With her informal style and sense of fun Sarah Ferguson seemed like a breath of fresh air sweeping through a somewhat outdated institution. “The Fergie Story” provides a unique glimpse into the life of the woman who could have been one of the most influential members of the Royal Family.
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Sarah Duchess of York never quite fitted the Royal mold even the nickname Fergie persisted reflecting her determination to remain herself the flying lessons the frequent skiing holidays her appearance and the design of the new home given to her by the Queen all excited comment and controversy it had all started so well a strong character she was one of the most influential women to become Duchess of York but as an adventurous contemporary woman with an independent outlook her attitude and ideas didn't sit easily with the rigid protocol of royal life her clothes reflected a lack of judgment her over familiarity with the press raised eyebrows she seemed extravagant with money and managed her own affairs badly as a member of the royal family the artificial constraints and strict scheduling of public life went against her own preference for spontaneity enthusiasm and easy laughter for a while Fergie was a breath of fresh air but when the story broke that her marriage was on the rocks it was amidst reports that she and Andrew were often heard shouting at each other behind the stuffy walls of Buckingham Palace it was soon obvious that their relationship had moved beyond repair Fergie had been crushed between a hostile press and a roll system that had failed to give support her need for company while her husband was away at sea had damaged her own reputation and reflected badly on the royal family but what does royalty do when the wife wants out is the British monarchy itself under threat in this Democratic age royalty has had to widen the circle of potential marriage partners to include commoners but the Duke and Duchess are yet another example of an experiment that's failed so where does a royal family go from here Sarah Ferguson had seemed the perfect raw material for a royal consort someone who embraced her new status with determination and enthusiasm but somehow she fell foul of the media and the royal system where did it all go wrong the British royal family is a tightly knit group with its own unique lifestyle its members of very wary of outsiders but like the previous Duchess of York now the Queen Mother Sarah Ferguson's entry into the ranks was welcomed for them Prince Andrew couldn't have chosen a better wife they admired her sensible attitude and strong personality the Queen immediately began referring to her as my daughter and the Queen Mother summed her up by saying she's so English so free of all those airs and graces we can't stand with an ancestry rooted in the land and services her family background was also impeccable the Queen had known the Ferguson's for three decades and had watched this high-spirited redhead grow up Sarah's enduring interest in horses polo and other country pursuits particularly endeared her to the Queen and from the beginning they were often seen at equestrian events together horsemanship of any kind is a central interest for all the royal family but when the press gets in the way the Queen is not amused the relationship between these two women was always very relaxed they they're both outdoor horsey doggy sort of women and the Queen's also likes people with personality and she finds Sarah and amusing companion they get on very well far better in fact the Queen gets on with Diana who she finds more difficult and more restrained when she's with her Fergie quickly became known as the action princess her mother had taught her to ride almost as soon as she could walk and at a special fun day at Ascot she gave an impressive public display of her own equestrian skills but she was perhaps best known as the flying Duchess determined to learn all she could about her husband's work as a naval helicopter pilot chatterbox won as she was dubbed by a traffic controller was the first royal lady to get a pilot's license and then took less time than a husband to win her wings helicopters as she herself explained I now know exactly what he's talking about when he comes home from a day's flying but her most controversial activity was skiing she was first put on skis when she was four years old and it remained an obsession but the Prince and Princess of Wales were also keen skiers she rivals Charles in skill and speed and both enjoyed competing on the slopes for Fergie skiing was a vital outlet for her energy and love of speed she's certainly outclassed Diana despite these joint holidays fergie skiing exploits were singled out and the sports image as the elite pastime of the Jet Set soon added fuel to the media's growing criticisms of her leisure pursuits she was portrayed as a parasite shirking her public responsibilities in favour of personal indulgence because they are sort of so-called glamour sports women she once said to me if only I was it if any it was tennis no one would mind but because I want to go skiing people feel that it's it's a glamorous thing and perhaps not something a duchess should be doing all the time but when other members of the royal family do it and don't get criticized it seems that everything she does is open to criticism but her commitment to public duties seemed real enough as a naval wife she could have got away with only the occasional public appearance but she took on a heavy schedule and launched into crowds with a bustling enthusiasm eager to make contact her early career in public relations stood her in good stead unlike Diana she needed little coaching before being confident enough to go it alone but this maturity created problems in itself the Duchess of York who arrived in the royal family when she was quite matured 2526 had been around the world you know she didn't