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Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, was a member of the British Royal Family whose public life - as a longtime officer in the Royal Navy and as the former husband of the popular Sarah Ferguson - was often the subject of public admiration and debate. Born Andrew Albert Christian Edward in London, England he was the third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the first child born to a reigning English monarch. Educated initially by a governess at Buckingham Palace, he later attended Heatherdown School and the independent Gordonstoun School in Scotland, as his father and brother, Prince Charles, had done. After leaving Gordonstoun in 1979 with A-levels in a variety of subjects, including history and political science, he entered the Britannia Royal Naval College to train as a navy officer, and enrolled in pilot training in the Royal Naval College Flight. Andrew signed with the Royal Navy for 12 years, and trained as a helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force before joining the 820 Naval Air Squadron and serving aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. During this period, Andrew made headlines for his romantic relationship with actress Koo Stark, who had appeared in some risqué feature films, but the outbreak of the Falklands War in 1982 granted him a reprieve from the relentless media coverage. Andrew flew numerous missions as a helicopter co-pilot during the conflict, and upon his return to England in 1983, ended his relationship with Stark and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant while serving as a flight pilot and personal aide-de-Camp to his mother, the Queen. In 1986, he was formally styled as the Duke of York, and became romantically involved with Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of a British Army major. The couple married that same year and had two children, Princess Beatrice of York in 1988 and Princess Eugenie in 1990. Andrew and Ferguson - dubbed "Fergie" by the British press - were a popular couple among British residents, but Andrew's commitments to the Royal Navy, which included assignments as flight commander and Senior Pilot with various squadrons and vessels, kept them apart for lengthy periods of time. The couple separated amicably in 1992 and officially divorced in 1996. Andrew reached the rank of commander in 1999 and completed his Naval career at the British Ministry of Defence in 2001. In the years that followed, Andrew served in various capacities for charity organizations, including the Outward Bound Trust, and as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment until 2011. Like many other royal figures, Andrew's tenure was not without its moments of alleged scandal - he was accused of involvement in kickback schemes by the government of Kyrgyzstan and Bahrain to acquire business contracts and military weapons, and his friendships with accused sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein and Azerbaijani president Illham Aliyev drew criticism from human rights officials - but Andrew's position as a representative for British business, albeit without a special role or title, went unbroken. In 2015, he was promoted by the Royal Navy to Honorary Vice Admiral.
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