Inside Sarah Ferguson's scandalous past ahead of Princess Eugenie's royal wedding

Sarah Ferguson, known by her nickname Fergie, is bracing herself for the second royal wedding of the year.

On Friday, Oct. 12, the Duchess of York will watch her youngest child, daughter Princess Eugenie, say "I do" to Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, England. And although it's Eugenie's special day, eyes will surely be on the controversial duchess to see how she interacts with the rest of the royal family.

Fergie is the former wife of Prince Andrew, who is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. In addition to 28-year-old Eugenie, Fergie and Andrew also share another daughter, 30-year-old Princess Beatrice. Though Fergie and Andrew appear to be amicable these days, other members of the royal family seemingly still hold a grudge against the red-headed duchess for all her shocking antics.

Ahead of Eugenie's big day, ET breaks down Fergie's rocky relationship with the royals.

The Engagement

Fergie and Andrew's love story actually began at an early age. The two had known each other since childhood, and would frequently run into each other at polo matches.

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After reacquainting with each other at the Royal Ascot in 1985, the two fell in love and announced their engagement one year later on March 19. Andrew reportedly proposed to Fergie with a ruby engagement ring surrounded by diamonds that he designed himself to complement her red hair.

"We were made to sit next to each other," Andrew said in their joint engagement interview. "It was at Ascot, as it were, that the whole thing took off. But it wasn't Ascot, as such, when we realized that there was anything in it. It was later on."

The Royal Wedding

Andrew and Fergie eventually tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on July 23, 1986, where Queen Elizabeth II gave them the titles of Duke and Duchess of York. Nearly 2,000 guests were invited, including Elton John, Nancy Reagan and Estee Lauder.

The Washington Post reported at the time that Fergie had "emerged as friendly, self-assured, bright and engagingly human," and although another royal in the family, Princess Diana, took "a better picture," Fergie was "more fun."

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Attempted Attack

While attending a fundraising event in New York City in January 1988 as part of her royal duties, a young man rushed at Fergie near the entrance of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where she was staying at the time. According to the Associated Press, the suspect was screaming "Murderers, murderers 3/8" and wielding an Irish Republican Army flag on a pole. Fergie was unharmed, but the incident made national news.

Cheating Rumors / Separation

Following the births of their two daughters, things seemingly went downhill for Andrew and Fergie, and they eventually separated in March 1992.

Queen Elizabeth broke royal protocol by releasing a statement expressing her personal unhappiness over the matter shortly before their separation was announced. "In view of the media speculation which the Queen finds especially undesirable during the general election campaign, Her Majesty is issuing the following statement: Last week, lawyers acting for the Duchess of York initiated discussions about a formal separation for the Duke and Duchess. These discussions are not yet completed and nothing will be said until they are," the statement read. "The Queen hopes that the media will spare the Duke and Duchess of York and their children any intrusion."

The Toe-Sucking Scandal

While she was still legally married to Andrew, Fergie shocked the world when she was photographed getting flirty with financial adviser John Bryan during a St. Tropez getaway in August 1992. Intrusive pictures of John kissing her toes were published on the front page of The Daily Mirror.

"I remember seeing it and just going, 'Oh no, Sarah,'" Fergie recalled in an interview with Piers Morgan years later. "And that's when Caroline, my best friend in the world, she said to me, 'Now you need help, Sarah. This is crazy. What is happening here?'"

"I went through that, and I think it's an extraordinary tale," she continued. "And it's one which is, every day I work at. And every day I try and see how and why I did those things."

Fergie and Andrew Officially Divorce

After four years of separation, the two announced their mutual decision to divorce in May 1996. Fergie has retained her title of Duchess of York, but will lose it if she ever decides to remarry.

Working With Weight Watchers 

In 1997, as a way to make money following her divorce from Andrew and for being scrutinized for her weight, Fergie became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. She remained the face of the program for 11 years. "I'd just been divorced and I needed to earn a living," she told USA Today at the time. "I still do."

While the deal was seemingly less embarrassing for Fergie than bankruptcy, it was perceived as yet another shocking move for the duchess, as other royals don't typically endorse programs promoting weight loss.

