British Royal Family

Sarah Ferguson confesses she "relates" to Duchess Meghan: "I know what Meghan is going through"

From one Duchess to another.

By Rebecca Sullivan
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has always been open about the lifelong struggles she has faced as a member of the royal family.
And now, the 60-year-old mother of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie has offered up a rare, intimate reflection of royal life in a new interview, where she has compared her personal battles with those of Duchess Meghan.
Meghan, who went public with her own struggles in October in a heartbreaking documentary, has admitted she has felt unhappy due to the intense media scrutiny she's experienced since marrying Prince Harry in 2018.
Speaking with Vogue Arabia to promote her speaking appearance at the Misk Global Forum in Saudi Arabia, Fergie said she identified with Meghan and empathised with her turmoil.
"I know what Meghan is going through," the Duchess explained.
"It must be hard for Meghan, and I can relate to her. I believe she is modern and fabulous. She was famous before. She is great. Why can't Meghan be great? Why can't she be celebrated?"
When asked if she had any advice for the young mother, Sarah said: "Any advice for her? I tend not to give advice because it is taken out of context, but I have been in Meghan's shoes, and I still am.
"There's always a twist of negativity and it just gets so sad and tiring; it's hard and mean. I abhor bullying and I feel desperately sorry for the pain they must be going through because I've been through it."
Sarah and Andrew pictured together at Royal Ascot in June earlier this year. Getty
The Duke and Duchess of York pictured together in 1990. Getty
Fergie admitted that she did not handle the intense media attention well herself, confessing she "self-sabotaged".
"I eventually self-sabotaged. I didn't think of the ramifications of my actions. I was at the bottom of the barrel. It was almost as if I wanted to be unlovable. But when I was at the bottom I wrote the book, Finding Sarah," she said, referring to her 2011 autobiography.
When asked about her relationship with the late Princess Diana, Fergie said the pair got along like a house on fire.
"Oh, I brought modern etiquette and fun, with Diana, Princess of Wales. Me and Diana had the best time. We really did, no question. I loved her with all my heart," she said.
The interview only made a brief reference to her husband's recent scandal involving Jeffrey Epstein. Fergie said the last few weeks has been "incredibly difficult", referring to the fallout from Prince Andrew's controversial and much-criticised BBC interview, where he denied having sex with underage women.
Sarah appears to be standing by Andrew's side during the fallout, which has seen him step down from his formal royal duties - she was spotted visiting Buckingham Palace last month for reported "crisis talks" following the scandal.
Meghan has been open about her battles during life as a new royal Getty
Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry are currently on holidays and are spending Christmas and the New Year in Los Angeles, where Meghan's mother lives, and will not be spending Christmas with the Queen and the rest of the royal family at Sandringham.
Skipping Christmas with the Queen is not unusual for royal family members - Duchess Catherine and Prince William have done the same previously, opting to spend the day with Kate's mother and father in Buckleberry in 2016.
But the Sussex family's long break from official royal duties comes weeks after Harry and Meghan opened up their struggles in a documentary from British television network ITV, called Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, revealed the heartbreaking impact the constant attacks from the British tabloid press have had on the couple.
Meghan said she had tried to put on a brave face, but it just all got too much.
"I've said for a long time to H - that's what I call him - it's not enough to just survive something, right? That's not the point of life. You've got to thrive, you've got to feel happy," Meghan said.
"I've really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip... I've tried, I've really tried."
WATCH BELOW: Meghan reveals she is "not OK" in heartbreaking documentary. Story continues after video.
Holding back tears during the raw interview, Meghan spoke about what it had been like to weather the intense criticism while pregnant with baby Archie and then later, as a new mother.
When asked if she was doing OK, Meghan revealed she had been struggling at lot.
"Look any woman especially when they're pregnant, you're really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging, and then when you have a newborn ... And especially as a woman, it's really, it's a lot.
"So, you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed. And also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I'm okay, but it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."

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