Sarah Ferguson’s book led to year-long war with Princess Diana | Royal | News (Reports)

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Sarah Ferguson promotes her first historical romance novel

Sarah Ferguson, affectionately known as Fergie, has just announced her debut romance novel will be published later this year by Mills & Boon. As the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, she spent several years in the royal fold and once counted Princess Diana as her best friend. However, years in the spotlight and the competition over the public’s affections created many tensions within their relationship — and one of Fergie’s books was the final straw for the Princess of Wales.

Diana cut off Fergie just one year before she died in a tragic car accident in Paris, meaning the former sisters-in-law never spoke again.

In the Channel 5 documentary, ‘The Royal Family at War’, royal critics explained how Fergie’s publication of her 1996 book, ‘My Story’, left Diana fuming.

The Evening Standard’s royal editor Robert Jobson said: “Sarah made clear that she was going to write a book, and Diana was supportive of that.

“But she said, ‘I don’t want you to mention me at all’.”

Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson (Image: Getty)

The two royal wives were once best friends, according to Fergie

The two royal wives were once best friends, according to Fergie (Image: Getty)

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Yet, Fergie did mention her sister-in-law, when she explained how the People’s Princess had helped her integrate with the Royal Family.

She wrote: “Diana helped me by giving me all her shoes (and less happily, her plantar warts).”

Plantar warts, also known as verrucas, can be passed from skin to skin contact but also when personal items, such as shoes, socks and towels, are shared.

Royal author Katie Nicholl said: “I think Sarah made many attempts to make it up but Diana bore a grudge — she could really bear a grudge.”

Royal biographer, Robert Jobson, added: “They probably would have repaired that relationship, but it didn’t happen.

“It’s a sad ending.”

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Diana and Fergie had a huge fallout towards the end of Diana's life

Diana and Fergie had a huge fallout towards the end of Diana’s life (Image: Getty)

Writing in her 2007 biography, ‘The Diana Chronicles’, Tina Brown also noted that the book was full of “nice comments” about Diana, but the verruca reference was her “fatal line”.

She explained: “Goddesses don’t get warts.

“Despite Fergie’s pleading apologies, Diana never spoke to her again.”

Their fallout was heartbreaking for royal fans, especially as they had once been considered the “merry wives of Windsor” as they were continuously pictured giggling together at royal events.

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Diana is said to have introduced Fergie to Andrew, but resisted sharing the spotlight when the Duchess of York enjoyed a surge of popularity as the latest addition to the Royal Family.

Howard Hodgson claimed in his 2007 biography, ‘Charles: The Man Who Will Be King’, that Diana saw Fergie as a “rival” when she first joined the royal frontline.

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Fergie and Diana were nicknamed the merry wives of Windsor

Fergie and Diana were nicknamed the merry wives of Windsor (Image: Getty)

The two royals always appeared to be laughing together before their fallout

The two royals always appeared to be laughing together before their fallout (Image: Getty)

He explained: “Suddenly, the Princess, who had never been confident throughout her life now became even more insecure as it appeared that her comfort blanket of being the favourite of the national press was going to be snatched away by her friend who was going to marry into the Windsors and would no doubt be soon siding with them against her.”

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Indeed, Diana herself later admitted: “I got terribly jealous.”

She also claimed that Charles had once said to her: “I wish you could be like Fergie — all jolly.”

They then both sought separations from their royal husbands in 1992, while their divorces were finalised in 1996.

Similarly, the two women were stripped of their HRH titles but Diana was able to keep her title of the Princess of Wales just as Fergie could keep her position as the Duchess of York.

Diana and Fergie did not speak for a year before the Princess of Wales' death

Diana and Fergie did not speak for a year before the Princess of Wales’ death (Image: Getty)

Although the autobiographical book pushed the two apart, it’s thought that the Princess of Wales did try to rekindle their friendship just the day before she died.

Fergie told Harper’s Bazaar in 2007: “We were like siblings…we rowed.”

She claimed: “I knew she’d come back.

“In fact, the day before she died she rang a friend of mine and said, ‘Where’s that Red? I want to talk to her.”

She added: “I really miss Diana. I loved her so much.”

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