Thanks To Social Media, Fergie Is Having A Royal Renaissance
By Emily Bryce-Perkins Posted on 12 Oct 2018
Princess Eugenie has married her ‘rock’ Jack Brooksbank in deepest Berkshire. The princess was surrounded by a host of friends including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Cara Delevingne - who wore what can only be described as, The Coolest Outfit Ever. It’s the 2nd Royal Wedding of the year (3rd if you count mine) and - as I imagine it is hard to say no to the Queen when she offers you use of her castle - they said ‘I do’ at the same venue as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Lovely.
Similar roles were cast, a number of Royal children are back by popular demand but the role that got me most excited was that of the often challenging mother-of-the bride. At Harry and Meghan’s wedding this role was delightfully filled by the demure and elegant Doria Ragland. At Princess Eugenie’s wedding the role was filled by none other than her mum and my favourite ex-Duchess Sarah Ferguson, aka Fergie.
Happily, my favourite red-headed Royal (soz Hazza) is having somewhat of a renaissance. A number of books including Tina Brown’s Diana Chronicles have reminded us what an irreverent bad-ass Fergie could be. She didn’t bow-down or try and fit into what the Royal family - and public - expected of her. And now, thanks to social media, she’s taken more control of her public persona and is able to share adorable 80’s #TBT shots of Prince Andrew, inspirational quotes (gold!) and insights into her passion for gardening. Where was Twitter in 1992 when @SarahTheDuchess needed to speak her mind?
If you’re a child of the nineties, you may be lucky enough to remember those candid shots of Fergie in the South of France, lounging in a bikini whilst having her toes sucked by a financial advisor. For many years I worried that’s how you increase your overdraft but as I got a older, I soon realised what all the fuss was about.
At the time, Fergie was separated but still married to the Queen’s second and objectively hotter son, Prince Andrew. Hi Andrew. The couple didn’t divorce until 4 years after Toegate so you can see why the papers lit up with photos of the still married Duchess. In 2018, Meghan Markle wearing a new dress makes front page news. Imagine if Meghan was caught having her toes sucked. It would break the internet.
Back in Fergie’s pomp there weren’t any Love Island stars to fill the papers and there certainly wasn’t any social media. Unless you had a very good publicist, celebrities and public figures lived and died by the papers. It was incredibly hard to control what the public thought of you. Fiery Fergie was the target of ridicule and scandal for many years.
Her closeness with Princess Diana didn’t help and the two of them often made the headlines together. They were 4th cousins and grew up in similar circles but their bond properly flourished when they both found themselves marrying into the Royal family. I know guys, we’ve all been there! Diana called Fergie ‘Red’ and Fergie was known in the Royal household as a ‘breath of fresh air.’
After many years of being around the Royal family - her father was their polo manager - a 26 year old Fergie married her love Prince Andrew, not before having the first ever Royal hen do. Go Fergz!
For the inaugural Royal hen, Fergie, Diana and some close friends dressed up as police women and accidentally (though I hope not) caused a scene outside Buckingham Palace with some real police. Lawks! They carried their evening on in posh Mayfair club Annabel’s and finished the night locking Prince Andrew out of the Palace gates when he returned from his stag. I’m hoping they also tied him naked to the gates but it’s hard to substantiate this thought.
Two daughters soon followed - Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie - but by the mid-nineties the Prince and the Duchess had amicably divorced. At this time, it was reported Andrew’s father Prince Philip said he’d never forgive Fergie or be in the same room as her ever again. Every cloud, I say.
Throughout the nineties the press hammered Fergie day in and day out. Fergie’s weight was a favourite trope - she’s written a number of books with Weight Watchers about her battle with losing weight. The press had little regard for the fact she was raising two daughters alongside running her ‘third child’ the successful charity, Children in Crisis. Fergie has spoken openly at how running this charity helped her get through some particularly dark periods in her life - no, not her cameo in an episode of Friends. Her daughters have happily caught the charity bug and Princess Eugenie has invited a number of representatives from charities and organisations she supports to her wedding today.
The role of Camilla isn’t being filled today and no doubt the tabloids will be full of speculation as to why - Fergie was very loyal to Diana - but quite frankly, who cares? The family unit of Fergs, Andy, Bea and Euge look happier and more solid than ever.
Over the decades there are hundreds of happy family photos of the four of them, at the races, at Windsor and other family functions. And despite a blip in 2011 when Fergie wasn’t invited to Wills and Kate’s wedding - it’s incredibly hard to choose guests when you can only invite 1800 people - Fergie is firmly back on Royal soil. So welcome back Fergie. Mother-of-the-bride, ex-Duchess of our hearts and all round inspiring woman. I love you for giving that huge and honest sigh as you settled in your church pew. I hope you’re at the top table for good
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