PRINCE Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson have been seen together for the first time since he was sensationally stripped of his royal titles this week.
The former couple looked pensive as they were seen driving away from their shared home in Windsor – after it was revealed Charles and William spent Christmas planning to axe the Duke.
Prince Andrew was spotted with former wife Sarah Ferguson this week amid one of the royal’s toughest-ever weeksCredit: LNP
The Queen revealed she’d stripped the Duke of York of his titles in a carefully-penned 42-word statementCredit: LNP
Andrew, who was at the wheel of the Range Rover, was wearing a pullover and a yellow shirt with an open collar, while Fergie, in a knitted hat, appeared to be talking to him.
Their car was being closely followed by another 4×4, driven by members of the prince’s police protection squad.
The sighting comes amid one of Andrew’s most challenging weeks yet.
The Queen issued a statement on Thursday revealing he has been effectively banished by the Royal Family, with little chance of a return to public life.
She met with the son many claim is her “favourite” for an emotional summit before personally penning the missive.
Prior to that, Her Majesty held a meeting with future kings Charles and William, both of whom were said to be firm that Andrew must step back – and fade from public life forever.
Less than 24 hours before the news broke, Andrew had discovered he will face a civil trial by jury after attempting to have the case dismissed on a technicality.
He now has just three options remaining to him – with a grim choice between facing accuser Virginia Giuffre in court, paying out a £10million settlement or refusing to engage altogether.
Andrew vehemently denies any wrongdoing.
It’s claimed he fears financial ruin after his mother announced he’ll face the trial as a private citizen.
As well as any potential settlement, his legal fees have already topped £2million.
There are also claims he could be kicked out of his 31-bed Georgian mansion, Royal Lodge.
PRINCE ‘FEARS DESTITUTION’
It’s been confirmed that he will not lose his security detail, which costs £300,000 a year.
A royal source told the Mirror: “Until very recently it appears the absolute enormity of this case and the consequences he faces has not hit him.
“Now the bills are mounting up and the possibility of a settlement, or even worse a judgement against him, is being widely discussed; he fears complete financial ruin.
“There is a very real prospect of him being completely broke.”
Despite all the bad news, the Duke is likely to be relieved to learn that Fergie and their daughter Eugenie and Beatrice won’t be called to give evidence in the civil case.
Sources close to the royals say they’d been braced for the family – and in particular Beatrice, 33 – to be called as key witnesses.
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During a car crash Newsnight interview in 2019, Andrew claimed he was at Pizza Express in Woking with Beatrice on the night at the centre of claims against him.
However, in a surprise move last night, legal counsel for accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre say they only plan to seek depositions from two British witnesses.
Robert Olney, the Duke’s former equerry, and Shukri Walker, who claims to have seen Andrew at Tramp nightclub in London on the night he is alleged to have forced Ms Giuffre to have sex with him, will be called.
Phil Dampier told Sun Online: “I don’t think he and Fergie will remarry – she’s very loyal and supportive, but they’re not romantically involved any more and I don’t think they have been.
“Clearly, however, she’s been a shoulder to cry on.”
Fergie lives in a wing of Royal Lodge, despite the former couple’s divorce.
She’s also been publicly supportive of Andrew.
While their daughters Eugenie and Beatrice have made no public statement on their father, it’s understood that – while deeply shaken by the allegations made against him – they are also supportive.
Expert Phil Dampier says Fergie, who has always been supportive of Andrew, will be a ‘shoulder for him to cry on’Credit: LNP
Her Majesty met with William and Charles before Andrew learned of his fate earlier this weekCredit: Getty