Sarah Ferguson, the polemic Duchess of York, writes a book inspired by her life

Sarah Ferguson, controversial daughter-in-law
A book with
Young Sarah Ferguson
Wedding with Prince Andrew
Sarah and Andrew's kiss:
Sarah Ferguson on media harrassment and Meghan Markle
Sad and exhausting
First daughter: Beatrice
Second daughter: Eugenie
Sarah Ferguson and Andrew's divorce
Hostile treatment by the Crown
Good relationship with Prince Andrew
Sarah Ferguson's bad reputation
Harshly criticized during the marriage
Sarah Ferguson's financial problems
Duchess of Pork
Controversial video
Sarah Ferguson in the Panama Papers
Prince Andrew and the Epstein case
Andrew:
Sarah Ferguson breaks her silence
2020: another difficult year
2021 should be better
Eugenie and the baby will be close to grandma Fergie
Sarah Ferguson, controversial daughter-in-law

For many royal chroniclers, Sarah Ferguson has had the honor of being the daughter-in-law whom the Queen Elizabeth II of England dislikes the most. The wife of Prince Andrew, from 1986 to 1996, regularly embarrassed the royal family with controversial public appearances.

A book with "parallels from my life"

Now, a much milder Duchess who is about to become a grandmother, announces that she is writing a historical novel with "many parallels from my life" in it. "Set in the Victorian era, the book is about daring to follow your heart against the odds," she says on Twitter. And that, reader, she did throughout her life.

 

(Image from Twitter @margueritekaye who is the co-author of Ferguson's novel)

Young Sarah Ferguson

Although Sarah Ferguson is connected to the British Royal Family by marriage and the births of her children, the crown has never looked kindly on this young, working-class girl becoming a princess. "When I was 18, I cleaned student bathrooms and dorms," Sarah said on Swedish television's Skavlan. "I was also a waitress in a strudel shop."

Wedding with Prince Andrew

Despite criticism, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew got married at Westminster Abbey in London on July 23, 1986. As Andrew was the Duke of York, Sarah now became the Duchess of York.

Sarah and Andrew's kiss: "We were told not to"

After the wedding, attended by nearly 2,000 guests, the couple performed an act of rebellion against the crown. "I remember that we were told not to kiss on the balcony," Ferguson recalls in the documentary 'Finding Sarah.' "So we did it deliberately. We were very much in love".

Sarah Ferguson on media harrassment and Meghan Markle

During the early years of Sarah Ferguson and Andrew's marriage, the Duchess soon began to feel the harassment of the media. When Meghan Markle endured similar harassment in 2019, Ferguson told Vogue Arabia that "she's being treated like me. I really think I can identify with her."

Sad and exhausting

"I'm not much of a counselor, really, but I've been in Meghan's shoes and I think I still am," she continued. "It's sad and exhausting. I abhor harassment and feel very sorry for the pain that must be going on, because I've been through it myself."

Read more about the experiences of Meghan Markle, as revealed in 'Finding Freedom'

First daughter: Beatrice

Sarah Ferguson and Andrew from England became first-time parents on August 8, 1988. Their little girl came into the world as Beatrice of York.

Second daughter: Eugenie

Two years later, the couple's happiness seemed to have no limits because a second, healthy girl was born: Eugenie of York. Her birthday was March 23, 1990.

Sarah Ferguson and Andrew's divorce

However, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson appeared to be unhappy together, because their marriage ended in 1992. That year, the official announcement came of the separation between Ferguson and the Prince. It would take until 1996 for the divorce to materialize.

Hostile treatment by the Crown

HELLO reported at the time that Sarah was accused by the Crown of "leaking the [divorce] news 24 hours earlier to the Daily Mail." In addition, they pointed to "photographs of Sarah with Texas billionaire Steve Wyatt." There were rumours about the longstanding "hostile treatment" endured by Ferguson "because of her reluctance to conform to Crown standards."

