They’re one of the most amicable divorced couples around with their friendly bond frequently prompting royal fans to call for them to remarry, but the atmosphere between Fergie and Andrew today was rather more formal.
According to body language expert Judi James, it’s likely the pair didn’t want their normal cosy display displays to attract any attention, and not just because they wanted to avoid taking any of Eugenie’s limelight.
Prince Philip attended his granddaughter’s wedding today, but prior to the nuptials it was rumoured that his presence was not guaranteed due to his long standing feud with Fergie, 58.
‘These two are often seen using the kind of body language signals together that might hint they is still some sort of spark between, them but at their daughter’s wedding it did at times look more like a freeze-out as Andrew paid the minimum amount of attention to his ex-wife’s presence,’ Judi James said.
‘This frostiness could have been down to the presence of the older members of the royal family, with Philip in particular sitting right behind his son and his ex in the pews.
‘There might have been an agreement to avoid any signs of soap opera body language at the wedding itself, so perhaps we will spot Sarah and Andrew looking close again at the reception and party.
The Duchess of York was her usual animated self as she arrived at her daughter Eugenie’s wedding at St George’s Chapel, but she was rather more sombre in the company of her ex-husband Prince Andrew
KEEPING THEIR DISTANCE
While Fergie was her usual animated self when she arrived at the wedding, she was rather more subdued in the company of her ex-husband and the pair looked very stiff as they sat beside each other in the pews.
‘With neither of them attending with the added pressure of current spouses or partners, and with what is said to be unusually high levels of loyalty and affection always existing between them they could easily have acted as a proper couple as divorced partners often will do at a child’s wedding, smiling, laughing and even sharing the poignancy of the event,’ Judi said.
‘Sarah is known for her spontaneous displays of affection and fun but here her low-slung hand clasp suggest she’s determined to be demure.
‘There is a large spatial gap between her and her ex and Andrew looks positively glum and reflective, standing almost to attention while Sarah manages a cheek-rounding smile.
The former couple are known for their affectionate displays, but Fergie and Andrew kept something of a distance today and body language expert Judi James said they most likely wanted to avoid attracting attention
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‘But with Andrew busy doing doting dad, quite magnificently popping about checking on Eugenie’s dress and train, Sarah was left looking rather isolated with only her other daughter Beatrice for company.
Their lack of bonding and affection did seem sad on a day that most parents struggle with when they’re ‘losing’ a child.’
While Andrew performed his father-of-the-bride duties, Fergie was left looking somewhat isolated with only Beatrice by her side
Prince Philip making his way to his seat at St George’s Chapel. The Duchess of York and Prince Philip have not seen eye to eye for years, and it’s believed the Duke was not guaranteed to attend because of the bad blood between them
NO DISPLAY OF AFFECTION
This greeting at the entrance was a key moment for some affectionate rituals between the two but there were none on the shots we were shown.
They appeared to avoid eye contact and Andrew seemed to gesture his wife into the chapel with a rather impassive-looking hand-tilt.
When the former couple met to enter the chapel, they didn’t take the opportunity for an affectionate moment with Andrew gesturing to his wife to make her way inside in something of a cold fashion
RARE MOMENT OF UNITY
This pose shows a moment of cohesion for Andrew and Sarah as they unite their body language signals to support and communicate with their daughter.
Sarah leans forward to smile at Eugenie while Andrew mirrors her gesture and her smile.
The one moment where the couple did look united when they both leaned towards Eugenie at the same time in a show of support
The newlyweds had invited 850 royals, aristocrats, VIPs and friends – 150 more than Harry and Meghan when they married five months ago – and the security operation to protect them all will cost taxpayers £2million.
The bride, 28, could not stop grinning at her groom during their hour-long service in the spectacular setting at Windsor Castle but Jack, 30, looked overcome with emotion throughout.
Mr Brooksbank told Eugenie: ‘You look perfect’ and also ‘oh, break my heart’ as she arrived at the altar and she joked: ‘Aren’t you going to hold my hand?’ as she calmed his nerves.
