Shortly after Iraq invaded Kuwait, sparking the first Gulf War, the Duchess of York invited the Iraqi oil minister, Ramzi Salman, for dinner at her apartment at her apartment in Buckingham Palace. The dinner invitation came at the prompting of her then lover, the American Steve Wyatt, whose stepfather, Oscar Wyatt, had close ties to Saddam Hussein's regime, even after the war had started.
Sarah's dinner invitation allowed Wyatt entertain the Iraqi oil minister and keep in tact the ties between his family and the Iraqi oil industry. This collaboration violated the fact that the US and the UK were at war with Iraq. After the dinner, Sarah, Wyatt and the Iraqi headed to La Gavaroche, a three star restaurant in London, as Sarah -- and Andrew -- had been invited to a party there by then Tory Party Treasurer Lord McAlpine.
Sarah had sent her regrets to Lord and Lady McAlpine as Andrew was away, but she decided to join the party after dinner, and brought along her lover and the Iraqi oil minister, neither of whom were invited. One wonders if Wyatt paid her a commission for allowing him to entertain the Iraqi oil minister at Buckingham Palace.
Lady McAlpine tried to diffuse the situation by placing Sarah between her husband and other titled guest, but Wyatt, raised in Texas, grabbed Sarah's hand, and announced: "Mah woman and I sit together," according to someone at the party. Another guest at the dinner was Lord Palumbo, who is one of Princess Beatrice's godfathers, and his Lebanese-born wife, Hayat, who refused to meet Dr. Salman.
Sarah and Wyatt's affair was not a secret, certainly not in royal circles, although, Andrew seemed oblivious. In December 1990, Sarah invited him to the gala dinner at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the birthdays of the Queen Mother (90), Princess Margaret (60), Princess Anne (40) and Prince Andrew (30).
It all came crashing down for Sarah when intimate photos of her and Steve were found by a house cleaner in Wyatt's London apartment. One photograph showed Wyatt holding 2-year-old Princess Beatrice in his lap. The photos had been taken in Cap Ferrat, France, where Sarah and her daughters had spent a brief vacation, with Steve, at a home owned by his mother, Lynn.
The publication of the photographs led to the end for the York marriage. It is safe to assume that then as now, Sarah, Duchess of York, is very naive, foolish, and at times, very, very stupid.