Advice Sarah Ferguson Had for Kate Middleton Before She Married Prince William

Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, Duchess of York, the former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, had some marriage advice for Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, ahead of her 2011 royal wedding to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Continue reading to learn what words of wisdom Ferguson had for Middleton. 

Four years before their royal wedding at Westminster Abbey, Prince William and Middleton were only dating. They had been together since their college days at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Kate Middleton Prince William
Kate Middleton and Prince William. | Handout

In 2007, Ferguson sat down for an interview with Harper’s Bazaar for their June/July issue. She discussed her marriage to Prince Andrew and their divorce after 10 years together, her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, among other topics. One of them being advice she offered to a potential bride such as Middleton. 

Sarah Ferguson’s marriage advice for Kate Middleton

When asked what advice she’d give a future bride, Middleton for instance, Ferguson hesitated but then offered some words of advice for a happy marriage.

“All I’d say is, no matter what, stay with your man; don’t let him be taken from you. Prince or no prince, love that man, and that love will hold him,” Ferguson said. 

She continued, getting personal about her own experience with Prince Andrew in the early days of their marriage.

“I married my boy, who happened to be a prince and a sailor, because I loved him— and still do—my only condition being, ‘I have to be with you.’ And two weeks after the wedding, the courtiers told Andrew, who thought he’d be stationed in London, ‘You have to go to sea,’” she said. 

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. | John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

Prince Andrew and Ferguson spent approximately 40 days a year together because of his demanding naval career, leaving the Duchess of York to raise their children largely as a single parent. 

Ferguson offered even more advice based on her life.  

“I spent my entire first pregnancy alone; when Beatrice was born, Andrew got 10 days of shore leave, and when he left and I cried, they all said: ‘Grow up and get a grip.’ So don’t let them tell you what to feel, how to do things, who you are. Be yourself,” she said. 

The magazine featuring Ferguson and her advice for Middleton became available in the summer months of 2007 right in the middle of Middleton and Prince William’s second and last breakup. 

The couple went on to date for another three years before announcing their engagement in Nov. 2010. By that time Middleton had been given the nickname “Waity Katie,” because she and Prince William had been dating for so long and still weren’t headed for the alter. 

Kate Middleton valued time apart from Prince William

During a joint interview around the time of engagement in 2010, Prince William and Middleton both reflected on their time apart. Middleton said although at the time she was sad about the breakup, in the end, it proved to be a good experience for her. 

Prince William Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

“I think I at the time wasn’t very happy about it, but actually, it made me a stronger person …You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realized,” Middleton said. 

“Or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you’re younger. I really valued that time for me as well although I didn’t think it at the time, looking back on it,” she added. 

Middleton and Prince William celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary this year and now have three children together.