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Prince Andrew, Duke of York

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.

Early life

Andrew was born on 19 February 1960 in the Belgian Suite of Buckingham Palace, London. His mother is the reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. His father is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. He 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.

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.

Education

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, The 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, choosing to enter the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth instead.

Military Service

Royal Navy

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 Royal Naval College Flight, and underwent pilot grading. He was accepted as a trainee helicopter pilot and signed on for 12 years from 11 May 1979.

Prince Andrew was appointed a Midshipman on 1 September 1979 and entered Dartmouth on 12 September. He also undertook the Royal Marine 'Green Beret' commando 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 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)

On 2 April 1982 the British overseas territory 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 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 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.

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.

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.

Career Naval Officer (1979-2001)

In late 1983, Prince Andrew transferred to RNAS Portland and learned to fly the Lynx helicopter. On promotion to Lieutenant on 1 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 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).

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 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.

Prince Andrew was made a Commander on 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, he was made an Honorary Captain, rather than given the substantive rank of Captain, as was traditional and might have been expected.

Canadian military

Andrew is the Colonel-in-Chief of a number of Canadian Forces regiments, travelling to Canada to frequently undertake duties related to these roles. Rick Peters, commanding officer of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada stated: "[Andrew]'s very well informed on Canadian military methods.

Marriage

On 23 July 1986, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson (now Sarah, Duchess of York), the second daughter of the late Major Ronald Ferguson and his former wife, the late Susan (Mrs. Hector) Barrantes, at Westminster Abbey. On the day 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. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were born only a few months apart. They had known each other since childhood and would meet occasionally at polo matches, a sport in which both families took a keen interest. They became re-acquainted with one another during the Ascot racing season of 1985.

Together the Duke and Duchess of York have two children:

Divorce

The Duke and Duchess of York appeared to have a happy marriage and presented a united front during the late 1980s. The Duchess was seen as a breath of fresh air in the context of the stuffy royal protocol surrounding the Royal Family. However, underneath there were problems in the marriage, largely involving the fact that the Duke of York was frequently away on Navy business and the relentless, often critical, media attention focussed on the Duchess.

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.

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 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.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 19 February 1960 – 23 July 1986: His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew
  • 23 July 1986 – present: His Royal Highness The Duke of York

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

Honours

Military

Honorary military appointments

He holds the following military appointments:

Arms

The Duke's personalized coat of arms are those of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with a label for difference: ''Quarterly (by quarters):

1st and 4th, Gules three Lions passant guardant in pale Or (England). (The first and fourth quarters display the three lions, representing England.)
2nd quarter is of a lion rampant within a Double Tressure floury counterflory Gules (Scotland). (The second quarter, displays a red lion in a yellow field with a double border coloured red, this represents Scotland.)
3rd, Azure a Harp Or stringed Argent (Ireland). (The third quarter shows a harp against a blue background, this represents Ireland.)

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.

Ancestry

External links

References

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