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The Real Reason Princess Diana Ended Her Friendship With Sarah Ferguson

Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson knew one another long before they married their princes. The two were fourth cousins and although they lost touch at one point, they later reconnected and became very close. In fact, it was actually Diana who played matchmaker by inviting Fergie to an event at Windsor Castle where she sat next to Prince Andrew.

Five years after Prince Charles and Diana tied the knot, the world watched another royal wedding as Ferguson and Andrew said “I do” in a lavish affair at Westminster Abbey. But in 1992, the women separated from their husbands and their divorces were finalized four years later. Around that same time, Diana stopped speaking to Ferguson. Here’s the reason why the Princess of Wales ended her friendship with the Duchess of York.

Princess Diana and Duchess Sarah Ferguson in hats
Princess Diana and Duchess Sarah Ferguson | Royally Fergie via Instagram

They were frenemies?

When they joined the royal family, Diana and Fergie shared a bond few could understand. But despite being so close they were still young and felt the enormous pressure of being perfect. Diana’s biographer, Andrew Morton, said that she spoke about how some of the duchess‘ actions irritated her.

When Fergie came along she excelled at a few royal pastimes and sports that the princess did not. Morton explained that this didn’t sit right with Diana who told him that her sister-in-law “wooed everybody in this family and did it so well. She left me looking like dirt.” The princess added that even Charles once told her, “I wish you would be like Fergie–all jolly.”

When they went through their separations from the princes though, the women were right back to going out for lunches again and vacationing together with their children.

The real reason Diana ended their friendship

Pregnant Princess Diana and Duchess Sarah Ferguson
Pregnant Princess Diana and Duchess Sarah Ferguson | Royally Fergie via Instagram

In 1996, Diana ended their friendship for good. The duchess has said that she had no idea why. However, over the years sources close to Diana insisted that the reason was because the princess wasn’t pleased with what Fergie wrote in her autobiography.

In her book titled My Story, the Duchess of York said that Diana gave her several pairs of shoes and “plantar warts.” The princess was livid and stopped speaking to Ferguson after that. Diana tragically died in 1997 and the two never made amends.

“We were like siblings … we rowed. And the saddest thing, at the end, we hadn’t spoken for a year,” Ferguson revealed.

Fergie takes on social media attackers

Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In February 2019, Ferguson penned an open letter for Hello Magazine’s
#HelloToKindness campaign to promote a positive online culture. In it she addressed her relationship with the late princess.

“Women, in particular, are constantly pitted against and compared with each other in a way that reminds me of how people tried to portray Diana and me all the time as rivals, which is something neither of us ever really felt,” Ferguson wrote.

She added, “There is good evidence that this online culture is having a detrimental impact on people’s mental health, particularly vulnerable young people. I believe that it’s time to take a stand. This isn’t about freedom of speech. The truth is, it’s not acceptable to post abuse or threats on social media or news sites, and it’s not acceptable to harangue other users simply because they disagree with you. It’s not acceptable to pit women against one another all the time. It’s not acceptable to troll other people viciously online.” 

Read more: Which U.S. Presidents Are Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson Related To?

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