"Sarah would always be there looking at the positive side of everything, despite, you know, really bad things happening," TV personality Lizzie Cundy shared. "And that's why she was one of the Queen's favorites. Prince Philip actually never forgave her for that toe-sucking scandal. And poor Sarah had to come downstairs at breakfast when it was all over the front pages of the paper."
Sarah married Prince Andrew in July 1986, in what many billed as "the second fairy-tale wedding" after the extravaganza of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer's nuptials five years prior. The union was "disastrous," in the words of one royal historian, and ended in scandal in 1992 when the Duchess of York was photographed in a compromising position with a romantic partner.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, along with Ferguson, were all at Balmoral Castle in Scotland when the news broke. The former royal later shared how she came down to breakfast only to walk up on the monarch and consort, reading the newspaper stories about the incident. Philip, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 99, forbade Ferguson to be at any royal event he was also set to attend, including Christmas at Sandringham. Before 2023, her previous year-end holiday at the Norfolk estate was in 1991.
Despite her acrimonious split from the Duke of York, the pair have become best friends in their post-marital lives.
"Andrew was away for about 70 percent of their marriage. He was away with the Navy. Sarah had a very, very lonely time being married to Prince Andrew, but I love her loyalty," Cundy added. "She's stayed by his side through thick and thin, and the Queen actually adored Sarah. And I know we all wish her well through this really tough time. She's a strong cookie. You'll be fine, Sarah. We're all rooting for you."
This is a sentiment that those close to the one-time royal also share. "She’s always been loyal to the family and has really not put a foot wrong in recent years. She’s never said a critical word and is always extremely loyal to the institution," an insider shared.
"Fergie is really the glue that holds the Yorks together. She’s devoted to her girls and grandchildren and lives with the duke day to day, and has seen him through this difficult period, which has been appreciated by the wider family," another royal source claimed. "She has come to an acceptance that 50 percent of people in a room might like her and 50 percent might not, but that won’t stop her from putting her head above the parapet."
GBN spoke with Cundy.