Beatrice and Eugenie share Duchess of York's joy as stepmother remarries
21 DECEMBER 2012Sarah, Duchess of York was joined by her daughters Eugenie and Beatrice and her ex husband Prince Andrew on a particularly joyful day for the Ferguson clan. Not even the blustery English weather could dampen spirits as Sarah's stepmother Susan married distinguished former soldier, Sir Richard Swinburn in a joyful ceremony.
The bride and groom's delight was evident as they exited the church in Hampshire, holding on to an umbrella. Susan, 66, looked elegant in a pale lavender dress coat and matching gloves. She carried a simple bouquet of wild flowers and accesorised with a string of pearls around her neck. Sir Richard looked dashing in a morning suit and lilac tie.
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Susan was married to Sarah's father, Major Ronald Ivor Ferguson, for 27 years and they had had a son and two daughters together. She cared for him during the later years of his life as he battled prostate cancer before passing away aged 71 in 2003.
The Major was previously married to another Susan – mother to the Duchess and her sister Jane. They divorced and Susan went on to marry the Argentine polo player Hector Barrantes. She lost her life in a road accident in 1998.
Sir Richard, 74, lost his beloved wife, Janey, in 2001. He put their family home, a Grade II-listed Georgian manor house in Somerset, on the market for £3.5 million in 2010.
Around 120 guests were present as Sir Richard and Susan said: "I do" at the 900-year-old All Saints Church, Dummer, near Basingstoke, Hampshire. The bride's 34-year-old son Andrew apparently gave her away at the ceremony, which omited the "obey" promise from the vows. Conducting the service was the Rev Christopher Walker, a retired Chaplain to the armed forces.
Afterwards the reverend said Sir Richard was "a very lucky man to meet someone like Susan", adding that "the bridegroom was absolutely thrilled' and that the service went "fine". The wedding party moved on to Susan's nearby home for the reception.
Susan's stepdaughter Sarah has previously spoken of her "delight" at hearing of the wedding plans. The Duchess looked lovely at the service in a knee-length violet dress, a deep purple velvet coat and a mauve scarf and delicate fascinator. Her daughters also dressed up for the occasion, Princess Beatrice in a pale flowery dress and a dark greay overcoat, Princess Eugenie in a blue and black patterned dress under a cream jacket.
Completing the family gathering was Prince Andrew, who – though despite divorcing with the Duchess in 1996 is still close to her and on friendly terms.