They were two of the most famous women in the world in the 80s’, during their marriages to Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, but according to reports, Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson were miserable with their royal lives.
The duo, who were childhood friends and actually fourth cousins, were constantly pictured cheekily laughing and sharing jokes in front of the camera, while standing on the Buckingham Palace balcony or dressed up to the nines at Royal Ascot.
However, after years spent in the Windsor bubble, the Duchess of York and Prince Andrew finalised their divorce in May 1996, with Princess Diana and Prince Charles following suit just three months later.
According to the Daily Mail’s Richard Kay, the women were in regular contact about how unhappy their marriages were making them, and even had a code word for how they were going to escape.
“Tregunter Road was our code for escape,’ she once told me, ‘it meant our leap for freedom’,” Kay said.
Tregunter Road was the address of Diana’s former lover Oliver Hoare, who she is alleged to have had an affair with during her marriage to Prince Charles.
“By then, however, her love for Hoare had subsided, but her wish for a life outside the Royal Family had not,” Kay continued.
“It has always been said that Diana lost her nerve for that double break-out with Fergie from behind palace walls.
“And that when Fergie’s split from Prince Andrew was announced, the princess – whose marital unhappiness was the greater of the two women – quietly changed her mind.”
Fergie has previously spoken out about how the two women leaned on each other when they were going through hard times in their marriages.
“It was the year we first put words to the unspeakable idea that had been nudging us in the ribs for some time: that one or both of us might leave the royal family,” Fergie wrote in her autobiography, My Story.
“We burned the phone wires into the night, trading secrets and jokes that no-one else would understand.”
Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana had a strong bond, with Diana even introducing a young Fergie to Prince Andrew at a Buckingham Palace dinner party.
Their relationship soon blossomed and Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson became partners in crime in royal life.
However, while Sarah Ferguson seamlessly blended into royal life and impressed the Queen with her love of horse riding, Diana struggled with her new role.
Diana said Fergie ‘wooed everybody in this family and did it so well. She left me looking like dirt’, in her interview with Andrew Morton.
But despite their differences, Fergie and Diana remained the best of friends right up until the princess’ tragic death in 1997.
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