fly the Gazelle helicopter.

Prince Andrew later converted onto the Sea King helicopter and conducting operational flying training. In 1982, he joined his first front-line unit 820 Naval Air Squadron, serving aboard the aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible.

Falklands War (1982)

In April 2, 1982, the British colony of the Falkland Islands was invaded by Argentina, an event that led to the Falklands War. Prince Andrew's ship, HMS Invincible was one of only two operational aircraft carriers available to the Royal Navy, and as such was to play a major role in the Royal Navy taskforce being assembled to sail south to retake the islands.

At first the British government were apprehensive of allowing Prince Andrew to remain on Invincible, and wished to move him to a desk job. The prospect of the son of the Queen being killed in action was a possibility, and the government wished to avoid such a circumstance. However, the Queen insisted that Prince Andrew be allowed to remain with his ship, and so he joined the Invincible as it sailed south, as a Sea King helicopter co-pilot.

Throughout the conflict Prince Andrew flew on various missions, including Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare search (ASUW), as well as acting as an Exocet missile decoy; a hitherto secret tactic which the Prince inadvertently revealed to journalists after the war. He also helped in casualty evacuation, transport and Search and Air Rescue (SAR). When the conflict ended, and Invincible returned to Portsmouth, the Queen and Prince Philip joined other families of the other crew to welcome the vessel home.

The Prince remained with HMS Invincible, with brief assignments to the carrier HMS Illustrious, Culdrose, and the Joint Services School of Intelligence, Ashford, Kent, until 1983.

Career Naval Officer (1979-2001)

Prince Andrew in Port Stanley following the Falklands War.
Prince Andrew in Port Stanley following the Falklands War.

In late 1983 Prince Andrew transferred to RNAS Portland and learned to fly the Lynx helicopter. On promotion to Lieutenant on 1st February 1984, The Queen appointed him a Personal Aide-de-camp.

Later service saw the Prince aboard HMS Brazen as Flight Pilot, 1984-1986 (including deployment to the Mediterranean as part of NAVOCFORMED).

In 1986 he undertook the Lieutenants' Greenwich Staff Course at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. On 23 October 1986 he transferred to the General List. He then did a four month helicopter warfare instructors' course at HMS Heron, RNAS Yeovilton, and served from February 1987 to April 1988 as a helicopter warfare officer in 702 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Osprey, Portland.

He served on HMS Edinburgh as an Officer of the Watch and Assistant Navigating Officer 1988-1989, including a six month deployment as part of exercise Outback 88 to the Far East.

Prince Andrew, now the Duke of York, served as flight commander and pilot of the Lynx HAS3 of HMS Campbeltown 1989 to 1991. During this assignment he served as Force Aviation Officer to STANAVFORLANT when HMS Campbeltown was flagship of the NATO force in the North Atlantic 1990-1991.

Prince Andrew passed the squadron command examination 16th July 1991. In 1992 he attended the Staff College Camberley and completed the army staff course.

He became a Lieutenant-Commander 1 February 1992, and passed the ship command examination 12 March 1992. Between 1993 and 1994, he commanded the Hunt Class Minehunter HMS Cottesmore, based at Portsmouth. Curiously, one of the officers of the ship was Sub-Lieutenant JW Gold, a Special Duties (commissioned from the ranks) electronic warfare officer. It is not clear whether this had any specific implications, however such highly specialised officers are usually deployed to major warships which contain a strategic intelligence suite, and his presence on a mine countermeasures vessel is unusual.

In 1995 and 1996 the Duke of York was Senior Pilot of 815 Naval Air Squadron, a unit with over 80 aircrew, 420 ground staff and 41 helicopters - the largest flying unit in the Fleet Air Arm. The main role of the Senior Pilot was to supervise flying standards to guarantee an effective operational capability.

Prince Andrew was made a Commander 27 April 1999. He finished his naval career at the Ministry of Defence in London 1999 to 2001 as an officer of the Diplomatic Directorate of the Naval Staff.

He was released from the Active List of the Royal Navy in July 2001. In July 2005 he was promoted to Captain, Royal Navy. Unusually, although a former career officer, His Royal Highness was made an Honorary Captain, rather than given the substantive rank of Captain, as was traditional and might have been expected.


The Duke of York with his two daughters, Princess Beatrice (right) and Princess Eugenie (left).
The Duke of York with his two daughters, Princess Beatrice (right) and Princess Eugenie (left).

On July 23, 1986 Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, the second daughter of the late Major Ronald Ferguson and his former wife, the late Mrs. Hector Barrantes, at Westminster Abbey. On the occasion of his wedding, the Queen created him Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh - titles previously held by both his maternal great-grandfather and grandfather, King George V and King George VI.

Together the Duke and Duchess of York have two children:


The Duke and Duchess of York appeared to have a happy marriage and presented a united front during the late 1980s. The Duchess of York was seen as boisterous and a breath of fresh air to the stuffy royal protocol that was often reported as surrounding the Royal Family. However, underneath there were problems in the marriage, mainly relating to the fact that the Duke of York was away on Navy business at regular times during the year, and to the relentless media attention that focussed on the Duchess.

In 1992, pictures of the Duchess appeared in the British tabloid press, showing her in compromising positions with her financial advisor, the American John Bryan. This effectively ended any hopes of reconciliation of the couple and they announced their intention to separate on March 19, 1992.

The Duke and Duchess of York divorced in May 1996. Custody of the two princesses was to be shared between the Duke and Duchess. The Duchess of York automatically lost her Her Royal Highness style and became known as Sarah, Duchess of York. She continues to live in the Duke's home of Sunninghill Park, and retains friendly relations.

The Duke of York was widely seen as the injured party in the divorce. His performance as a husband and family man had impressed the general public, and he is currently one of the more popular members of the British Royal Family.

Romantic interests

Prince Andrew has been romantically linked with women since his divorce. This follows from his reputation in his late teens and early twenties, when he earned a reputation as a playboy. His relationships with "unsuitable" women, such as model Vicky Hodge and particularly the actress/model Koo Stark, attracted unwanted media attention and gained him the nickname "Randy Andy".

Current role

Currently the Duke of York works for the Department of Trade and Industry as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. He took over from Prince Edward, Duke of Kent in this role. The role involves the Duke representing the UK at various trade fairs and conferences all over the world.

The Duke is also a keen golfer and is Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. This is not without controversy and the Duke has been criticised for using the Queen's Flight for transport to various golfing functions.

The Duke currently lives at Sunninghill Park, next to the Great Park, Windsor. In 2002, Buckingham Palace announced the Duke of York would move his official residence to Royal Lodge, Windsor, the former country home of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The Duke of York maintains an office at Buckingham Palace.

Titles and Honours

Arms of HRH The Duke of York
Arms of HRH The Duke of York

Titles from birth


Service Records

Military service


He is Colonel-in-Chief of the following regiments:

Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps - United Kingdom

He was also Colonel-in-Chief of this now disbanded regiment:

Honorary Air Commodore

He is Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Lossiemouth.

Preceded by:
HRH Prince Henry of Wales
Line of succession to the British throne Succeeded by:
HRH Princess Beatrice of York
Preceded by:
New Creation
Duke of York
Succeeded by:
Current incumbent
Preceded by:
HRH The Prince of Wales
United Kingdom Order of Precedence
Succeeded by:
HRH The Earl of Wessex

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