hitchhike but she traveled widely the way lots of young and women do and to suddenly step inside this great institution this machine that swallows people up and and decides what they will do must have been very very difficult to adjust to especially as instead of having a sort of gentle introduction to it she was dropped straight into and she began doing a lot of official jobs almost immediately after the honeymoon at 26 she wanted to bring her own ideas to the job as one departure from the norm she chose to support Tracy Edwards and her all woman crew for the Whitbread round-the-world race in 1989 with their yacht maiden she admired their courage and determination and such a challenge appeal to her own sense of adventure but one of the most unexpected and frustrating aspects of her new royal status was the sudden lack of personal money supply she'd been used to earning her own living and spending her own cash if you want to go out for lunch with your girlfriends you need 50 pounds or something where is it going to come from well the men in the Windsor family don't understand that because they don't go out for lunch like that I mean the Prince of Wales never goes out to restaurant that I know of for meals at all Prince Andrew lives on a navy base most of the time works on in navy establishments he doesn't pop out very often occasionally he takes his wife out for dinner somewhere in a nice restaurant but that would be the bill would maybe will be sent or a policeman will pay with an American Express card or something it's it's they just don't deal with money so they can't understand why a woman would want to have some readies the irony wants that despite this behind-the-scenes cash flow problem turkey was gaining a reputation for extravagance again it was her skiing that gave rise to these accusations of being spendthrift it's pretty not very wise with her money but she doesn't have a great deal of it to be wise with I mean she's made money out of her writing which is she's perfectly entitled to do it in indeed when she came into the family when she first got engaged to Andrew Prince Phillip as she said it's nice to have someone in this family that makes their own living and then it seemed to be everything she did that was good to start with seemed to go against her before fergie became part of the royal family she'd had a four-year love affair with a millionaire entrepreneur from the Formula One racing world Patti McNally was still an enduring influence paddy McNally was a sort of father figure to her and he was sort of man he'd always tease her his tease her about putting on weight he'd tease her about eating chocolate he'd tease her about her hair he'd tease her about everything and she'd loved him very much actually and I'm sure marriage would not have worked between them I mean he was 20 years older than her but he was a sort of a rock for her although he undermined her confidence tremendously by always having an eye for the you know someone else somebody younger and prettier so he knocked confidence but he was there for her and is still there for her as as a friend and I respect the way he's never ever said a word to anyone about his relationship with her say there's got to be some good in him there Fergie's mother Susan filed for divorce in order to marry Argentinean polo player Hector BER antes four years later Ronnie Ferguson also married again and started a new much younger family Fergie was fond of both her step parents and although newcomers to the royal family usually found their own relations pushed into the background she was determined that none of hers would be left out it helped that her father Maj Ferguson was already Prince Charles's polo manager and the increased press exposure soon made him into an internationally known media personality such notoriety had its flipside though in September 1988 stepmother Susan and Fergie were at Smith's lawn to give public support at major Ferguson's controversial departure it was a brave show of solidarity for a crowing press a ceremonial stick marked the end of his many years as deputy chairman of the guards Polo Club after tabloid newspapers revealed details of his visits to a massage parlor in London's West End it was an emotional farewell under a cloud of scandal the club committee had voted him out and the message was clear for the 57 year old father of the royal Duchess it was a humiliating rejection despite Thresh's to distance herself Fergie was there to give her support for both of them it was a case of putting on a stiff upper lip [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] Fergie felt very responsible for what had happened and stuck by him throughout the ordeal I think that's one of the qualities I admire about her her loyalty to her father and her sister when they have had unpleasant publicity and I think she feels that if it weren't for me they wouldn't be the focus of all this attention who would be going around checking up on her father or her sister if they weren't related to the Duchess of York and so she feels that it's in a way her fault they've had these these problems and she would like to help them as much as she can and so she stays very very loyal and devoted to both of them but it was her relationship with Andrew that most interested the press the Prince had first been attracted by her lack of reverence towards him and enjoyed her no-nonsense attitude to life to begin with they seemed perfectly matched as Fergie once said he's my main right arm he's the one who gets me through their arrival in clusters for the wedding of friend and Swiss ski guide Bruno sprecher brought the world's press to a private celebration on a less happy occasion this same man had saved Prince Charles's life during the Avalanche that killed major hue Lin Zi but the York's were still behaving like newlyweds themselves and their own marriages physical warmth was there for all to see how much