When Sarah Ferguson sent out her Christmas cards in 2018, she was fresh off the successful wedding of her daughter Princess Eugenie to husband Jack Brooksbank, so it made sense that the card featured a large photo of the couple embracing, along with a shot of the Duchess of York’s ex-husband Prince Andrew on horseback. At the end of a much rougher year for Sarah and Andrew, who still share homes despite being divorced for 22 years, it seems like they decided to take an extremely different tack. According to the Sun, Sarah and Andrew recently sent out a card that featured a photo of their puppy from behind with the caption, “Goodbye to 2019.”
Coming just two months after Andrew stepped back from his royal duties over questions about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, it seems like the card references some of the tumult the family has faced as a result of Andrew’s ill-received BBC interview and the renewed allegations from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says that she was forced to have sex with the prince. (Andrew has denied these claims.)
Though questions about Andrew’s friendship with Epstein were first raised a decade ago, the June 2019 arrest of Epstein on new charges, renewed scrutiny of a 2008 deal with a Florida U.S. Attorney, and his August suicide in federal custody raised the pressure on the prince.
The card, which is signed by Andrew, Sarah, Eugenie, Jack, and Princess Beatrice, also features a photograph taken in the Scottish Highlands. Inside it reads, “We are united with gratitude for your support and kindness, Thank you.” While Beatrice and Eugenie have remained silent about their father’s friendship with Epstein, the scandal reportedly caused Eugenie’s charity to delay a planned podcast and Beatrice to scale back plans for a 2020 wedding to fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
Sarah has been publicly defending her ex-husband. In a recent interview with Vogue Arabia, 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.”
Since Andrew’s resignation, it has been unclear which official events he will be welcomed at as a member of the family. Earlier this month he attended a staff Christmas party at Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s annual family Christmas lunch, though he skipped Beatrice’s engagement party.
On Wednesday, Eugenie, Jack, Beatrice, and Edoardo were photographed walking into Christmas services at St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham without Andrew, but according to the Telegraph, he arrived at the church for an earlier service with the Queen, away from the camera’s glare, and was later spotted walking with Prince Charles.
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