SAY WHAT YOU WILL ABOUT THE WINDSORS, they do know how to be good sports for the sake of the royal progeny. Last month the family’s two estranged couples—the Waleses and the Yorks—were acting like anything but at their children’s respective school sports days. Cuddling daughters Beatrice, 4, and Eugenie, 3, Andrew and Fergie spent June 23 at Bea’s Upton House School laughing and chatting like newly weds. Three days later, Charles and Diana, who turned 32 on July 1, surprised royal watchers when they exchanged a polite goodbye kiss after an outing at Ludgrove prep school, which both Prince William, 11, and Prince Harry, 8, attend.
But, alas, it was only a show. Though the day at Ludgrove marked the Waleses’ first public appearance with their sons since their split last December, they arrived separately and spent much of the afternoon ignoring each other and talking to other parents. “Nobody in the world is more aware than Diana of how children suffer when their parents are heading for divorce,” a friend of Diana’s told the Daily Mirror. “She is determined her boys will be as protected as possible. If that means kissing her husband, then that is what she will do.”
Lest anyone mistake the Yorks’ good cheer as a sign of reconciliation, the Palace issued an announcement later in the week stating, “Much has been read into the occasional photographs of the Duke and Duchess of York together on various occasions…. Their Royal Highnesses wish to make clear that any speculation about a possible reconciliation is inappropriate.”
In fact, while the Yorks mugged at Upton, the ink was drying on the financial details of their separation agreement. Fergie reportedly is to receive a lump sum of $900,000, half of which must be returned if she remarries, with an additional $2.1 million to be put in a trust fund for Bea and Eugenie.
Royal insiders expect the Yorks to file for divorce next spring, after the two-year separation period required by British law for .a no-fault dissolution. What happens alter that is anybody’s guess, although there have been clues. When Fergie returned to her rented Romenda Lodge in Wentworth, Surrey, after the Upton outing, John Bryan. Fergie’s infamous toe-sucking “financial adviser,” was reportedly there waiting.