in love they both were I mean to be with them sometimes is almost embarrassing they were so you know tactile and and they just couldn't leave each other alone and it was something it made you feel quite warm and happy just to look at it them and I don't think that sort of thing goes away in a hurry this personal happiness also showed in their public duties to begin with they carried out a lot of official engagements together businesslike but with their own brand of informality they made a good team Fergie seemed determined to make a go of her new life and that included creating a new home sunning Hill Park five miles down the road from Windsor Castle is rumoured to have cost almost five million pounds it was the Queen's wedding present and took four years to complete incorporating staff quarters and nursery wing Plus running pool tennis court and stables the 50-room mansion looks more like a Texas ranch than a traditional English stately home and was nicknamed Palace Dallas and South York by the press Sarah's first pregnancy was a difficult one she expanded from a size 12 to a size 16 and felt continually sick with Andrew away at sea she also had no husband by her side to comfort her and had to cope alone but with the arrival of the Queen's fifth grandchild Beatrice Elizabeth Mary the discomfort and long wait seemed worthwhile born at 8:18 on the eighth day of the eighth month of the 88 year of the century the new princesses timing according to Chinese astrology heralded great good fortune my daughter's gorgeous but I'm biased was the proud father's verdict while her mother immediately nicknamed this new redhead baby beetroot even the press celebrated this latest royal edition but Fergie as a mother was soon under attack andrew had to leave on a six-month naval tour of duty to Australia immediately after the christening Fergie soon flew out to join him leaving behind her six week old baby I think she was really dropped right in it and she was floundering that for a while you know especially after she had Beatrice and she went to Australia and left the baby for six weeks people thought that was appalling now the truth behind that story is that is what the Duke of York asked her to do and she felt as a good wife and the fact that he'd been away from from home for most of that year she felt she Oded to him to give him a total undivided attention you know tender loving care etc he'd been home a very very short time that year and so she thought the baby wouldn't miss me but basically she was putting good face and I'm sure she didn't really want to lead the baby but he wanted her to that's the main thing and so that's what she did back home her public duties continued her visits distinguished from those of other roles by a relaxed chat even in the most formal surroundings she'd mastered the fine art of small talk to total strangers determined to be professional she hid a basic shyness behind a supremely confident manner often disregarding protocol she relied heavily on her instincts to guide her always trying to cover as many people as she could her transparent eagerness was frequently off-putting to those who expected a more reserved royal family but she refused to become more aloof as she said herself I'm not going to change why should i but she seemed easily distracted if things bored her even during a long and tedious speech a ladybird by her feet should have been ignored but she couldn't seem to leave it alone and keep her attention on the job in hand it was a telling episode if there was a Charm School for moulding royal duchesses this was one pupil who'd failed to conform to the straightjacket of royal fortune Fergie's girlish exuberance persisted it was a straightforwardness at odds with the carefully structured and often monotonous nature of royal duties such non-royal behavior had been excusable in the beginning but her learning curves seemed to have taken away would turn when it came to patience and standing still on parade but when a bit of action was required she was in her element audience participation was what she was good at and if some balloons needed to be cut loose she would wrestle with the wind and wield the scissors with enthusiasm to get them airborne the press were becoming more and more critical of her excitable behavior and her lack of decorum generated an air of disrespect at ground level to one awkward situation occurred when she was taken past Worman scrubs prison and had to acknowledge the wry bald comments of inmates before embarking on an official visit to a hospital being royal certainly does involve submitting to a bizarre range of public appearances sometimes it really is just like a children's party crowds of overexcited on lookers sports personalities clowns cartoon characters the role demands considerable versatility as well as polished performance skills when on Form Fergie seemed more than equal to the challenge but more often she never quite seemed to find the right tone the right level of involvement at times her enthusiasm led her into picking the wrong event inviting ridicule and even contempt far more popular abroad where her feisty independent manner was admired at home she was considered over the top the press had now definitely singled her out as the Royal to put the knife in Andrew wasn't around to help so we're worthy advisers to assist a commoner through this public relations minefield there is no job description for people coming into the royal family there's no job description for a for a princess there was no job description for Mark Phillips when he came into the royal family or Antony armstrong-jones when he came in and we all know what happened to those marriages and I think with the Duchess of York she if somebody had said to her well don't you think you might do this you might do that you might curtail things and the I believe the one person who could have done it would have been the Princess Royal