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The Bribery Scandal

Fergie caught herself in more hot water in May 2010, when the Duchess of York was caught on tape accepting a bribe from an undercover reporter posing as a businessman who said he could help her get out of serious financial debt. In the incriminating video, released by British tabloid News of the World, Fergie offered access to Andrew in exchange for cash. 

"I'm now aware of my feelings, and when you're actually in the middle of it, you keep looking back and realizing what on earth you did," Fergie later explained in a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey. "And the person you look back and see is sort of almost unrecognizable."

"There aren't really very many words to describe an act of such gross stupidity," she added. "I will embrace it because I have to. I will beg for forgiveness. All I can know is that it happened and now I have got to go forward."

Fergie Snubbed From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Reception

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex tied the knot on May 19, Fergie -- who was not invited to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding in 2011 -- was there to witness the nuptials. However, she did not get an invite to Prince Charles' private evening reception for the newlyweds.

"Numbers are limited to the evening party, she is not a member of the Royal Family any more and Prince Charles simply doesn't have time for her," a source told The Daily Mail. "He just can't see why she is still such a big part of his brother [Andrew]'s life."

"He has held a grudge against her for a long, long time," another source added, "and normally refuses to even be in the same room as her."

Could Fergie and Andrew Ever Remarry?

That's what some fans are hoping! Back in May, Fergie took to Instagram to gush over Andrew, congratulating him on being made an Honorary Fellow at a Cambridge College. He makes frequent appearances on her social media accounts, and Andrew has even taken Fergie as his guest to royal events over the past few years. 

The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 states that the first six individuals in the line of succession to the British throne cannot marry without the king or queen's consent. But Andrew has since bumped down from sixth to seventh in the line of succession following the recent birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child, Prince Louis. That being said, Andrew could now remarry Fergie if he wanted to, without permission from Queen Elizabeth.

