Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, never did get the hang of being a royal, says Lucy Cavendish in the London Daily Telegraph. “You have to think of the Royal Family as being like a brand,” she says. “There are CEOs protecting the brand, and I didn’t really fit in.”
When Fergie married Prince Andrew in 1986, she quickly found her behavior—poking people in the behind with umbrellas, throwing bread rolls at dinner parties—mocked in the tabloids. Her weight and appearance came under attack, too. One headline declared that 82 percent of men said they would rather sleep with a sheep than with her. “I was so unhappy. I ate all the time, and then I was pilloried for being overweight.”
In retrospect, Fergie says, she should have just screened out the noise. “I wish I could do it all over again. I’d still marry Prince Andrew, of course. He is a wonderful man. I’d just deal with it better. I’d ride the storms. I’d see that what is said about me is here one day and gone the next.” Even today, more than a decade after her divorce from Andrew, Fergie, now 49, finds she is still held up for ridicule. “It’s pretty hard to change people’s perceptions.”
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