Royals #TBT: Fergie and Andrew's Wedding Was 29 Years Ago Today!

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew's Wedding Was 29 Years Ago Today!
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew
Anwar Hussein/Getty

07/23/2015 AT 09:30 AM EDT

It was a glamorous royal wedding that promised a happy ending – but led to what may have been the original conscious uncoupling.

On July 24, 1986, flame-haired English commoner Sarah Ferguson married then second-in-line to the British throne Prince Andrew in a grand affair at Westminster Abbey followed by an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Ebullient and vivacious, the bride – who wore an '80s-style wedding gown by designer Lindka Cierach – charmed the gathered crowds as well as her groom, then 26.

The couple, both now 55, tied the knot in the same historic church where Prince William said his vows to another commoner, the then-Kate Middleton in 2011.



The couple soon welcomed two daughters, Princesses Beatrice, 26, and Eugenie, 25, but the marriage wasn’t to last, and they divorced shortly before Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1996.

Well before Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin introduced the term "conscious uncoupling," the friendly exes pioneered the concept. Neither has remarried, and they remain exceptionally close: Fergie lives in Andrew's home, Royal Lodge at Windsor. (They were together there last month to mark Eugenie's 25th birthday party.)

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Fergie regularly says they are the "happiest divorced couple" and added a new word to her lexicon of praise when she called him a "humongously good man" in January.

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