Fergie and Diana’s rocky relationship

Losing a royal title is something that Harry now has in common with his aunt – formerly Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York – better known by the nickname Fergie. For a time it was a dubious honor that Ferguson shared with Harry’s mother, the late Princess Dianna, who lost the royal title following her divorce from Prince Charles.

While Fergie and Princess Diana had a notoriously rocky relationship – the pair were not speaking at the time of Diana’s death — it wasn’t always that way.

Once upon a time, the pair was inseparable. Diana invited Ferguson to her wedding and the two would soon be meeting up for weekly lunches. Diana even acted as Ferguson’s matchmaker, ensuring the latter was invited to Windsor Castle for a “dine and sleep” event, going so far as to seat the young Prince Andrew next to her. Later,  Diana hosted the couple at Highgrove, her country house, so they could get to know each other before the press discovered they were dating.

A vivacious Ferguson also brought out Diana’s cheeky side. The duo famously was snapped poking their pal, Lulu Blacker, in the bum with their umbrellas at Royal Ascot in 1987. The Daily Sun, for its part, remarked at the time, “Far too much frivolity.” At the beginning of her marriage to Prince Andrew, 60, Fergie was adored by the Royal Family given her love of sports and bouncy demeanor. But the embrace of Fergie caused tension between the two royal outsiders.

Diana told her biographer Andrew Morton that Ferguson “wooed everybody in this family and did it so well. She left me looking like dirt.” She also added that Prince Charles had moaned, “I wish you would be like Fergie – all jolly.”

However, in spite of any rivalry between them, Diana and Ferguson supported each other when they both left their husbands and holidayed together with their children.

Princess Diana with Sarah Ferguson.
Georges De Keerle/Getty ImagesGetty Images

But, by the time Diana was killed in a car accident in 1997, the pair hadn’t spoken for over a year. Fergie professed to not know why the rift had occurred, but it’s believed that Diana was irked about a catty detail the Duchess of York included in her 1996 autobiography.

In the book, Ferguson revealed that Diana had given her several pairs of shoes, “and less happily, her plantar warts.”

Ferguson, for her part, insisted that the feud had run its course just before Diana’s tragic death.

“I tried, wrote letters, thinking whatever happened didn’t matter, let’s sort it out,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in 2018. “And I knew she’d come back. In fact, the day before she died she rang a friend of mine and said, “Where’s that Red? I want to talk to her.”

Ferguson, who still retains the Duchess of York title, has been in the news as of late ahead of her eldest daughter Beatrice’s marriage this May to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Rumors swirled this week as to whether Harry and Meghan would turn up for Beatrice’s wedding but, according to Page Six, they are expected to attend.

The Weight Watchers spokeswoman surprisingly scored a seat at Harry and Meghan’s wedding but was left off the reception list. This was a step up from William and Kate’s wedding, in which Ferguson was not invited to either. The redheaded ex-royal admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that the snub was hurtful.

“It was so difficult because I wanted to be there with my girls and to be getting them dressed and to go as a family,” she confessed.

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