because she was born royal she'd never been anything other than royal and she knows exactly how to behave at all times but sometimes she did manage to turn her enthusiasm to good effect all the bad publicity her love of skiing had received ignored her valuable support for the combined services Winter Sports Association and her particular interest in their disabled skiing program she was a major factor in this charities fundraising and despite being pregnant with Eugenie and unable to ski herself she made the trip up the mountain to watch the races but first an unscheduled stop to sign a plaster cast such frequent acts of impulse created havoc with the carefully timed official schedules causing irritation and resentment amongst royal staff used to a more ordered way of doing things but despite all her gaffes and upsets such spontaneity revealed a warm heart the Association organizes many events and here at Meserve in the French Alps there were the full range of races including the slalom for disabled skiers at the final prize-giving Fergie's role as president became more formal including much to her amusement the provision of an exotic li coloured throne as usual her relaxed manner and humor cut through the stage e setup of the presentation ceremony never at a loss for words she would always rise to the occasion when an off-the-cuff speech was called for I just sound so pleased to be here today I mean a fantastic but her main charity interest was far from the glamorous environment of the ski slopes motor neurone disease was little publicized before Fergie took up the cause as yet incurable the disease leads to total incapacity and is often fatal on a visit to a group of people with the disease in Australia her sincerity and determination to be their voice was very obvious nice to see you go to keep strong so I'll just keep just got to keep on fighting that's what we've got to do and as I said to raise you know we're gonna we're gonna knock it on the head one day but I think I think people are beginning to realize little bit when I know when I get up and make the speech that I normally mention it beginning to connect the two they are beginning to start you know because I found this I find that when I start talking about it they say what is imaginary when you're feeling isolated and alone I haven't forgotten you and I'm at there fighting for you so we're gonna get there we've just got to keep going but such work got little press coverage this was due both to media bias and also the unfettered genic nature of the causes involved I feel she hasn't had a lot of the credit she deserves for charity work because unlike the Princess of Wales she's not involved with cute little babies who look gorgeous and snuggly and cuddly they may be dying of AIDS but it doesn't look like it when you see them in the pictures the Duchess is involved with people paralysed people suffering from motor neurone disease I mean that the motor neurone disease association is probably her main charity and these people don't make pretty pictures but yet she does some magnificent work with them I remember in Australia we went to visit a clinic where there are a lot of people in wheelchairs and one of the men there was at such an advanced stage he could no longer speak and he felt so frustrated and not being able to talk to her when she came around to sit with him then he began to cry and she held his hand and she said don't worry I'll be your voice and I'll make the world listen to us I'll keep on shouting and telling them until you know they listen to us and we find a cure and it was magnificent stuff and there was a television crew there practically in tears that there also moved everybody in the room were so moved and a lot of newspaper photographers and I said oh we can't use that that's too upsetting for the breakfast tables of Britain they wouldn't use the pictures they said oh no if the man doesn't look very good and you know it's not nice and so she has that problem repeatedly the press always seemed far more interested in making unfair comparisons between Fergie and the Princess of Wales's appearance she was portrayed as a laughable contrast to the tall elegant Diana a dumpy figure of fun who light flashy colors and over-the-top outfits that seemed totally unsuitable she just didn't conformed of a stereotyped dress code of a royal family judged for its shows of restraint and good taste in her previous life clothes had never been a priority and high fashion had always bored her such an individual mode of dressing could have worked just as the Queen Mother's unique star became part of her public success but Fergie's vibrancy berated she just seemed too theatrical and as ever she was facing a hostile press her whole appearance became a constant target for ridicule she was also up against some stiff competition in Diana but the image-conscious Princess of Wales had known exactly where to go for good advice I mean Princess Diana did have the people at Vogue to help her and just as I was saying I would there are no royal lessons and perhaps somebody should have drafted probably not the same people but some other people as well versed in fashion to help the Duchess of York it's not that she doesn't have a good eye or a sense of style it's just that different things photograph differently different things are suitable for different things there are problems when you get out of a car and the world's press is waiting just waiting to take the photograph there are problems when you've got to look sort of elegant for hours at a time so then shouldn't crease thing was like putting sort of la at the back of a hat was probably meant to be very sweet to the people of LA but of course was immediately pounced on by the sort of style experts here as being very declasse I think that the Duchess of York's very lively and buoyant and thinks that life should have her funny and witty and amusing side and I