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Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank together
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Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank together
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Jack Brooksbank attend The Elephant Parade auction in aid of The Elephant Family at Royal Hospital Chelsea on June 30, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Jack Brooksbank attend The Elephant Parade auction in aid of The Elephant Family at Royal Hospital Chelsea on June 30, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 18: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend day five of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2011 in Ascot, United Kingdom. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie On The Final Day Of Royal Ascot, Where She Presented The Trophy For The 'Chesham Stakes', Accompanied By Her Boyfriend Jack Brooksbank. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York depart the Dorsia Club on October 22, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Milan/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York depart the Dorsia Club on October 22, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Milan/GC Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend the European premiere special screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' at BFI IMAX on July 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Jack Brooksbank (L) and Princess Eugenie of York attend the second annual 'Freddie For A Day' event in memory of Queen's late frontman Freddie Mercury, at The Savoy Hotel on September 3, 2012 in London, England. The evening of comedy and music marks what would have been Freddie Mercury's 66th birthday in aid of The Mercury Phoenix Trust. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Princess Eugenie of York (L) and Jack Brooksbank attend the second annual 'Freddie For A Day' event in memory of Queen's late frontman Freddie Mercury, at The Savoy Hotel on September 3, 2012 in London, England. The evening of comedy and music marks what would have been Freddie Mercury's 66th birthday in aid of The Mercury Phoenix Trust. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: R-L Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York attend the second annual 'Freddie For A Day' event in memory of Queen's late frontman Freddie Mercury, at The Savoy Hotel on September 3, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images) The evening of comedy and music marks what would have been Freddie Mercury's 66th birthday in aid of The Mercury Phoenix Trust. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 18: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank sightings on October 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/FilmMagic)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 18: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank sightings on October 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/FilmMagic)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 25: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie sighting leaving Loulou's Private Club on October 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Chapman/FilmMagic)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 19: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York at the Downtown Mayfair restaurant for Heather Kerzner's birthday celebration on March 19, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robert Milan/FilmMagic)
LONDON,UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 5: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank are seen on February 05, 2013 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
CIRENCESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank attend the wedding of Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Rupert Finch at the church of St John the Baptist on June 8, 2013 in Cirencester, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
ALNWICK, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Jack Brooksbank, Cressida Bonas, Princess Eugenie, Dave Clark and Princess Beatrice attend the wedding of Lady Melissa Percy and Thomas Van Straubenzee at St Michael's Church on June 22, 2013 in Alnwick, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Princess Eugenie of York (L) and Jack Brooksbank attend The Masterpiece Midsummer Party in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, hosted by Heather Kerzner, at The Royal Hospital Chelsea on July 2, 2013 in London, England. Marie Curie Nurses provide free end of life care to patients with terminal illness in their own homes or in one of its nine hospices. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images for Marie Curie Cancer Care)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie arrive at The Boodles Boxing Ball at The Grosvenor House Hotel on September 21, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 21: In this handout image provided by the Boodles Boxing Ball Committee, Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York pose at the Boodles Boxing Ball 2013 on September 21, 2013 at the Grosvenor House in London,England. (Photo by Dominic O'Neill/Boodles Boxing Ball Committee via Getty Images)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend Day 5 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2014 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 01: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York at the Groucho club on July 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robert Milan/GC Images)
***EXCLUSIVE*** GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM JUNE 13: Princess Eugenie of York and boyfriend Jack Brooksbank arrive at the wedding of Charlie Colburn and Charlie Driver (Minnie Driver's brother) at St Mary's Church in Bibury on June 13, 2015 in Gloucestershire, England. PHOTOGRAPH BY Jules Annan / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Jules Annan / Barcroft Media via GC Images)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 19: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie on day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2015 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank attends Glorious Goodwood at Goodwood on July 30, 2015 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 03: Jack Brooksbank (L) and Princess Eugenie of York attend Tracey Emin's birthday party at Mark's Club on July 3, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank (L) attend day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse on July 30, 2015 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Qatar Goodwood Festival)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Jack Brooksbank attend the launch of GP Nutrition Supplements, a collection of five premium nutritional programmes perfect for modern living, at Annabels on January 26, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Gabriela Peacock)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank leave 34 Restaurant at 34 Grosvenor Squareon May 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Antony Jones/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission of #533781394 with alternate crop.) Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend the Chelsea Flower Show press day at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 23, 2016 in London, England. The show, which has run annually since 1913 in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is open to the public from 24-28 May. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley - WP Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: (L-R) Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York attends the opening night of 'Conservation Couture: The Animal Ball Collection' in aid of Elephant Family and supported by Swarovski at The V&A on October 25, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: Jack Brooksbank (L) and Princess Eugenie of York attend the launch of Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden on January 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
ENGLEFIELD GREEN, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews at St Mark's Church on May 20, 2017 in Englefield Green, England. (Photo by UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie attend the 50th anniversary of The Beatles SGT Pepper Album at Abbey Road Studios for End The Silence and Hope&Homes for Children on May 31, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hope and Homes for Children)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York attend the V&A summer party at The V&A on June 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 23, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend the fourth day of Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 23, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York attending the Serpentine Summer Party 2017, presented by the Serpentine and Chanel, held at the Serpentine Galleries Pavilion, in Kensington Gardens, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Jack Brooksbank (R) and Princess Eugenie of York attend the Brooklyn Nets Vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on October 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London after they announced their engagement. Princess Eugenie wears a dress by Erdem, shoes by Jimmy Choo and a ring containing a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Jack Brooksbank (R) and Princess Eugenie of York attend the Brooklyn Nets Vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on October 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend an Easter Service at St George's Chapel on April 1, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 1: Jack Brooksbank, Princess Eugenie, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Princess Beatrice and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence arrive for the Easter Mattins Service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 1, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: (L-R) Zara Tindall, Jack Brooksbank, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice attend an Easter Service at St George's Chapel on April 1, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 01: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie attend the traditional Easter Sunday church service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on April 1, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
FRENSHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 04: Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank attend the wedding of Daisy Jenks and Charlie Van Straubenzee at Saint Mary The Virgin Church on August 4, 2018 in Frensham, United Kingdom. Prince Harry attended the same prep school as Charlie van Straubenzee and have been good friends ever since. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank attending the Serpentine Summer Party 2018 held at the Serpentine Galleries Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
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