SARAH FERGUSON felt “trapped” behind the palace walls as “cracks started to show” in her marriage to Prince Andrew, a royal commentator claimed in a documentary.
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The Duchess of York, 62, has said she supports Andrew amid the sexual assault allegations against him in the US. Virginia Giuffre has accused Andrew of sexually assaulting her on three occasions when she was 17 and considered a minor under US law. Ms Giuffre alleges that she was trafficked to Andrew by the royal’s late friend, the financier Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew vigorously denies the allegations and says he has “no recollection” of ever having met Ms Giuffre.
Last month a judge rejected attempts by Andrew’s legal team to have the case thrown out, meaning he could now face trial in the US.
In December the Duke of York’s ex-wife Sarah, affectionately known as Fergie, said she supported him.
Asked about the allegations against him on Italian talk show Porta a Porta, she said: “I completely stand by Andrew 100 percent.”
The Duchess, who was promoting her book, “Her Heart for a Compass”, was also asked about the happiest time in her life.
She said it was her 1986 wedding to Andrew, which she described as: “Truly a fairy-tale because I was marrying a prince.”
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Sarah Ferguson felt ‘trapped’ in palace as ‘cracks started to show’ in Andrew marriage (Image: GETTY)
Virginia Giuffre: Andrew’s accuser (Image: GETTY)
However, Fergie is said to have felt “trapped” during the early years of her marriage, Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, recently claimed.
The royal commentator was interviewed for the latest episode of Channel 5’s series “Secrets of the Royal Palaces”.
She said: “Fergie was at home with two children. Andrew was travelling quite a bit.
“I think she felt very trapped inside the palace walls if you like.
“That’s when the cracks really started to show.”
Sarah Ferguson: Prince Andrew’s ex-wife (Image: GETTY)
Ms Montagu discussed Andrew and Fergie’s early years of marriage after they tied the knot in July 1986.
The Yorks moved into their newly built royal residence Sunninghill Park in Ascot, a gift from the Queen, in 1987.
Andrew and Fergie raised their daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at the property, which was later demolished in 2016.
Andrew travelled a lot due to his career in the Royal Navy, which lasted for 22 years until his retirement in 2001.
The Duke was deployed around the world with the Navy and flew helicopter missions in the Falklands War.
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Sisters: Princess Beatrice and Eugenie (Image: GETTY)
In 1992, Andrew and Fergie legally separated before their divorce was officially finalised in 1996.
Despite the couple’s separation, they have remained close, and are reported to live together at Royal Lodge.
Broadcaster and filmmaker Bidisha Mamata told ‘Secrets of the Royal Palaces’ how Andrew and Fergie were initially well-suited.
Timeline: Of Andrew and Sarah’s relationship (Image: GETTY)
She said: “The marriage of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson was welcomed as a good match right from the beginning.”
She added: “Lots of public interest and affection is on their side. They want this to be a successful marriage.”
“Secrets of the Royal Palaces” is available to stream on My5.