think that the establishment and the fashion establishment once fashion taken terribly seriously and perhaps didn't agree with her ideas the popular press didn't seem to agree with any of her ideas they swarmed around her ready to catch any unguarded moment no matter what she did or how she looked the story was always a negative one in some ways the press perhaps have been rather difficult when it came to Sarah because I think the the Duchess of York came along she was so different from the Princess of Wales I think the press was so terribly sizes to know so that every time she at the house she must have felt I look the wrong size no they criticize her fashion sense they criticize everything about I think that it's very difficult to have an image when you're not sure perhaps what your own image is and perhaps you're not obsessed by it as some people in the limelight her pregnancy proved particularly difficult a time when choosing clothes for public view became even more of a nightmare and often looked as much both time she expanded to alarming proportions with a huge accompanying weight gain even afterwards she found this extra weight difficult to shift and the tabloids pilloried her unmercifully such unrelenting personal comment was difficult for anyone to cope with and she took it badly she had figure problems figure faults that got publicized heavily and that kind of thing makes any woman terribly embarrassed and upset and I think nobody realizes how upset she used to get and how she's to sit at home and cry about the cruel things are written in newspapers and people thought she was a figure of fun and because she she wasn't so close to the throne they thought that they could more or less say whatever they liked about her in the press I mean you wouldn't say such things about Diana not only because she's slim and gorgeous but but because she is right up there you know the next Queen of England and a bit of a sacred cow I needed his tread very warily around Diana but Fergie well she's you know she's never going to be queen she's she's way down the young pecking order and so I think they decided that once they could get away with it they kept doing it and she didn't have the clout or the influence to get it stopped it's very difficult to stop things on it so all this freebie Fergie you know fun-loving Fergie all the the other ones you know the Duchess of pork etc all these names became gospel Andrew of course wasn't around much to offer advice or support against this press onslaught his naval commitments frequently took him away leaving his wife to face the music alone but would this freewheeling self-centered prince have really understood her problems anyway what kind of a man is he spoiled difficult but charming very naive and very immature compared to the other men that Sarah's known in her life but I think you know he has got some guts in him and I just think if you just sat down and you know considered there are there other people in the world besides him you know his life is gonna be a lot happier I think he has to stand up to his father which is difficult and he has to communicate with his mother I mean life hasn't been a bowl of roses for him it's been very protected and that hasn't really prepared him for the rigors of everyday life I'm not talking about his life in the Navy I talking about emotionally he's immature I think most people when they meet Prince Andrew for the first time they think he's a very physical person which he is he appears to to rush at you if you go into a room you're being presented to him you know you normally give a neck but when you remember the royal family he holds his hand out and he's aggressive almost like an American Americans are quite aggressive when you first meet them they appear to be as if they're trying to dominate you and he does this he also shouts he appears to bark quite a lot as his father does whereas Charles and Edward are extremely quietly spoken and a little bit retiring quite reticent I suppose they're very reserved he is not in the least bit reserved he's very exuberant very high-spirited andrew has also been called arrogant too aware of his own position he often lacks patience particularly when people get in his line of view marriage did seem to broaden his outlook but as one friend said imagine what it's like being married to a man who's never eaten a Big Mac been into a pub or been shopping in a supermarket the Windsor boys are are not generous with their money because they haven't had to live like you or I have they haven't had to go out into a pub or a supermarket buy a round of drinks they don't know the price of food or they certainly don't know the price of clothes so you don't know the price of women's clothes although I'm sure Prince Charles got quite a good idea by now because he must have seen enough bills but they are not renowned for their generosity and I don't think that's really an inherent Scottish meanness I think it's really that they just have no idea what things cost as wife to a prince Sara suddenly had to look the part now in the public eye it was expected that she maintained a smart well-groomed appearance for every occasion something that inevitably costs a considerable amount of money Diana could draw on her allowance from the Duchy of Cornwall Fergie hadn't no such fund by the end of the marriage her overdraft was well into six figures in the early days the two sisters in noir grew to be close friends both were commoners and both had married men who were the products of the same very unusual childhood I think there's a variant to support the theory that these boys will never ever be able to have what is regarded as a normal relationship with with their wives not what most people regard as a normal relationship with their might because of their relationship they were brought up by nannies they have the nanny mentality and they're always looking for another nanny because