As Sarah Ferguson’s American quest for money continues – enlisting Oprah, Dr Phil, anyone who may prove lucrative – it’s striking how different Fergie is from her long-dead sister-in-law.
The difference is so clear that a fiction writer might have dreamt Fergie up as a foil to Princess Diana.
Where Diana was shy as a girl and not forthcoming, Fergie was always a gung-ho clodhopper. Diana would be photographed looking down or away from the camera but Fergie was always open-mouthed, vulgar and attention-seeking.
Diana was a very sensitive young woman, only nineteen when Prince Charles hoodwinked her into a marriage that was entirely disingenuous. She soon learnt that his adulterous affair with the married Camilla Parker-Bowles was far from over and that her prince was far from faithful.
Fergie, on the other hand, was genuinely loved by her long-suffering husband, Prince Andrew. She wrecked her marriage all on her own by having affairs and parading her lovers in the public eye.
During their marriages, the two women behaved very differently. Fergie quickly gained a reputation for spending money on herself, for partying, and for greed. Diana undertook charity and other philanthropic work and made a point of introducing her sons, princes William and Harry, to people far less fortunate so that they would learn two lessons. One was how fortunate they were themselves. The other was to have compassion for people who were ill, disabled or had other intractable problems.
While Diana was a loving and sensitive mother to her boys, Fergie foolishly issued statements to the press saying that she saw her two daughters as pals and liked going out “on the pull” with them at night.
While Diana became increasingly stylish and beauiful, Fergie appeared increasingly vulgar.
Once the two women were divorced, Diana handled her single status with dignity in public. She had relationships, yes, but in the main they were kept low-profile. It was only when she started to date Dodi Fayed years after her divorce that she was seen to be openly dating.
Fergie, on the other hand, went rapidly afer the rails after her divorce. Critically, she became a hanger-on to the rich and famous, sought publicity where she could find it and ran up massive debts.
Where Diana was genuinely wounded by her husband’s infidelity and by her divorce, Fergie charged around as usual, focusing on holidays, parties, shopping sprees and publicity.
In recent years Sarah Ferguson has tried hard to milk her ex-royal status for cash, principally tying to “work” American audiences. She knows all too well that whenever she opens her mouth in Britain, British people will reject her nonsense. Sarah has learnt that her many attempts to persuade British people that “it’s not my fault” fall on deaf ears.
Recently she announced that her debts are nothing to do with her spending far too much money on herself – they’re all about “low self-esteem”. She went on to say that she found it terribly difficult learning to be a princess when she married Prince Andrew.
Do stop it Sarah. You can pull that stuff in America maybe. But even across the pond many Americans will know that you never were a princess. Your title was Duchess of York and you lost it through your own foolish behaviour. Saying that you were a princess is just another lie and another attempt to con the public.
Will Sarah Ferguson ever learn?!