Sunday, February 19, 2012

Royal Profile:Prince Andrew, Duke of York

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, Baron Killyleagh, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Canadian Forces Decoration, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty 

was born 19 February 1960, the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth & Prince Phillip, Duke of Endinburgh. At his birth, he was second in line for the throne after his older brother, Prince Charles, but after the birth of two nephews, he is presently fourth in line for the throne.

He was born at Buckingham Palace, and baptized two months later. His godparents were: : The Duke of Gloucester (his maternal granduncle); Princess Alexandra of Kent (his 1st cousin once removed); the Earl of Euston; the Lord Elphinstone (his 1st cousin once removed); and Mrs Harold Phillips.

He was named after his paternal grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.

One thing that set him apart from his older siblings was that he was the first child born to the reigning monarch since Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Beatrice (coincidentally, his older daughter was named Beatrice). However, like his siblings, his early education began with governesses at the palace. He eventually went on to attend Heatherdown Preparatory School and Gordonstoun. In the spring term of 1977, he attended a study abroad program at Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario. He graduated from Gordonstoun in 1977 with A-Levels in English, history, economics, and political science.

Instead of attending University, he opted for a military career. From 1977-1978, he attended Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. In November 1978, Prince Andrew officially joined the Royal Navy the following year, and in December he underwent various sporting tests and examinations at the Aircrew Selection Centre, at RAF Biggin Hill, along with further tests and interviews at HMS Daedalus, and interviews at the Admiralty Interview Board, HMS Sultan. In the spring of 1979, he was enrolled in Royal Naval College Flight, training to become a naval airforce pilot. He was accepted and trained for 12 years in May 1979 as a Naval air-force pilot.

After being awarded his "Wings", he moved onto more advanced training on the Sea King helicopter, and conducted operational flying training until 1982, when he joined his first front-line unit, 820 Naval Air Squadron, serving aboard the aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible. He continued his active naval career until 2001. In February 2010, he was appointed Honorary Rear Admiral.

He married Sarah Fergeson in 1986. They had two daughters:
  • Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York (1988)
  • Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York (1990)
They divorced in 1996, but remained friends for their daughter's sakes, often vacationing and doing normal family things together with their daughters.

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