PRINCE CHARLES had some “maddening” words for Princess Diana, according to Sarah Ferguson – at a time that “must have been hell” for the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of York writes in her 1996 autobiography.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot in their fairytale 1981 royal wedding, however they would face an infamously tumultuous married life together. When Sarah Ferguson joined the Royal Family in 1986, the two women were firm friends, but similarly faced a rocky friendship over the years. The Duchess of York provided an unusually intimate portrait of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and how Charles’ “maddening” words made things worse for Diana, who was going through “hell”.
In her 1996 autobiography ’My Story’, the Duchess wrote: ‘In February 1986 I joined Charles and Diana at Klosters while Andrew was at sea.
“I was in my element.
“I knew everybody form past holidays there and after years of skiing powder at Verbier I could get down the mountain faster than most men.
“Looking back, it must have been hell for Diana.
The Duchess of York and Prince of Wales (Image Getty)
Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson (Image Getty)
“She was going through one of her rough patches, didn’t ski that well anyway, longed to stay inside – and there was rosy-cheeked Fergie, hearty to the last, always in crashing good form.
“I must have been maddening to her – especially after Charles prodded her, and not for the last time, ‘Why can’t you be more like Fergie?’”
Former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown, in her 2007 book “The Diana Chronicles”, sheds more light on the tense friendship between the two royal women.
She writes: “Prince Charles was enchanted with Fergie’s zest for field and stream.
Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson in 1982 (Image Getty)
“’Why can’t you be more like Fergie?’ was the Prince’s new refrain as Fergie charged around in her wellies with her outdoor glow.
“When they all went on a skiing trip at Kosters, Fergie bombed down the slopes with Chalres and Andrew like a pro while Diana wobbled along or sulked in the chalet.
“I got terribly jealous and she got jealous of me, Diana admitted to Morton.
“I couldn’t understand it – she was actually enjoying being where she was, whereas I was fighting to survive.”
Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson on the slopes (Image: Getty)
Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson skiing together in 1988 (Image: Getty)
Ms Brown continues: “Fergie was obsessed with how thin, elegant and beautiful Diana was compared to her own weight struggles and lack of poise.
“Diana meanwhile had not anticipated what a hit Fergie wold be with the other members of The Firm.
“The Queen liked her new daughter-in-law because she was a country girl, a real one this time, with an unfeigned passion for riding derived from a childhood on the Hampshire horse-show circuit.
“Diana was mortified to learn that when Prince Andrew was away , the ‘Top Lady’, as she called Her Majesty, often asked Fergie to dine at Buckingham Palace – something she rarely did with Diana.
Prince Charles and Sarah Ferguson pictured in 1988 (Image: Getty)
“The Duchess even found favour with Prince Philip by learning to carriage drive, his favourite sport.”
The author adds: “Fergie told me once that the experience of being left by their mothers – one that I had assumed was paramount in their bond – was never a subject she and Diana more than passingly discussed.
“But it was there, unspoken, having both with a bedrock of insecurity they had sought to assuage by the imagined permanence of becoming royal.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK