Prince Andrew, 59, and Sarah Ferguson, 60, are exceptionally close for a divorced couple. The Duke of York’s recent TV interview about his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has faced fierce backlash on social media - but ex-wife Sarah Ferguson has publicly supported his decision to do it.

The Duke and Duchess of York separated in 1996 but still live together in Prince Andrew’s royal residence and often attend royal events a deux.

Ahead of Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview airing on Saturday, Sarah Ferguson made her support from him known on Instagram.

The post read: “It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs.

“Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness of always seeing the best in people.

“I am deeply supportive and proud of this giant of a principled man, that dares to put his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth.

“It is time for Andrew to stand firm now, and that he has, and I am with him every step of the way and that is my honour.

“We are the best examples of joint parenting, with both our girls and I go back to my three C’s... Communicate, Compromise, Compassion .”

In the interview with BBC journalist Emily Maitlis Prince Andrew defended his decision to stay with Epstein following the disgraced businessman’s release from jail in 2010.

He said he intended to break off the friendship and visited Epstein because he felt it was the “honourable thing to do.”

Speaking in Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal: The Newsnight Interview, Prince Andrew said: “It was a convenient place to stay, at the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do but at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do.”

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Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said: “His sense of honour is painfully misplaced, the ‘honourable and right thing to do’ was apparently to stay with him, the dinner party, the walk in the park.”

He added: “How will his over 200 patronages view this and what royal engagements will he undertake in the future?

“He’ll never recover from the debacle of this interview. Charles, currently in New Zealand, will no doubt be horrified.”

While it was initially believed The Queen did approve Prince Andrew’s interview with Newsnight, palace sources has since claimed that while the Queen was “aware” of it, she did not sign it off.

One royal source told the Telegraph: “The statement Buckingham Palace issued said the Queen was aware of the interview but not that she approved it.

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“It’s extraordinary how this has unfolded, without any real consultation with the Palace press office or even the Queen’s private office.

“It does seem as if the Duke of York’s private office is operating in a silo, which is really quite dangerous because there is a lack of accountability there.

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