The Very Wise Advice Princess Diana Gave to Sarah Ferguson About Her Life

Princess Diana and Sarah, the Duchess of York, were fast friends in the early years of their respective marriages. They were actually related as fourth cousins and ran in similar circles. It was no wonder they became very close, especially while they both battled in unhappy marriages and subsequent divorces.

Princess Diana gave Fergie some advice from the heart

Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana
Sarah, Duchess of York and Princess Diana | Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

Sarah Ferguson spoke with Oprah Winfrey in an interview in 2011 in which she detailed some advice that her friend Princess Diana gave her. Only a few months before Princess Diana’s death, she gave Sarah some wise advice that has stuck with her throughout the years.

“Remember, Fergie, when you’re at the top of the pedestal, you can fall off. It’s when you’re at the bottom you can grow,” Diana told her. The statement was especially true for Princess Diana, who had experienced it firsthand throughout her marriage to Prince Charles.

Diana realized her fairy tale marriage was anything but

Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

In reality, Princess Diana was on a pedestal when she married Prince Charles. She was living on cloud nine as the Princess of Wales and wife of the future King. She had high hopes that were quickly dashed when she realized her husband, Prince Charles, wasn’t being faithful. The information isn’t new, and it’s widely publicized now that Charles was carrying on an infamous affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, which greatly changed Diana’s outlook on her marriage.

Princess Diana fell off her pedestal

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Princess Diana Archive/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images

Diana started to turn inwardly in destructive ways. She tried to harm herself on multiple occasions and developed an eating disorder, bulimia nervosa. These things were reactions to stress and were obviously unhealthy. Princess Diana had virtually no support and struggled to keep her head above water. She wobbled on the pedestal she had climbed up to and ended up falling off.

Diana tried to harm herself

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

Andrew Morton, a royal biographer, wrote Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words, with the help of Diana herself as the secret source. She revealed in the work that she had tried to harm herself not just one time, but multiple times.

“On one occasion she threw herself against a glass display cabinet at Kensington Palace while on another she slashed at her wrists with a razor blade,” Morton wrote. “Another time she cut herself with the serrated edge of a lemon slicer; on yet another occasion, during a heated argument with Charles, she picked up a penknife lying on his dressing table and cut her chest and thighs.”

Princess Diana grew through the pain

Eventually, Princess Diana was able to overcome her destructive behavior and learned to channel her energies into her life’s greatest passion: helping others. She started to grow through the pain and learned that she had a gift for helping the less fortunate.

Princess Diana knew that she was the most photographed woman in the world and she used her celebrity for good. She became a patron of numerous charities and was pivotal when it came to changing the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.

Diana even wanted to be an ambassador to help her country even more. Had she lived she may have seen that dream fulfilled. It’s obvious why Princess Diana chose those exact words to say to Fergie when she needed to hear them most. Diana lived those words and was an example for her friend and the world to follow. You can be on the very bottom and rise from the ashes back to the top.