Prince Harry reportedly caused a “tsunami of fear” in royal circles when it was announced he was releasing a memoir.
He is set to release the “intimate and heartfelt” book next year in late 2022 and promises it will be a f irst-hand account of his life that’s “accurate and wholly truthful”.
But Harry is not the first royal to pen a memoir – the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson has released two.
The first, called My Story, came in 1996 just months after her divorce from Prince Andrew was finalised. While her second autobiography, called Finding Sarah, was released in 2011.
Here we take a look at some of the bombshell revelations from both of her books…
Her relationship with Diana
Sarah and the late Princess Diana were firm friends having known each other since their early teens.
As they got older and Diana married Prince Charles and Sarah tied the knot with Prince Andrew, they were often spotted at events and even went on holiday together.
Before releasing her first book My Story in 1996, Diana is reported to have told her former sister-in-law not to include any gossip about her in it.
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But Sarah included an unflattering anecdote and was quoted as saying she got a verruca after wearing a pair of shoes she borrowed from Diana.
At the time of Diana’s death in 1997, it was reported that the pair had not been on speaking terms for a year.
In her second memoir, Finding Sarah, the Duchess claims she never knew the reason for the falling out but said “once Diana got something in her head it stuck there for a while”.
However, last week in an interview with People, Sarah revealed she and the late princess made a touching promise to each other and that they were “so strong together”.
She explained: “We promised each other we would always be together – there was never any daylight between us. But everybody wanted that because we were so strong together. People want to break something so strong.”
Her split from Prince Andrew
Sarah wed her ex-husband Prince Andrew in a spectacular ceremony in 1986 and the couple later welcomed two daughters – Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
But they separated in 1992 – the same year Diana split from Prince Charles – and their divorce was finalised in 1996.
Talking about the split in My Story, Sarah said it came after she had reached the end of “my royal rope”, reports the Express.
She wrote: “From early on that year , Andrew and I had been discussing a separation.
“Not because we’d stopped caring for one another, but because I had reached the end of my royal rope. For six years I had shouldered the demands of Palace life.
“I’d endured the constant scrutiny of the British press and the barely veiled hostility of the Royal Household, the courtiers who run the show. Gradually, relentlessly, they had beaten me down.”
Claims the Palace refused to help her
In 1992, Sarah caused huge upset with the royal family when she was photographed having her toes sucked while on holiday in France just months after her separation from Prince Andrew.
The scandal that surrounded the photos, which were printed in the Daily Mirror, marked the beginning of a very difficult relationship between Fergie and her in-laws.
The intimate pictures were shot as the couple lazed by the pool and showed her ‘financial advisor’ Texan millionaire John Bryan kissing and sucking the Duchess’ toes and the arch of her foot.
In My Story, the Express reports that Sarah claims Palace courtiers refused to help her keep the images off the front pages.
She wrote how the High Court refused to grant an injunction against the pictures but John had told her there was one last hope.
Sarah wrote: “The judge told him that if the Palace were to back us before the Press Complaints Commission, we could still prevent publication the next morning.
“At ten o’clock that evening, John called one last time. The deadline had passed, and the Queen’s private secretary, Mr Z, had refused to intercede.
“I will forgo using his name – not to be mysterious, but because his name doesn’t matter. Like all the top courtiers, he was a creature of the Palace Establishment, no more and no less.”
The Queen’s reaction to the pictures
When it became clear to Fergie that pictures of her and John Bryan together had been taken, she was at Balmoral with her daughters and other members of the royal family.
According to the Express, in My Story, she recalls the moment she had to tell her estranged husband Prince Andrew and the Queen about the images.
She wrote: “I told Andrew straight away; I never held back from him, we were always honest with each other.”
When it came to telling Her Majesty, she added: “I went up with heavy feet to brief the Queen.
“She couldn’t have been pleased, but she is like her middle son; she is not easily rattled.”
The Queen then apparently told Sarah: “All right, let us see what happens.”
Believing her own press
In My Story, Sarah admitted that when she entered public life, she was “naive” about the scrutiny she would be under.
And she admitted she made a mistake when it came to media attention.
She wrote: “Worst of all, I believed in my own press.
“I believed it when they said I was a breath of fresh air for the Royal Family – that ‘great fun Fergie’ would sponge away the mildew, like some Mary Poppins crossed with Cinderella.”