Princess Diana Leaked News of Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew’s Separation — Here’s Why

Princess Diana let the world know about Prince Andrew and Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson’s separation.

According to the documentary, Royal Wars, the late royal had been to blame for the information about the Duke and Duchess of York’s split, not Ferguson as the royal family had believed.

Although Princess Diana had been close friends with Ferguson and had, in fact, played matchmaker for her and Prince Andrew by seating them together at an event, she didn’t hesitate to do what royal author, Andrew Morton, deemed “pretty ruthless stuff” to the couple, according to Express.

Princess Diana leaked separation because of her book 

Morton, who wrote Princess Diana’s explosive biography, Diana: Her True Story–in Her Own Words, recalled in the documentary a particular incident where Princess Diana needed to do something to deflect media attention away from herself. According to Morton, there had been a rival book set to be released just weeks ahead of her own in 1992.  

Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Diana, and Prince Harry in 1987 at Trooping The Colour
Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Diana, and Prince Harry in 1987 at Trooping The Colour | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

“Diana was incandescent, how do we get this off the front pages?” Morton remembered. “I said to her, ‘Look, the only way you’re going to do it is to have another fact.’”

Sure enough, Princess Diana offered up a juicy bit of information that would eclipse anything written in a book to rival her own. 

“Well, Sarah and Andrew have just been to Sandringham to see the Queen to talk about a separation,” Morton said Princess Diana told him.

“I said, ‘Well, that’s a fact.’ So I wrote a story about it, which duly appeared on the front pages,” he said calling it “pretty ruthless stuff.”

Prince Andrew and Ferguson went on to officially divorce in 1996 as did Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Queen Elizabeth II ‘infuriated by the leak’ 

In a 2007 book, The Diana Chronicles, royal author Tina Brown wrote that Queen Elizabeth II hadn’t been pleased when the news of her son’s separation from his wife began appearing on the front page of every newspaper. 

“The Queen was personally infuriated by the leak,” Brown wrote. At the time, it had been believed Ferguson spilled the news to the press. “Convinced the Duchess had handed out the information herself,” Buckingham Palace accused “her of hiring a PR company” to relay the news to the media.

Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew, and Queen Elizabeth II on Aug. 4, 1986
Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew, and Queen Elizabeth II on Aug. 4, 1986 | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The leak proved to be “ruinous for Fergie’s relations with the Palace” and had a major impact on her divorce proceedings with Prince Andrew. And the Duchess of York not once thought her sister-in-law might’ve been responsible. “The Duchess never suspected Diana as the source of the leak,” Brown wrote.

While Princess Diana and Ferguson had fun together — they were known to goof around at royal events — their friendship had been complicated. In the year leading up to Princess Diana’s death on Aug. 31, 1997, the two weren’t speaking

“We were like siblings … we rowed. And the saddest thing, at the end, we hadn’t spoken for a year,” Ferguson revealed in her book, My Story.
In the year since the royal’s passing, Ferguson has spoken publicly about Princess Diana on numerous occasions, and has made it clear their friendship, although cut short, meant a lot to her.