Sarah Ferguson on Prince Andrew, being pitted against Diana and her 'dirty laugh’

Niamh McGovern

Sarah Ferguson has insisted she will stand by disgraced Prince Andrew despite the controversy surrounding her ex-husband.

The Duchess of York, better known as Fergie, was married to Andrew for 10 years until they separated in 1996.

The pair have two children daughter, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Andrew was accused of sexually assaulting Virginia Guiffre, one of Epstein’s victims, when she was underage in the US. Andrew has consistently and vehemently denied the accusations.

Andrew was stripped of his military titles and asked to step down as a working royal last year, after he paid Guiffre a multi-million pound settlement to stop the case going to court.

Speaking to Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio One, Ferguson insisted she would stand by Andrew.

“I will stand by what I believe is right and good and kind of a heart and of a human being; he stood by me in my very difficult times. However, I still believe that he is a good father and a very good grandfather, and he stood by me, and I’ll stand by him.

The 63-year-old released her latest book, ‘A Most Intriguing Lady, a Novel’ late last year and she has said it “has a bit of "herself in it.

Lady Mary, the main protagonist in the book, is rebellious red head who struggles with the stiff confines of society, similar to how Fergie sees herself.

Having signed a 22-book deal, she said, “I think going minute by minute, day by day, I love this book. I think you’ve always got to do what you love.

“Book one I was just becoming a novelist and author. I'm 63, starting a new career and very proud of it and so lady Margaret was my first book, Lady Mary is my second book.

“The third book; the more that I'm getting confident in myself the more I can write and can get into it.”

The lengthy interview saw O’Connor commend Ferguson for being Ireland’s ‘favourite’ royal, telling her she was more craic that the rest.

He also referred to her “dirty laugh” to which Fergie insisted she wouldn’t change.

While she acknowledges she has lived “every girls dream”, she said living in the royal institution prevented her from expressing herself.

“It was a thing in those days not to express your emotions. I suppose that’s why it has been very difficult for me because I am full of joy, and I am full of why and full of curious life.”

During her early life, tabloids often pitted Fergie and Princess Dianna against each other, writing headlines calling Fergie the “Duchess of Pork” and “Fat Frumpy Fergie”.

“It was diabolical, Diana and I were permanently put against each other, permanently there was competition because they had to sell papers. There were some headlines that they have taken down saying they never said it but I've kept copies of it so they can’t.

“And I admit yes, I'm very vulnerable sometimes when it hurts, it does hurt. And that’s probably when I would reach for the cookie jar.

“We (herself and Dianna) were inseparable, and we knew each other from the Barbara Cartland days, that was a relative of hers. It's really important that I believe in kindness so it didn’t matter what anyone said about Dianna or what Dianna said about me, I loved her to the day, even today. She was witty and quick, we both got on brilliantly.”

With King Charles’ coronation approaching, she said she has not yet received an invitation to the ceremony but believes he will bring a “fresh new chapter” and “bring a great unity and fresh look at life”.

“If we look back on Charles life, the King’s life, we will see that he was a champion of environmentalist; he was a champion of so many things and he was criticized for it all the way through and so yes I do think he's going to be a modern king.”