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In The Tabloids, Sarah Ferguson Discusses Being Pitted Against Princess Diana

In The Tabloids, Sarah Ferguson Discusses Being Pitted Against Princess Diana

Sarah Ferguson revealed this week that she was pitted against Princess Diana in the tabloids decades ago, and she recalled the advice her late friend used to give her.

“In the ’80s, it was Diana looking beautiful, and there was fat, frumpy Fergie,” the Duchess of York told People for the magazine’s cover issue, which was published Friday, noting that Ferguson, nicknamed “Fergie,” was sometimes referred to as the “Duchess of Pork” by tabloids.

“We were just there for people to make a lot of money, which neither of us realized at the time,” Ferguson said, adding that she and the Princess of Wales were “positioned as saint and sinner.”

“Diana and I both had our own mental health issues, and she and I used to talk,” the duchess continued. “She said, ‘Fergie, remember one thing: when you’re at the top of the pedestal, it’s so easy to fall off, and when you’re at the bottom, you just climb up.’”

“And the most important thing was to stay strong together, which we did, regardless of what anyone said,” she added.

Despite being best friends since their adolescence, the Duchess of York and Princess Diana had a public falling out and were not speaking before Diana's death on August 31, 1997.

“We rowed because we were like siblings — actually, we were fourth cousins, and our mothers, who went to the same school, were also best friends,” Ferguson told Harper’s Bazaar in 2007.

“And the saddest thing was, at the end, we hadn’t spoken for a year, though I never knew why except that once Diana got something in her head... ” she trailed off. It’s rumored that their friendship ended after Fergie revealed she’d gotten a plantar wart from wearing Diana’s old heels.

“I tried, wrote letters, thinking whatever happened didn’t matter, let’s sort it out,” Fergie went on, “and I knew she’d come back; in fact, the day before she died, she called a friend of mine and said, ‘Where’s that Red? I want to talk to her.’”

The tabloid coverage of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton has been likened to that of Diana and Fergie.

However, as the Duchess of Sussex herself has stated, there is a significant difference between the racist coverage she has received and the type of abuse received by the Duchess of Cambridge in the past.

“Kate was called ‘Waity Katy’ while waiting to marry William. While I imagine that was really hard, and I do, I can’t picture what that felt like this is not the same,” Meghan told Oprah Winfrey back in March. “And if a member of his family will comfortably say we’ve all had to deal with rude and racist are not the same.”

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