SARAH FERGUSON and Princess Diana were good friends before either bride married into the Royal Family – but the Duchess of York was upset on Diana’s wedding day when she was snubbed by the new Princess of Wales, she writes in her 1996 autobiography.
Sarah Ferguson – affectionately known as Fergie – married Prince Andrew in their romantic 1986 royal wedding. However, before she joined the Royal Family, the Duchess of York was firm friends with Lady Diana Spencer. Even in those early days, however, Fergie compared herself unfavourably with Diana, and felt upset and “unworthy” on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ spectacular wedding day in 1981.
In her 1996 autobiography “My Story”, Fergie recalls how she met Diana a year before her royal wedding to Prince Charles.
She writes: “Diana and I hit it off, and soon we were lunching together once a week.
“Diana invited me to her wedding, a very big deal, and thoughtfully gave me some material to make up into a dress – needless to say, I had nothing suitable.
“I went to the ceremony on my own, in a very big car.
The Duchess of York; The Prince and Princess of Wales (Image Getty)
Princess Diana’s wedding day in 1981 (Image Getty)
“I walked up to St Paul’s and in on my own – to Dome A, Row A, Seat 4 – and walked out the same way, nerves ringing at every step.”
However, she continues: “Diana’s flatmates were all included for wedding breakfast at the Palace, but I had not been invited.
“My feelings were hurt – there was nothing like a grand occasion to make me feel fat and unworthy.”
However, she continues: “I stayed close to Diana.
Fergie and Andrew after their marriage ceremony in 1986 (Image Getty)
“I knew that she had very little social life.
“She never went out, never did anything except be bored.
“She was, and is, the most beautiful, perfect princess.
“But perfection came at a cost, even for Diana.
Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson in 1982 (Image Getty)
Diana and Fergie had a complex friendship (Image Getty)
“She was two years younger than I, and I strove to support and protect her as I would a younger sister – as I still do today, as a best friend.”
The two royal wives would face a tumultuous friendship over the years.
Their royal careers were very similar, with both women separating from their husbands in 1992, and then divorcing in 1996.
The Duchess of York would face a stark decision about writing her autobiography, as her high-profile divorce from Andrew played out in 1996.
Prince Andrew and Fergie timeline (Image: Getty)
Fergie could have chosen to sign a confidentiality clause as part of her divorce deal, which would have potentially seen her walk away with millions.
In 1992 reports, Fergie was expected to receive a large sum from Prince Andrew’s personal trust fund, estimated to be around £7million, or £14.2million in today’s money.
Or, on the other hand, Fergie could leave without agreeing to confidentiality and be free to talk about her experiences in the Royal Family and her difficulties with life in the Palace.
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew together this summer at Royal Ascot (Image: Getty)
She chose no confidentiality, which meant that she was able to go on to publish ‘My Story’ that year.
It has been estimated that the Duchess has made around £2.2million from her autobiographies, which also include 2003’s “What I Know Now: Simple lessons learned the hard way”, and “Finding Sarah: A Duchess’ journey to find herself”, released in 2011.
Princess Diana, in contrast, signed a confidentiality clause as part of her divorce settlement, and walked away with an astonishing £17 million, or over £31 million in today’s money.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK