The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson was held on 23 July 1986, at Westminster Abbey in London, England.
Prince Andrew, the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson and his first wife Susan Wright, first met when they were children, but had not been romantically involved until they met again at a party at Floors Castle in 1985. They began their relationship that very same year, after a party held at Windsor Castle in honour of the Royal Ascot races. Diana, Princess of Wales, Andrew’s sister-in-law, played a hand in matchmaking the couple.
Andrew proposed to Sarah on 19 February 1986, his twenty-sixth birthday. Their engagement was announced on 17 March 1986. Andrew presented Sarah with a Garrard engagement ring made from sketches he had made. The ring has a Burma ruby surrounded by ten drop-diamonds. The mounting was eighteen-carat white and yellow gold. Andrew’s bachelor party was held at Aubrey House in Holland Park. It was attended by Prince Charles, Billy Connolly, David Frost and Elton John.
Four months after announcing their engagement, Andrew and Sarah married on 23 July 1986, at Westminster Abbey in London. Sarah made her way with her father Ronald from Clarence House in the Glass Coach, arriving at the church at 11:30. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted at the 45-minute wedding ceremony. As the couple exchanged vows, Sarah mistakenly repeated Andrew’s middle name, Christian; five years earlier, Diana, Princess of Wales, made a similar mistake by reversing the order of Prince Charles’s names.
Both Andrew’s brothers participated in the wedding ceremony; Prince Edward was his best man, and Prince Charles read a lesson during the service. The bridesmaids and page boys included Princess Anne’s children Peter and Zara Phillips, and Prince Charles’s eldest son Prince William.
The Duke and Duchess of York left Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace in an open-top 1902 State Landau. Around 100,000 people gathered to witness the Andrew and Sarah’s first kiss as man and wife on the balcony of the palace. After a traditional wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace, the married couple and some 300 guests moved to a party at Claridge’s hotel.