Jubilee Series: Andrew and Sarah, Duke and Duchess of York

The personalities of excess, togetherness, and conflicting emotions

Jubilee Series: Andrew and Sarah, Duke and Duchess of York

Looking at any relationship is difficult as none of us can ‘see into’ the realities if what is going on, and nor should we. Lots has been written about the Duke and Duchess of York over the years and lately more specifically about Andrew. All the tabloid conjectures aside, purely from a personality type perspective, what can we learn about the couple, who in 1986 when they got married were affectionately known as “Andy and Fergie?”


So, it is generally agreed that Andrew exhibits the personality traits of an ESTP whilst Sarah tends to project as an ESFP. What does this tell us? Well, an ESTP tends to be a thrill-seeking individual, looking to jump in and have fun, no planning nor endpoint. Andrew flew a helicopter in the Falklands War and there were several hints of a less-than-conventional royal marriage, outlined by Sarah herself. Writing in the Daily Mirror she said: “I spent the marriage renting videos” while her husband "frolicked with 27 concubines,” and to the Daily Mail, whilst discussing their divorce: "We're the happiest divorced couple in the world. We're divorced ‘to each other’, not from each other." Sarah, an ESFP, like her ESTP husband, loves the new and the different and to ‘carpe diem,’ seize the day, the moment, the second, living life to the full and making it joyous. But there is one crucial difference: one is emotional and one devoid of emotion.


Andrew projects as an ESTP who love to savour every moment, moving from one adventure to the next, life packed full of action and new thrills, so many memories to be made (and forgotten) as the focus is on the next adventure. Unlike Sarah, an ESFP, Andrew would not be at all perturbed by criticism or bad news, it’s all water off a duck’s back and ‘onwards and upwards.’ Sarah, on the other hand, will take such criticisms to heart. She would love to play the joker, funny, witty, slightly irreverent, excellent glue in holding people and situations together, but not thinking through the consequences. We can see this in the royal ‘jeux sans frontiers,’ the TV show, ‘It’s a knockout,’ where members of the royal family took part in 1987, where the Queen, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles vehemently disapproved but the organiser, Prince Edward, pushed on as “it will be such fun,” and Sarah threw herself into the spirit, dubbed a royal family PR disaster by the Sun newspaper, (and, to be fair, everyone else) wearing more outfits than anyone else, loving to dress up, and then auctioning all the dresses for cash later but also complaining that “the cruel jibes” about her were “absolutely soul destroying” and left her “scarred for life.” This kind of sums up the ESFP in that she did not think it through, she thought it would be fun, threw herself into it, gave it her all, then got incredibly hurt by the press criticism.


For Andrew, on the other hand, he was more angry that his wife had “taken a shine” to Meatloaf and got into a pushing match, which he lost, (well he would wouldn’t he!) The PR debacle did not in the least affect the Duke of York as he had already moved on to the next big thing without a single thought, despite the Queen Mother accusing him of, “having destroyed the reputation” she and her husband the King had built with the people of the UK since coming to the throne.



So, we have a couple that share the excesses, the fun, the jumping in, having a great time, not thinking through the consequences, and savouring the moment. But, and it’s a big but, when the criticism hits, Andrew doesn’t even see it, indeed finds it mildly irritating, whilst Sarah gets crushed by it, takes it personally and has to lie low for a while; until the next time something exciting comes up in which she just has to immerse herself!