Sarah Ferguson says she ‘loved every minute’ of being a royal: ‘I was a princess’
Sarah Ferguson has reflected on marrying into the royal family, and how much she “loved” being a “princess”.
The 63-year-old spoke candidly about her relationship with ex-husband Prince Andrew, who she was married to from 1986 to 1996, and her experiences as a working royal during a recent interview with The Telegraph. According to the Duchess of York, through her marriage, she had the opportunity to fulfill her childhood dreams of being a “princess”.
“Remember that the dream of every little girl is to be a princess, and I was a princess. And I loved every minute of it,” Ferguson recalled.
The author, who shares daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice with her ex, was then asked about her 1996 interview with Oprah Winfrey, when she said that royal life was “not a fairy tale”. In response, the duchess explained why she’d felt the way she had, and how her perspective had been influenced by the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September.
“The thing is, I had the great honour of being the Queen’s daughter-in-law, and therefore I couldn’t not see every single second as a great learning curve,” she explained.
She was then asked how she felt about her specific duties, such as getting dressed up for royal events and attending the functions. In response, Ferguson said that she “loved” both of those things.
“Listen, if every little girl’s dream is to be a princess, then your job is to uphold that dream. So I don’t ever want to let it down,” she said.
Ferguson went on to speak positively about the royal family, and of the ways she plans to honour her former mother-in-law, whose dogs she adopted.
“It’s unbelievably important to uphold Her Majesty’s legacy,” she said. “And although I’m not a member of the royal family any more, my values are what I believe is right – and that’s what they uphold.”
According to the duchess, she also passes these values onto her daughters, with Ferguson telling the outlet that she always tells Eugenie and Beatrice: “Even when you’re just walking out of your own front door, always smile. Uphold all that. No one wants to see a grumpy princess.”
During the interview, the duchess also opened up about her amicable split from the disgraced royal, and where they stand now.
“I think we have an amazing mutual understanding of one another,” she said of the Duke of York. “We’ve always been like that. Also, we both hate confrontation.”
She also discussed the importance of “perception” and how it could be applied to her ex, after acknowledging that when he went “through a hard time,” she used to be able to turn to the Queen.
“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,” she said. “I really mean that.”
She spoke about her ongoing support for Andrew, with the duchess revealing that the Queen was “very relieved” to have her help as they navigated his sex abuse scandal.
Andrew stepped down as a working royal over his association to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in May 2020. Last year, he reached a a settlement with Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexually abusing her while she was underage. Andrew has denied the allegations on multiple occasions.
This is not the first time Ferguson has opened up about her relationships with the royal family, and specifically the Queen. During an interview with People earlier this week, she described how “compassionate” the monarch was and how the late ruler was “so brilliant at putting” others “at ease”.
“She had the most incredible faith of any single person I’ve ever met,” the A Most Intriguing Lady author explained. “She just knew what to do. She knew how to make people feel good. She never took it onboard as about her. It’s about the monarchy, about making someone feel good. She was my total idol.”