they didn't have a mother in the real sense of the word this is this is not to blame the Queen in any way it's mainly because she's had to be the head of state enacted screen and head of the Commonwealth throughout the the lives of her children and I think it has affected the relationship that the boys have had with her with the rest of the family and with relationships that they've established outside the Queen herself feels very responsible for any new additions to the family when she was first married Prince Philip had also been away at sea for periods and she sympathized with her daughter-in-laws difficulties in trying to build a home life with an absent husband it was a big send-off at Portsmouth docks the Queen was taking her 1 year old granddaughter for her first cruise on the Royal Yacht Britannia Andrew for once was on leave from his own ship so it was a chance for them to be together as a family the Queen admired Fergie for maturing her most wayward son the Queen was very devoted to Sarah but first she was fond of her because she had taken that playboy Prince Andrew we've forgotten now that he was he was Randy Andy once upon a time now he looks like a very boring sober family man you know in the suburbs and she changed him Sarah Ferguson changed him from being a problem Prince into a nice settled family man so the Queen would love her for that she liked her for what she is which is a very charming person but I mean I hear all the time that the Queen goes over to stunning Hill Park for afternoon tea and to play with the children and she adores to begin with they seemed the perfect couple besotted with each other and unashamedly tactile in public their family life appeared relaxed and open despite the constant attentions of the press Beatrice soon had to face the spotlight too but she'd obviously inherited her mother's sociable disposition and was a natural for any photo call on Mothering Sunday 1990 Andrew became father to a second daughter and the first visitor at London's exclusive Portland Hospital was Beatrice come to see her new seven pound one ounce sister Eugenie another early visit who was Diana the sisters-in-law had now managed to produce the perfect balance of boys and girls royal cousins for a dynasty that seemed to be going from strength to strength Fergie soon emerged as a radiant mum with a new baby the York's happiness seemed complete for both of them marriage had provided a strength and stability for Fergie this was something she'd craved ever since her own parents have split up when she was still a school girl the future seemed very rosy but history was about to repeat itself not many months later cracks began to appear in the fairy tale facade Andras duties were still taking him away for long periods for a naval flying officer family matters have to take a backseat left at home the loneliness of being a naval wife was beginning to take its toll a situation only exacerbated by her growing isolation within the royal family she was struggling with the mounting problems of trying to build a successful public role while rumors were rife that she was finding support and even romance elsewhere she needed help and there was none around there's no Charm School for princesses or duchesses there's no one that sort of stands up and a guru that advises them I mean Fergie didn't have anyone like that desperately needed someone I think she had the advice of her father which sometimes wasn't the best advice and her mother was away and she had the advice of her friends who didn't really know there was no one really to help her no one that she respected enough to listen to and I think this is probably one of the problems of people marrying into this family there's no one to tell them what to do and what they can and can't do because you can't your former life just doesn't come into play when you marry into that family you just cannot do any of the things that you did before perhaps that had been her first mistake her refusal to forsake her skiing holidays ruffled feathers both inside and outside the palace horse riding was another interest she persisted in but at least this pursuit fitted more easily with the Royal Family's own obsession with horses but she can hardly be accused of not taking an interest in her husband's activities she took on the challenge of learning how to fly specifically to bring herself closer to him as she said herself flying is his life and I want to be a part of his life not many wise would have carried their devotion to such lengths chameleon-like she was willing to take on another's interests for the sake of a more understanding relationship the effort was all there and yet the marriage failed perhaps it was because she wasn't a typical windsor woman the fact that she can go on places like abroad and do speeches in French in German which the other winds of women can't do she is she is so different in a million different ways more like an ordinary woman career woman of today and they are really like women of a hundred years ago and I think that sums up basically the problem there's no way that that Fergie felt she would be beaten by the system but I think in the end it did beat her and I think you can't marry into that family and retain very much individuality which is very sad because that's what we all like the pressures of an unhappy marriage were clearly beginning to show for such an exuberant personality she seemed uncharacteristically withdrawn and depressed I think she needed time on her own to think also she was so stressed out I mean even the last time I saw her which was last year at the end of last year she was so stressed I couldn't believe it she was really thin and pale and she she just didn't know what was happening and then she had this terrible turmoil and the announcement and the separation and then the absolutely horrific press intrusion and she just had to get away us I think she would have burst