Wearing a backless dress showing the scars from a back operation aged 12, Eugenie had grabbed her father Andrew’s arm as they walked up the steps of the church and down the aisle to start her married life.
A history of Fergie and Philip’s feud
Bad blood between the pair stem from a series of scandals involving the Duchess, which reportedly mean the Duke now refuses to be in the same room as her.
In 1992, Prince Philip was enraged when pictures of Fergie having her toes sucked by her ‘financial adviser’, the Texan oil tycoon John Bryan emerged – the same year she separated from Prince Andrew.
The duchess has since recalled her humiliation when the story broke as she was holidaying with the Queen at Balmoral in Scotland and ‘advised’ that she should return to London.
It later emerged that her profligate spending had also left her owing £5million to the royal bank, Coutts. After her divorce she worked hard to recoup the money, representing firms such as Weight Watchers in the US.
For several years she was on an even keel, but a series of bad investments and the collapse of a fledging ‘lifestyle’ company saw her on the brink of bankruptcy again in 2010.
This led to her being caught in a tabloid newspaper sting selling access to her former husband for half a million pounds.
The cash-strapped Duchess was taped accepting a $40,000 (£30,480) cash down-payment to introduce her ex, who then worked as a UK trade envoy, to an undercover reporter posing as an international businessman.
She immediately apologised for the embarrassment it had caused him and her family and admitted she only accepted the money because she was in financial difficulty.
A year later, she was left off the guest list for William and Kate’s wedding at Westminster Abbey and jetted off to a spa retreat in Thailand.
However, she’s still close to her ex-husband Prince Andrew and they share a home, The Royal Lodge at Windsor, when she’s in the UK.
Apparently Prince Philip is unimpressed by their continued closeness.
‘He cannot understand why she’s living under the same roof as Andrew after all these years,’ a royal source previously said.
Her proud mother Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, looked tearful as she sat with her eldest child Beatrice to see her youngest daughter married.
After exchanging their vows the couple beamed as they walked out of the church and kissed in front of 1,200 people before their short carriage ride through Windsor and back to the castle for their reception.
The couple have enjoyed an afternoon reception inside Windsor Castle’s St George’s Hall organised by the Queen where the 850 guests enjoyed finger food and wedding cake all washed down with Pol Roger champagne.
Jack takes Eugenie’s hand in his as they read their vows at the top of the altar at St George’s chapel
Here comes the bride! The younger daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York wore a stunning gown by British designer Peter Pilotto this morning; teamed with the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, lent to her by her grandmother the Queen
The happy couple: Jack and Eugenie have wide smiles as they exchange rings during the ceremony at St George’s chapel
Princes Eugenie looks delighted as she leaves the chapel with her new husband Jack Brooksbank following the ceremony
The newlyweds shares a kiss after marrying in front of 850 royals, aristocrats, VIPs and friends today
Tonight Eugenie’s divorced parents will host ‘one hell of a party’ at the family home, insiders have said.
The Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park has had a fairground set up in the garden, complete with dodgems and a coconut shy and after a wild night tonight the celebrations will go into Saturday, with a ‘more relaxed’ bash with a ‘festival vibe’ lasting all day.
Prince Andrew and Sarah, the Duchess of York, have brought in the company who helped plan the Beckhams’ reception for their daughter’s own celebrity-packed royal wedding attended by A-listers including Naomi Campbell, Liv Tyler, Demi Moore, Robbie Williams, Ellie Goulding, James Blunt and Kate Moss.
One source said: ‘There will be dodgems and funfair rides, coconut shies, lots of food stalls, loads of cocktails, bloody Marys for the hangovers and a festival vibe’
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, watched by the Duke of York, leave Windsor Castle after their wedding reception hosted by the Queen
Her older sister Beatrice also helped her sibling rare DB10 Aston Martin made for the James Bond movie Spectre ahead of two days of partying