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Posts Tagged ‘Duchess of York’

Princess Diana, 1997

Following her 1996 divorce from Prince Charles, Princess Diana downsized her life. She reduced her Kensington Palace staff to cleaner, cook, and dresser with Paul Burrell filling in the gaps as her man Friday. The police, not the Royal Protection Squad, accompanied her to public events. She pared down the list of charities she supported from 100 to 6.  

She culled her wardrobe, throwing out dresses that reminded her of her previous life, famously donating 79 of them to charity at a June 1997 Christie’s auction, including the black dress she wore while dancing with actor John Travolta at the White House in 1985.

American Actor John Travolta and Princess Diana of Great Britain dance at the White House, 1985.

She changed her friends. She dumped old confidante Elton John after he acted as a go-between with her and fashion designer Gianni Versace for Versace’s 1997 coffee-table book Rock and Royalty.  Diana blamed John for carelessly placing a photograph of the Princess and her sons in the book amid a portfolio of semi-nude male models, which Diana rightly feared would upset the Queen

In July 1997, Diana did make up with Elton John, consoling him at Versace’s memorial service. 

Princess Diana comforts rock star Elton John at the 1997 memorial for slain fashion designer Gianni Versace

By the end of August, Diana, too, would be dead, and John would play the piano at her funeral. In 2008, John reflected on Princess Diana’s last year:

I think in the end…Diana trusted the wrong people. She didn’t trust the people she should have trusted, her true friends. I always thought the people that really felt for her and really were true to her she just was a bit airy fairy towards in the end.”

Fergie was another of Diana’s old friends that got the heave-ho in the last year of her life. This rupture was also a result of the publication of a book.

Back in 1985, Sarah, the Duchess of York, and Princess Diana were close friends.

In her memoir, My Story: by Sarah, the Duchess of York, the divorced duchess shared that she and Diana wore the same size of shoes and often shared them.  Fergie claimed that she caught a verruca—a plantar wart – after wearing a pair of Diana’s shoes.

Diana was aghast that her old friend and former sister-in-law would portray her in such unflattering detail just to make a buck. Despite Fergie’s repeated apologies, Diana would not forgive her. She never spoke to Fergie again.

Brown, Tina. “Diana’s Final Heartbreak,” Vanity Fair, July 2007.

For more on Princess Diana, click here.

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quoted from 

The Duchess of York’s Toe Scandal

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew wave to the crowds following their 1986 wedding at Westminster Abbey, London.

“By 1992, the marriage between [British] Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson [Fergie] (the Duke and Duchess of York) was faltering. The Duchess was with various men including Texan multimillionaire Steve Wyatt, while her husband was away on royal duties. They agreed to separate in January 1992, but in August 1992, surreptitiously taken photographs of John Bryan, an American financial manager — apparently in the act of sucking on the toes of a topless Sarah in Southern France — were published in the British tabloid The Daily Mirror.

John Bryan sucks the toes of a topless Duchess of York, August, 1992, the Daily Mirror.

“The Duchess was at Balmoral [Scotland] with the rest of the Royal Family when the story broke. Prince Philip handed her a copy of the paper and quipped “there but for the grace of God go I.” (Notoriously picky Duke of Edinburgh liked Sarah as much as he detested Diana). The Queen was less amused; the Queen’s private secretary told the Duchess that she might feel better if she left immediately to London, effectively banishing her from the royal household. She would never be reinvited back to Balmoral until 2008. The only feeble defense both Fergie and John Bryan could muster up was that he hadn’t been sucking her toes, he was simply kissing the instep of her foot.”

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