"Knives are out for Fergie"

In 1996, the divorce of Andrew and his controversial wife was official. Ferguson lost her 'Royal Highness' title, but she was still allowed to call herself Duchess. "The knives are out for Fergie," BBC diplomatic correspondent Paul Reynolds reported.

"Rarely did the palace staff talk like this about anyone"

According to Reynolds, the "knives" phrase was overheard in a private conversation with Queen Elizabeth II's then press secretary, Mr. Charles Anson. "Rarely have I heard the palace staff talk like this about anyone. Sarah Ferguson is unable to appear at public functions as a member of the Royal Family."

Good relationship with Prince Andrew

In the midst of this very tense climate, the Duke and Duchess of York began to reappear together in public. The former couple always maintained a very good relationship, which of course triggered rumors of a reconciliation. But they never amounted to anything more than rumors.

Sarah Ferguson's bad reputation

Looking back on Sarah Ferguson's time in the royal family, as well as the years after the divorce, journalists have argued that she often embarrassed herself and the people close to her. BBC journalist Rajesh Mirchandani summarizes Sarah Ferguson's reputation as follows: "Her efforts to help others have always been overshadowed by her attempts to help herself."

Harshly criticized during the marriage

The BBC particularly pointed to the supposed exploitation of her position as Prince Andrew's wife. "Fergie, as she is called, has been criticized for taking countless days off and selling her family photos to a magazine."

Sarah Ferguson's financial problems

In the 1990s, after the divorce, Ferguson had to move to a smaller house due to serious financial problems. She became the face of different brands in order to make ends meet. Ferguson even tried to break through in the entertainment world, for example by making a guest appearance in 'Friends'.

Duchess of Pork

While she was going nearly bankrupt in 2010, she had to deal with the constant factor of negative treatment by the British press. Some sharp-tongued journalists called her 'Duchess of Pork.'

Controversial video

And more scandal was added to the mix. In 2010, News of the World published a video of Sarah Ferguson accepting a briefcase with 32,000 euros (an advance of a larger amount) in exchange for a backdoor appointment of a journalist with her ex-husband Andrew. After it all became public, Ferguson apologized and blamed her mistake on "financial problems."

Sarah Ferguson in the Panama Papers

In 2016, The Guardian included Sarah Ferguson's name in the so-called Panama Papers. It alluded to a possible relationship between the Duchess of York and the controversial law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Prince Andrew and the Epstein case

In 2019, after the involvement of Prince Andrew in the Epstein scandal, Sarah Ferguson once again sought the spotlights. She spoke out in support of the prince. "I support him deeply and am proud of this great man," the Duchess of York declared, after journalists and law enforcement officials had questioned him about alleged sexual misconduct with minors.

 

Read more about Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein here.

Andrew: "a man of principle"

"Andrew is a man of principle," she said, "who dares to face adversity and stand firm with his sense of honor and truth." For Sarah Ferguson, her ex-partner continued to be "family." To see him suffer, she stated, was "really painful."

Sarah Ferguson breaks her silence

"The last six months have been difficult for the girls and me," Ferguson revealed in December 2019. Prince Andrew had laid down his official tasks as a member of the Royal House.

2020: another difficult year

The problems did not end with the turning of the calendar year. In 2020, Andrew faced more accusations and COVID-19 hindered their eldest daughter Beatrice from having a big royal wedding.

2021 should be better

The coming year should be a better one for the Duke and Duchess of York. Eugenie is expecting a child, so they will become grandparents. What's more, Eugenie and her husband Jack have moved into the Royal Lodge to have the baby there.

Eugenie and the baby will be close to grandma Fergie

"The York family home, which Andrew and Fergie still share despite being divorced, has 30 rooms and a huge amount of land," the newspaper Mirror says, "so there is more than enough room for them all to live together." Hopefully, Ferguson will have enough peace and quiet to finish her romance novel in time.

 

From Megxit to Covid: a difficult year for European royals

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