Sarah Ferguson says Queen Elizabeth was ‘very relieved’ to have her help with Prince Andrew

‘Well, since he stepped back [from royal duties] he doesn’t actually take taxpayers’ money,’ duchess said (Getty Images)

Sarah Ferguson has claimed that Queen Elizabeth II was “very relieved” to have her help with Prince Andrew as the disgraced royal navigated his sex abuse scandal.

The Duchess of York, who was married to the Duke of York from 1986 to 1996, opened up about her relationship with her ex-husband, and how the late monarch felt about her continued support, during an interview with The Telegraph.

According to Ferguson, who shares daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice with Prince Andrew, the Queen knew that she would always be there for her son, which made her relationship with her former daughter-in-law only grow “closer”.

“She knew. I will always be there. Always. Because I love her,” Ferguson said of her dedication to the late Queen, and her unwavering support for her ex-husband.

The duchess also spoke of her gratitude to have had “even a minute of HM’s time,” before claiming that the late ruler was also grateful for her.

“Because also, during the last three years, her poor son [Prince Andrew] has been going through such a tumultuous time, and I think HM was very relieved I could help her with him, so we became even closer, then,” Ferguson said.

“But I’ve always admired and adored her. Really, she was more of a mother to me than my mother,” she added.

In addition to her commitment to the Queen, Ferguson’s support for her ex-husband is born out of a desire to protect her family from harm.

When asked whether the last three years have made her family closer, the duchess offered a scenario to compare, with Ferguson asking the interviewer how she’d feel if her daughter fell over at school.

“You want to say: ‘Get up, come on, it’s fine!’ You don’t want her to be hurting. And I think it’s really sad to see what Andrew has been through,” she said.

During the interview, Ferguson, who still lives at Royal Lodge with her ex-husband when in the UK, also spoke candidly about their divorce and their relationship now.

According to the A Most Intriguing Lady author, she and the royal have “an amazing mutual understanding of one another,” which she said has always been a characteristic of their relationship.

“Also, we both hate confrontation,” she added.

Ferguson, who then reflected on the years of criticism she faced at the hands of the British tabloids, also discussed the importance of “perception,” and how it applies to her ex-husband.

According to the duchess, in the past, when Andrew “went through a hard time,” she used to be able to “throw it to The Boss,” an option that is no longer possible after the Queen’s death in September 2022.

“Perception is… so important. It can make or break someone. And I’m living with someone - at least when I’m in England and lucky enough to be a guest at Royal Lodge - and I see what that perception has done to a very kind man. I really mean that,” she said.

The duchess did not comment on reports that Prince Andrew has been offered Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s UK home Frogmore Cottage amid rumours he is set to be forced out of Royal Lodge, which he has occupied since 2003.

This is not the first time that the Duchess of York has openly defended her ex-husband, as she previously revealed that, if she could go back in time, she would still marry the Duke of York.

“Oh, yes. He’s a very good and kind man. He’s a good man,” she said during a June 2022 interview with Mariella Frostrup on Times Radio, before adding: “And, you know, I will stand very firmly by Andrew... a very good and kind man and that’s what I believe.”

Andrew stepped down as a working royal over his association to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Last year, he reached a multi-million dollar settlement with Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexually abusing her while she was underage. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations.