The Duke of York
The Duke of York is the second son and the third child of The
Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. He was born on 19 February 1960 at Buckingham Palace; the
first child to be born to a reigning monarch for 103 years.
Christened Andrew Albert Christian Edward in the Music Room at Buckingham
Palace, he was known as Prince Andrew until his marriage, when he was created The Duke of
York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh.
From the age of four Prince Andrews initial education was conducted
by a governess at Buckingham Palace. Aged eight Prince Andrew was sent to Heatherdown
Preparatory School, Ascot; he was taught there until he was 13, when he moved on to
Gordonstoun School in Morayshire, Scotland, where his father and elder brother were
educated before him.
After taking O levels he spent two terms on the Round Square
exchange programme at Lakefield College School in Ontario, Canada. After returning to
Gordonstoun, he studied for his A levels before joining the Royal Navy.
The Duke of York has always enjoyed sport. From an early age he was taught
to swim and play most ball sports. At his preparatory school he played cricket, rugby and
soccer. At Gordonstoun he continued to play cricket and rugby as well as field hockey. He
captained the school 1st XI cricket team in his last year. Prince Andrew plays squash,
skis and now plays golf, having a current handicap of 7. Whilst at Gordonstoun he began
his flying career by learning to fly a glider with the Air Training Corps and also, along
with Prince Charles, earned his Parachutists badge from the Royal Air Force.
The Duke of York joined the Royal Navy in 1979 on a short service
commission, as a Seaman Officer specialising as a pilot. He entered Britannia Royal Naval
College, Dartmouth, where he took the full range of initial professional training and
concurrently undertook the Royal Marine Green Beret course with the Young
Officers batch of 1979 at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, being awarded his
Green Beret the week before he passed out of Dartmouth in front of The Queen at the Lord
High Admirals Divisions.
After passing out of Dartmouth, Prince Andrew went on to elementary flying
training with the Royal Air Force at RAF Leeming, Yorkshire, where he learnt to fly the
Bulldog. Subsequently he went through basic flying training with the Royal Navy at RNAS
(Royal Naval Air Station) Culdrose, Cornwall, where he learnt to fly the Gazelle
He received his Wings from The Duke of Edinburgh in April 1981, as well as
winning the award for the best pilot. After converting onto the Sea King helicopter and
conducting operational flying training, he joined his first front-line unit 820 Naval Air
Squadron then embarked in the Anti-Submarine Warfare Carrier (ASW) HMS INVINCIBLE.
Only six months later Prince Andrew was to see active service. Along with
his squadron, he sailed in HMS INVINCIBLE as part of the Task Force that sailed to the
South Atlantic to regain the Falkland Islands. Throughout the conflict he flew on various
missions including ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) and ASUW (Anti-Surface Warfare search).
He also helped in casualty evacuation, transport and SAR (Search and Air
After completing his first front line tour in July 1983, Prince Andrew was
appointed to 702 NAS at RNAS Portland in September to convert onto the Lynx helicopter.
On promotion to Lieutenant in February 1984, The Queen appointed him a
Personal Aide-de-Camp. In May he joined 815 NAS as the Flight Pilot in the Type 22 Frigate
HMS BRAZEN where he served until March 1986. The Lieutenants Greenwich Course and
Helicopter Warfare Instructors (HWI) Course continued the Princes professional
training, and he returned to 702 NAS early in 1987 as an HWI.
In May 1988, having been selected for transfer to the General List for
officers, he joined the Type 42 Destroyer HMS EDINBURGH as an Officer of the Watch to earn
his Watchkeeping and Ocean Navigation Certificate. After the years seagoing
appointment that included a Far East and Australia deployment he was awarded his
Certificates, and returned once again to RNAS Portland to form HMS CAMPBELTOWN Flight.
He joined 829 NAS in September 1989 and served as Flight Commander until
the autumn of 1991.
In 1992 The Duke of York was appointed to the Army Command and Staff Course
at the Staff College, Camberley and, in February that year, was promoted to Lieutenant
Commander. On completion of the Staff Course he was selected to command the Hunt Class
Minehunter HMS COTTESMORE from April 1993 until November 1994.
The Duke of York then returned to flying duties with a refresher course in
702 NAS before taking up the appointment as Senior Pilot 815 NAS at RNAS Portland, where
he served until October 1996.
The Duke of York joined the Ministry of Defence, London, in January 1997 as
a staff officer in the Directorate of Naval Operations. In January 1999, the Ministry
announced that he was to be promoted to Commander and take up an appointment within the
Diplomacy Section of the Naval Staff, in April 1999.
In December 2000 it was announced that The Duke of York would conclude this
appointment in April 2001, before formally leaving the Royal Navy at the end of July 2001.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were engaged on 19 March 1986. Sarah
Ferguson, born on 15 October 1959, is the second daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson and
Susan, the late Mrs Hector Barrantes. They were married in Westminster Abbey on 23 July
1986. At the time of their marriage Prince Andrew was created The Duke of York and Sarah
became The Duchess of York.
The Duke and Duchesss first child was born on 8 August 1988 at the
Portland Hospital in London and was named Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York. Their second
child was also born at the Portland Hospital on 23 March 1990 and named Eugenie Victoria
Helena. They are fifth and sixth in line of succession to the throne.
In March 1992 it was announced that The Duke and Duchess were to separate;
they were divorced in May 1996. The Duke and Duchess have continued to have joint custody
of their children.
The Duke of York is Patron of, or associated with, more than 100 diverse
organisations. His career as a navy pilot, with its emphasis on the senses, is reflected
in his patronage interests. These include the British Deaf Association and the Royal
Commonwealth Society for the Deaf, Fight For Sight, the Jubilee Sailing Trust and the
Royal Aero Club.
Other patronages include Understanding Industry an educational
charity which aims to improve the business skills of secondary school pupils, The City
Ballet of London and the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.
In 1999 he became Chairman of the National Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Childrens Full Stop Campaign to end child abuse, an initiative to which
the Duke has devoted considerable time.
The Duke became President of the Football Association in August 2000.
The Duke of York is also an active Trustee of the National Maritime Museum,
Greenwich, and Patron of Greenwich College. He sits on the Advisory Board of Governors of
Lakefield College School in Canada.
The Duke of York holds one naval service appointment: Admiral of the Sea
Cadet Corps, which he took over from The Duke of Edinburgh in 1992. In 1989 he was made
Colonel in Chief of the Staffordshire Regiment, one of Britains line regiments.
In 1992 The Duke became the Colonel in Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment,
the result of the merger between two former Irish regiments, the Royal Irish Rangers and
the Ulster Defence Regiment. (It is the largest infantry regiment in the Army, with a
strength of over 6,000.)
The Duke has most recently become the Colonel in Chief of the Royal New
Zealand Logistic Regiment and the Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth, Morayshire, near
Gordonstoun School. The Dukes position as Colonel in Chief of the Canadian Airborne
Regiment ceased upon its disbandment in 1995.
While much of The Duke of Yorks time has been devoted to his naval
career, he has also undertaken a range of royal duties. From August 2001 The Duke of York
will undertake a wider range of royal duties in support of The Queen, including work on
behalf of British Trade International (BTI), the government organisation responsible for
promotion of British trade and investment overseas.
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