SARAH Ferguson has broken her silence on ex-husband Prince Andrew as she labelled him a “kind and lovely man”.
The Duchess of York gave a ringing endorsement of the disgraced Royal who continues to rebuild his life after the Virginia Giuffre scandal.
On Monday, Andrew was snubbed from appearing at the Queen’s Order of the Garter service over fears of a "backlash”.
And to many, his immediate role in the royal set-up remains uncertain as experts warn his chances of being welcomed back into full public life continues to be slim.
But this week, his former wife rushed to his defence – vowing to stand by the Prince in his time of need.
“I will stand very firmly by Andrew who is a very good and kind man,” she told Times Radio.
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“And that’s what I believe. We are divorced.”
The couple split in 1996 but have remained very close in due part to their children Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie – who have both married in the last four years.
Fergie, as she is more commonly known, has reportedly continued to take up residence at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, Berkshire – frequenting the grounds on a regular basis.
And the Duchess had made no secret about her desire of keeping the York family together – insisting it was “very important” for The Queen.
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Quizzed by journalist Mariella Frostup she said: "If I said it was my home. It's a place where we are a united front with the girls. It's their home.
"And now my grandchildren come here and I have always believed in communication, compromise and compassion.
"I have always believed it. I have great faith."
On her wedding 36 years she added: “It was just extraordinary. I think my life is an amazing life.
"I think I've been very lucky. And I am now just beginning my life again. And I think it's pretty cool to be able to say that.”
Andrew has continued to cast a downbeat figure after his reputation was tarnished by his involvement in a civil sexual assault case that was settled in February.
Yet, he had reportedly plotted a royal comeback, having asked his mum to return his patronages and HRH title just five months after he was stripped of them.
The Duke has always strongly denied any claims of wrongdoing.
Sarah says she believed in cleaning "your side of the street" and that her former lover could be welcomed back into the fold though “honesty and integrity”.
She told the radio station: "I believe if you clean your side of the street, if you look at your mirror, and you are clear and concise and you know, in your to integrity, that you have done the best job and the best heart with the greatest of intentions, then you hold that line.
“What anyone else does, that's their situation, and they have to clean their own side of the street.”
Amid the scandal, Fergie said she took on an increased role to support her daughters who now care for young tots.
She replied: "Every time I look at my girls, I realise what the secret to good mothering is. Show up. That's it. Show up and listen.
"You turn the telephone off, shut the door, turn the television off, and you say, are you okay? Is it me? Have I annoyed you? What's gone on?
"You know, and you really take away the fear factor because you're so present with them. And I believe that's the secret. That's how I've managed.
"The girls, I mean, how they've coped? Honestly, I take my hat off to them, but I think it's because the three of us, Beatrice, Eugene and I. we're called the tripod and we stay firm to speaking your truth.
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"So we speak our truths to each other and by doing it you clean, exactly what I just said through this programme, is you look in the mirror and you clean your side of the street.
“Once you've done that, then is there a problem?”
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