While Meghan Markle and Prince Harry rocked the world with their recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, it was actually Sarah ‒ affectionately known as Fergie ‒ who beat the pair to describe what life was like in the Royal Family to the US TV legend. After her divorce was finalised 25 years ago Fergie appeared on Oprah’s show to dismantle the idea of the royal “fairytale”. She said: “That is the fairytale, but then comes the [reality] that you didn’t marry the fairytale, you married a man.
“You fell in love and you married the man and then you’ve got to come to terms with the fairytale.
“Now, it’s not a fairytale, it’s real life in there ‒ well, so to speak, they think it’s real life.”
Fergie was over the moon when she married her royal husband, the Duke of York, but it didn’t take long for cracks to start appearing in their marriage.
Andrew was away for long periods with the Navy, during which Fergie was bored and lonely.
According to royal biographer Sarah Bradford, the couple saw each other just 40 days a year in the first five years of their marriage.
However, things were not perfect when they were together either; Fergie found Andrew’s preferred form of relaxation ‒ watching videos and playing golf ‒ equally boring, according to an 2006 Daily Mail article.
When they entertained together, his behaviour reportedly embarrassed her.
The article claimed at dinner parties, he was always served first and gobbled down his food, regardless of other guests.
He also had a fondness for telling loud and unfunny jokes, it said.
On the flipside, Fergie was said to be seen as a loose cannon and was forever being scolded by courtiers for her behaviour.
She was reported to like drinking in the pub behind the Royal Mews and holding parties with footmen where she and her father would pass round risque presents.
She would even burst into dinner parties, shouting: ‘Curtsey, curtsey, curtsey’ to other women as a joke, the article claimed.
When warned by her godmother that she would have to change her ways to fit in, she apparently shrugged and said “I’ll just be myself”.
At times, Andrew is said to have despaired at her behaviour, but Fergie was indignant that he did not stick up for her more to the Queen’s aides.
Ultimately, Fergie precipitated the end of their marriage by straying with other men and doing little to hide it.
Photographs of the Duchess with Texan businessman Steve Wyatt splashed across newspapers, and according to the article, Andrew was particularly annoyed by one of Mr Wyatt cuddling Princess Beatrice, who was a toddler at the time.
The worst example of this, however, was the infamous toe-sucking photograph, in which a topless Fergie could be seen having her toes sucked by American financial manager John Bryan.
This incident caused such tension between her and some members of the family that grudges are held to this day.
Fergie and Andrew agreed to separate and four years later officially divorced.
Unlike Diana, Fergie did not sign a non-disclosure agreement and so reportedly received a smaller payout.
However, it meant she could write books about her experience, and speak to various media, including Oprah Winfrey’s talk show.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK