All the Things Sarah Ferguson Did to Get Shunned from the Royal Family

By: Alec Donaldson | Published: Feb 28, 2024

From her friendship with Princess Diana to marrying Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson has long been a face associated with the British royal family. 

However, over the years, the Duchess of York engaged in several acts that significantly decreased her favorability among the royal family.

Sarah Ferguson, Former Wife of Prince Andrew

Sarah Ferguson became an official member of the royal family when she married the now disgraced prince, Andrew, in 1986. The couple went on to have two children before divorcing a decade later. 

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson pictured together as they ride in a chariot during their wedding day

Source: Elke Wetzig/Wikimedia

While Fergie has kept the title of Duchess of York, her relationship with the royal family has been strained over the years due to her involvement in several scandals. Here are five reasons why the royal family has all but severed ties with Fergie. 

Eventual Breakup and Beginning of Scandals

Prince Andrew and Fergie gave off the impression of a happy marriage in their early years. However, they eventually separated in 1992, and the divorce was made official four years later.

A picture of a man and a woman as they cuddle underneath white sheets

Source: Freepik

The media was all over Andrew and Ferguson in the wake of the breakup. The duchess would end up in every British newspaper after photos were released which showed a financial adviser sucking her toes during a foreign getaway.

Caught in the Act at a French Resort

Ferguson had been enjoying a holiday in France with John Bryan, her financial adviser, when the pair was caught (via The Daily Mail). Photographs were later released by the media of Bryan sucking on the duchess’ toes by the pool. 

A couple pictured hanging out beside a pool at a luxury resort

Source: Freepik

The red-haired royal faced considerable backlash from the high-ranking officials in the royal family after the scandal. 

Princess Diana Takes Fergie on a Hen Party

Sarah Ferguson’s relationship with Princess Diana extends back to their childhood years; they are even fourth cousins. 

Princess Diana, pictured in a pink blazer, seated at a small table

Source: Tim Graham/Photo Library/Getty Images

So, naturally, when Prince Andrew proposed, Diana took it upon herself to take Fergie out to a hen party. However, the evening would end with the royal pair in the back of a police vehicle. 

Arrested and Placed in the Back of a Police Van

Ferguson made an appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” where she spoke of the eventful evening. It began with the pair arriving at a nightclub dressed in police uniforms. 

Photo illustration of a woman dressed in a black shirt who’s been placed in metal handcuffs

Source: Freepik

Diana and Fergie were later kicked out, only to be arrested for impersonating police officers. However, it didn’t take long before the police caught on that it was the Princess of Wales they had just thrown into the back of their van. 


Backlash Centered on Northern Moor Documentary

A 2009 documentary, “The Duchess on the Estate,” starred the Duchess of York, who tried to bring to light the struggles of an impoverished region in England. 

Sarah Ferguson pictured in a white blazer during an event in Venice

Source: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images

However, the Duchess of York faced considerable backlash after the documentary was released. Locals were angered that Fergie had referred to Northern Moor, Wythenshawe, as “broken.”


'Broken Britain' Comment Angers Locals

Residents of Northern Moor were upset as they argued the documentary portrayed the entirety of the region in a negative light.

A group of locals gather together on a street for a protest

Source: Freepik

Considerable backlash arose after rumors of Ferguson referring to the area as “broken Britain” began circulating. Eventually, the duchess was forced to release a statement: “I always told the production company that I will never ever want it to be called ‘broken Britain’ because I don’t believe it is.”


Ferguson Finds Herself in a Tough Situation

After her divorce from Prince Andrew, Ferguson found herself in a fair deal of financial trouble.

Sarah Ferguson pictured as she lies on a large white bed dressed in a green gown

Source: @Sarahferguson15/Instagram

The Duchess of York had raked up over £600,000 worth of debt due to her failed business, Hartmoor. Ultimately, this led to Fergie offering up Andrew to the media for a large sum of money.


Sting Operation Aims to Expose Andrew

The Guardian revealed that Ferguson was caught in a sting led by News of the World, in which an undercover reporter approached her asking for access to Andrew. She agreed, but only if this person paid her.

A tiny camera is placed in a corner of a room hidden from the public eye

Source: Freepik

She promised full access to the prince in exchange for £500,000. When the details of this interaction emerged, Ferguson lost whatever shred of respect she had left with the royal family.


Prince Andrew Caught In Major Scandal

Fergie’s former husband, Prince Andrew, ended up in a serious scandal in 2015 after Virginia Giuffre accused the prince of sexually abusing her.

Prince Andrew photographed with his back to the camera during an event

Source: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Yet, Ferguson’s disregard for the victim’s claims would land her in hot water with the media, bringing further unwanted attention to the royal family. 


Ferguson Says Media Attack Their Family

The Duchess of York openly defended Andrew several times during the initial allegations. When she appeared on “The Meredith Vieira Show” in 2015, Fergie claimed Giuffre’s allegations were nothing more than “salacious lies.”

Sarah Ferguson pictured as she speaks during an episode of the Meredith Vieira Show

Source: @MeredithVieiraShow/YouTube

Ferguson claimed this was nothing more than a malicious attack on their family. She said they would “not be defeated.” Andrew eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, leaving no weight behind Fergie’s earlier comments.