The Prince Andrew, Duke of York (Andrew Albert Christian Edward; born 19 February 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 has been fourth in the line of succession since the birth of Prince Harry in 1984.
Andrew, 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 the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.
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.
He was the first child born to a reigning British 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.
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 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.
At first the British government was 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), Exocet missile decoy, as well as other missions. He also helped in casualty evacuation, transport and was involved in some highly dangerous Search and Air Rescue (SAR) missions. When the conflict ended, and Invincible returned to Portsmouth, the Queen and Prince Philip joined other families of the crew to welcome the vessel home.
In Commander 'Sharkey' Ward's book Sea Harrier Over the Falklands, the Prince is described as "an excellent pilot and a very promising officer", by the fighter ace.
Since the war, Prince Andrew has laid a wreath at the Cenotaph each year on Remembrance Sunday to commemorate the South Atlantic campaign.
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 RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), and served from February 1987 to April 1988 as a helicopter warfare officer in 702 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Portland (HMS Osprey).
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 on 16 July 1991. In 1992, he attended the Staff College, Camberley and completed the army staff course.
He became a Lieutenant-Commander on 1 February 1992, and passed the ship command examination on 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 was 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.
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, he was made an Honorary Captain, rather than given the substantive rank of Captain, as was traditional and might have been expected.
Together the Duke and Duchess of York have two children:
On 19 March 1992, the Duke and Duchess announced their plans to separate. It was an amicable parting, and the decision was made by the Duke and Duchess alone. Some months after their separation 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 a reconciliation and did nothing to diminish the extent to which the Duchess was being targeted by the tabloid media.
The Duke and Duchess of York divorced on 30 May 1996. Their divorce was friendly, and it was stipulated that custody of the two princesses would be shared between them. The Duchess of York was no longer Her Royal Highness, but instead became styled, as the ex-wife of a peer, as Sarah, Duchess of York. The close, now-platonic, friendship between the Duke and Duchess has continued, and the Duchess lived on and off in the Duke's home at Sunninghill Park until 2004 when the Duke moved to Royal Lodge, the former home of the Queen Mother. In 2007 the Duchess purchased Dolphin House, a mansion which lies directly beside Royal Lodge, effectively rendering the Duke and Duchess of York as next door neighbours. It is said and speculated by many that she bought this house so she could be closer to her daughters, who reside with the Duke.
The prince speaks warmly of his ex-wife. "We have managed to work together to bring our children up in a way that few others have been able to do and I am extremely grateful to be able to do that.
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 plays to a low single-figure handicap standard. He is Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and also a member of the Royal Burgess Golfing Society. This is not without controversy, and the Duke has been criticised for using the Queen's Flight for transport to various golfing functions.
Since 2004, Prince Andrew has lived at Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, the former country home of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Prior to that he lived at Sunninghill Park. The Duke of York maintains an office at Buckingham Palace.
For the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May 2007, the Duke served as Lord High Commissioner. The role granted him, in Scotland, whilst the assembly was in session, precedence immediately after his parents, and the style His Grace The Lord High Commissioner.
Prince Andrew's current full style is His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, Baron Killyleagh, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Personal Aide-de-Camp to The Queen, South Atlantic Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Canadian Forces Decoration, New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal
The whole differenced by a Label of three points Argent the central point charged with an Anchor Azure. The anchor is in reference to his naval career.
The arms are identical to those his grandfather George VI used when still Duke of York.