when rumors of problems within the marriage began to leak out the newshounds scented blood and went in for the kill as ever personal problems were suddenly considered public property there was nowhere to hide it's just the media basically I think you know that has really destroyed Sara's happiness in a way and when she's getting attacked from the outside by the press the palace began to see that you know that she was very unpopular then she began perhaps to be getting attacked on the inside from the family or the palace and that was the end for her she couldn't cope with being attacked on all sides and she just wanted to go away but the show must always go on for generations the ceremony and mystique of royalty has been carefully maintained the myth is perpetuated that the roars are a world apart something removed and unreachable all the pomp and circumstance is just a part of representing stability and continuity of giving the public what they want a cleverly orchestrated management system creates this facade most of what the world is allowed to know about roiled goings-on is channeled through an extremely reticent press office in keeping with modern trends isn't it time that the presentation of royal family matters is made more open your dangers then that the the members of the royal family will be seen to be media fodder a rental royal if you like and the the public the press office will be seen as a public relations office which they're very anxious to avoid they don't to be seen as being in the public relations business so at the moment they have to handle essentially what is their main function which is looking after the public duties of members of the royal family but more and more of course in the last couple of years they are being asked to handle all surly the private family affairs the the state of marriage of three of the Queen's children I mean because as you know there's a constant spotlight and there is constant speculation about the state of the marriage of the Prince of Wales and the Princess of Wales prying eyes into her family's personal lives is a phenomenon the Queen finds difficult to understand like many of her subjects the British monarch is typically restrained when it comes to inquiring about other people's difficulties keeping up appearances no matter what happens is a vital part of the royal family firm as a mother the Queen finds it difficult to face up to family problems okay we'll go to almost any lengths to avoid confrontation she simply doesn't like confrontation with family business at all she leaves most of that sort of thing to Prince Philip anyway who doesn't avoid it he doesn't mind confrontation at all but the Queen will avoid it and she is very likely if somebody went up to her and said look don't you think it's time you had a word with Diana or with Sara about the state of their marriage she would be just as likely to say I think it's time the Kogi's had a walk in the garden and she would walk away and she'd walk away and leave it hope and believe that it would have disappeared when she came back she did she simply would not involve herself in any of the private squabbles relationships of her family at all but with the York's breakup coming so soon after Princess Anne's the Queen now faces a possible threat to the future of the monarchy itself The Prince and Princess of Wales are still together but what if royalty ultimately proves to be a role you have to be born and bred for the difficulty is that in previous generations they've they would have married they would have had arranged marriages they would have married somebody from the european royal houses and their Brides would have known what to expect they would have known the form and had there been any private disagreements between them these would have been kept strictly private and certainly wouldn't have been aired in public they couldn't have dreamed of making announcements to the press or going to the media in general and I think this is the difficulty that now they are having to look wider for their partners they're marrying commoners and it doesn't seem to work by the year 2000 fergie together with the Princess of Wales could have been one of the main influences to take the royal family into the 21st century fergie seemed to have all the right attributes but as it turned out she possessed a stubbornly independent spirit that was just too much for the Windsors and the royal system they don't particularly want women like that in the family they are too independent and and free wills for the powers the palace wants somebody who's willing to be content with just will charity work can be very rewarding very satisfying but where is the the talent that she's got being expressed if you just do charity work you know she she wants to find her own avenues to express herself I don't think perhaps perhaps that the Sarah Ferguson was the right type of woman although it appeared to us she was because she was too independent to vibrant too lively I mean if she'd been more subservient and sort of the little woman at home it wouldn't have been so many problems because she wouldn't have expected so much from the marriage I think but then obviously these boys are not attracted to this little women at home so here it's a dilemma there yes they don't really meet enough of the right sort of woman but then what is the right sort of woman it's very difficult I think for to be a prince of the royal blood and and find the right woman it all began with great expectations outside this charm circle is new territory what will happen to the first female ex-royal what does the future hold for Fergie everything she does is going to be wanted by the flesh it's always going to be an object of ridicule and if she gets close to anyone I think it's going to be very difficult for her to form another relationship she is the mother of the Queen's friend children so I think it's gonna be very hard