16 August 2021

The Queen has been more of a mother to me than my own, Sarah Ferguson reveals

16 August 2021

Sarah Duchess of York has described the Queen as more of a mother to her than her own was.

The duchess, who divorced the Duke of York in 1996, has sparked a raft of royal scandals over the years, but said the monarch was her “greatest mentor” and had always believed in her.

Speaking on the Tea with Twiggy podcast as she promoted her Mills & Boon romance novel Her Heart For A Compass, the duchess paid tribute to the Queen for being modern, flexible and forgiving.

The Yorks and the Queen in 1991 (Martin Keene/PA) (PA Archive)

“My greatest mentor and…  person who believes in me is the Queen – and has never faltered.

“I absolutely admire the incredible way Her Majesty is so modern… and how flexible, and how understanding, and how forgiving and how generous.”

The duchess and ex-husband Andrew were said to have joined the Queen on holiday at Balmoral last week, hours after a civil lawsuit was filed against the duke over allegations of sexual abuse.

Andrew, who stepped down from royal duties in 2019, is being sued by Virginia Giuffre, who accuses him of sexually abusing her when she was a minor under US law after she was trafficked by billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

It is the duchess’s first proper summer break at Balmoral since she was cast out of the royal family amid a toe-sucking scandal in the 1990s.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who died in April, reportedly refused to let his former daughter-in-law stay at the castle at the same time as him.

The duchess was speaking with Dame Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)

Sarah, in the podcast released on Monday, referred to Andrew as her “lovely ex-husband” who “always believes in me”.

She told model Twiggy, whose real name is Dame Lesley Lawson: “I think to myself that honestly my mother-in-law has been more of a mother to me than my mother.

“I absolutely think there is no greater mentor because, from a little girl to now, the consistency of Her Majesty has been a great honour, it’s a huge honour – makes me want to cry.”

The duchess’s mother Susan Barrantes left her behind in the UK when she was 13 to start a new life in Argentina with polo player Hector Barrantes.

She was killed in a car crash in 1998 – the year after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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