Shocking Secrets About Sarah Ferguson’s Relationship With the Royal Family
Sarah Ferguson (Fergie) is perhaps one of the most confusing royal family members ever. Despite her non-existent royal status, Princess Beatrice and Eugenie’s mom still calls herself a duchess, is heavily involved in charity and even attends family events. On top of that, she still lives with her ex-husband on royal property. Sarah Ferguson’s relationship with the royal family is complicated — after all, they’re probably just as confused as we are.
Find out more about Sarah Ferguson’s relationship with the queen, Prince Andrew, and other members of royalty, ahead.
Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson’s relationship was, at one point, one of the strongest in the family. In fact, the two considered each other best friends. They met on the polo circuit, as Fergie’s father was Prince Charles’ polo manager. And, as it turned out, the two had way more in common than they thought. Not only were they distant relatives (fourth cousins), their mothers had attended school together and were best friends. Diana — who was often reserved and uncomfortable in the spotlight — gravitated towards Fergie’s outgoing personality.
After six years of friendship, Diana decided to make Fergie family and set her up with Charles’ brother, Prince Andrew. According to reports, Diana invited her bestie to the Queen’s Ascot Week party at Windsor Castle and requested Fergie sit next to Andrew. The two hit it off and were married just one year later.
As members of the royal family, the two attended many official engagements, parties, and family gatherings together. They even remained close through both the royal women’s marital issues (they later divorced their princes in 1996). However, once their divorces finalized, things took a turn for the worse.
Fergie landed a book deal and, according to reports, promised her best friend she would not discuss her. But, the duchess didn’t keep her promise and wrote an embarrassing passage about how she got a wart after borrowing a pair of shoes from Diana. The Princess of Wales was allegedly livid and refused Sarah’s apology. At the time of her death, Diana and Fergie hadn’t spoken in a year.
Ever wonder what Sarah Ferguson’s relationship with the queen is like? In her early years of royalty, the queen and Fergie were surprisingly close. In fact, some argue she was closer to the queen than Diana was. The two had a lot in common and got along with great ease. “In private, I called her mama … when she waved me to sit next to her in the car or at church, I felt favored and blessed,” Fergie gushed in her book, My Story: by Sarah, the Duchess of York.
That said, things went south after Andrew and Fergie divorced. When they broke the news to the queen, she asked them to reconsider. However, Fergie burned a bridge when she was photographed with a new beau just five months after announcing her and Andrew’s separation. While Andrew understood and supported Fergie, the queen was reportedly furious at the duchess. The two later made amends and would have tea time together, but life as a non-royal was incredibly isolating.
In her book, Fergie recalls losing her invite to royal occasions and being forced to stay in a cottage on the queen’s Sandringham estate alone on Christmas while her daughters spent time with their family in the main house. That said, the two still cross paths, and the queen has even invited her to vacation at Balmoral Castle. According to Fergie, the queen is “the most wonderful, forgiving, nonjudgmental person I know.”
Given that they divorced in 1996, Fergie and her ex-husband Prince Andrew have a surprisingly close relationship. In fact, the two still live together. After Princess Diana set them up, Fergie and Andrew married in Westminster Abbey and went on to welcome to princesses into the world — Beatrice and Eugenie.
However, things went south, and the Duke and Duchess of York called it quits and separated in 1992. Fergie reportedly couldn’t handle her husband’s naval officer duties, as he was away from home a lot. Although they still cared for each other, the two grew apart and thought it was best to take some time off. Their separation lasted four years and the royals separated in 1996.
That said, Fergie and Andrew still care for each other and share a home together at Royal Lodge in Windsor, as well as a vacation home in Verbier. Throughout the years, Andrew remained supportive of the duchess — even when other members of the family disapproved of her actions — and Fergie often refers to their relationship as a lifelong affair.
The queen wasn’t the only member of royalty furious over Fergie’s rendezvous with a new man just months after her separation from Andrew — Charles was too. In fact, it upset him so much that the prince and duchess have a rocky relationship to this day.
Charles also has some beef with Fergie’s daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie. Because the princesses aren’t considered full-time royals, they don’t get the same perks — such as having their rent paid for — as other family members. Andrew has repeatedly expressed his frustrations about the situation, but Charles believes you have to put in the work to benefit from royal life. As Charles gets closer to becoming king, Andrew (and most-likely Fergie) worry that their daughters will get pushed out.
Like his father, Prince William isn’t too fond of his Aunt Fergie. In fact, the future king didn’t invite the Duchess of York to his royal wedding in 2011. Some speculate the reason she was left off the guest list was that his wedding was considered a state occasion and she is no longer an official member of the family.
It seems as though Prince Harry might be more fond of his aunt than his brother is. Despite family drama, the Duke of Sussex invited Fergie to his nuptials in May 2018. Unlike his brother’s wedding, Harry’s nuptials were a little less official — aka, not a state occasion — so he had more freedom with the guest list. That said, some reports claim the palace urged Harry not to invite his aunt. As with most things, Harry pushed back and extended an invite to Aunt Fergie.
These days, the queen’s husband tends to keep a low profile. That said, he’s the one person in the royal family with the most pushback on Fergie. The prince allegedly has a longstanding disdain for Fergie and does everything in his power to avoid the duchess. Given the amount of upset Fergie has caused the family — and how forgiving his son Andrew seems to be — Philip has every right to protect his family from Fergie’s behavior.
That said, with her daughter’s upcoming royal wedding, many believe Fergie will make a royal comeback. Hopefully, she and Philip can make amends and enjoy each other’s company to avoid any further upset.
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