Fergie's reaction to Prince Andrew scandal 'horrifying to watch'

Sarah Ferguson’s “unwavering support” for Prince Andrew over his car crash interview’ about allegations relating to Jeffrey Epstein was “tone deaf”, according to royal commentators.

Andrew was forced to step down from public life following his widely criticised interview on the BBC, in which his lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims and lack of remorse over his friendship with the financier was condemned.

The fallout, coupled with claims that Andrew had sex with a 17-year old girl - allegations Prince Andrew strenuously denies - prompted dozens of businesses, universities and charities to distance themselves from the royal.

However, one of the few voices of support has come from the Duke of York’s ex-wife, who has backed Andrew throughout the Epstein scandal as well as dismissing the allegations as “nonsense”.

The couple divorced in 1996 but remain close, often holidaying together and attending functions together.

ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend day four of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2019 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Sarah Ferguson has offered "unwavering support" to her ex-husband Prince Andrew throughout the Jeffrey Epstein scandal (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Speaking on Yahoo UK’s The Royal Special, royal experts voiced their disbelief at Andrew’s ex-wife’s attitude to the scandal surrounding him.

Commentator Omid Scobie said Fergie’s: “unwavering support for Andrew, before the interview, after the interview, on social media, it was tone deaf.”


Sarah Ferguson speaks out in support of Meghan Markle – 'I have been in her shoes'

Prince Andrew was with Sarah Ferguson on holiday in Balmoral when news of Jeffrey Epstein's death broke

According to Scobie, one of the issues concerning both Andrew and his ex-wife is the “bubble” they live in.

He said: “I think when you lie in a bubble and you don't listen to what the real public are talking about, you believe whatever you want to believe.”

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, arrives for the royal wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, Britain October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Omid Scobie put Sarah Ferguson's "tone deaf" response to the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew down to the "bubble" they live in (Picture: REUTERS/Toby Melville)

He went on: “She thought it was a success - great interview, what an honourable man for putting his soul on a plate for the public.

“Of course, we were all horrified and no-one agreed with any of the stuff that she was posting on social media but that's exactly the problem that you face when you do live in a bubble like that and you refuse to step outside of it.”

Fellow royal expert Duncan Larcombe, ex-Royal editor at The Sun, agreed, saying the situation was getting “messier and messier.”

He said: “Prince Andrew and his ex-wife have got a notoriously unusual relationship. They're still very close, they go on holiday together, whenever Sarah Ferguson is in the UK she will stay at Prince Andrew’s address.

Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse - 19/6/15  Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York  Reuters / Toby Melville  Livepic
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson have been praised in the past for their close relationship, despite being divorced, says Duncan Larcombe (Picture: Reuters / Toby Melville Livepic)

“They've actually been praised, I think fairly, because that's a good example when you've got parents who divorce and still put the children first.”

He added: “I wasn't surprised when Fergie came immediately to Prince Andrew’s defence. But it just got messier and messier and messier.”

Their comments come after the Duchess described her ex-husband Prince Andrew as a “wonderful man” who has gone through "enormous pain".

During an unearthed interview with Vogue Arabia - said to have been conducted before The Duke of York stepped away from public life - Fergie said the accusations against him were "nonsense".

She said: “When I talk about Prince Andrew, I talk about family because the last six months have been hard on the girls and me.

“To see such a wonderful man go through such enormous pain… he is the best man I know. It’s just incredible what he has done for Britain and it’s all nonsense.”

Watch the latest episode from Yahoo UK's The Royal Story