Sarah Ferguson has said her family are a ‘united front’ in a defiant message as she promotes her new book in the wake of Prince Andrew’s settlement with sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre.
The Duchess of York, whose ex-husband stepped down from public duties in 2019, insisted the family will stand ‘very strong and very tall’ after a year plagued by allegations surrounding the disgraced duke.
It comes after the Queen decided to ban Andrew from the Buckingham Palace balcony during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations – amid belief there is ‘no way back’ for her son.
Andrew, 62, may still appear at other events over the Jubilee weekend, but his mother’s decision to exclude him from the balcony during the RAF flypast, one of the most quintessential moments of any major royal event, represented a powerful symbolic snub.
A slew of institutions have sought to distance themselves from the duke since he settled his civil case with Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking victim Ms Giuffre for £12million, despite denying any wrongdoing.
But in a brief and vague reference, Fergie has said: ‘The York family are a united front and we stand very strong and very tall. When the winds get violent, we keep standing.’
The Duchess, 62, has also opened up on how she still misses Diana as ‘she and I were the only two who really understood what it was like back in the ‘80s’, detailing how they would comfort each other in the face of ‘ferocious’ pressure.
Sarah Ferguson pictured arriving at The Arctic Ocean Gala charity event in Gothenburg, Sweden, earlier this month as part of her role as global ambassador of TPWF
Prince Andrew pictured during an early morning drive after being told he would not be joining his mother on the Buckingham Palace balcony for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi with Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank leaving a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in March
Promoting the paperback edition of novel Her Heart For A Compass, she told the Metro: ‘I think of her all the time and especially because she and I were the only two who really understood what it was like back in the ‘80s – the pressure was ferocious and yet together, the two of us were powerful.
‘Not powerful in the sense of strength or importance, but in the love we had for each other, and the way we helped each other cope.
‘Nobody else is left who understands those day. Diana and I were so close and I loved her with all my heart.
‘She said “We mustn’t let anyone separate us” but it did happen and that makes me feel so sad now, because we had so much love for each other. I know how much she would have adored her incredible children.
The Duchess of York, who lives in the Royal Lodge in Windsor with Andrew, no longer performs any official duties for the royal family, but does take part in private charity events.
Andrew, meanwhile, had initially made himself scarce since he agreed to settle the sex abuse lawsuit without accepting liability.
A slew of institutions have sought to distance themselves from the duke since he settled his civil case with Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre (pictured) for £12million, despite denying any wrongdoing
It comes after the Queen decided to ban Andrew from the Buckingham Palace balcony during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations
But he prompted outrage in March when he insisted on accompanying the Queen from Windsor Castle to a Service of Thanksgiving for Prince Philip – pointedly walking her down the aisle at Westminster Abbey to her seat.
And Andrew sparked further controversy days later when he issued a now-deleted 700-word statement about the Falklands War that was signed off as ‘HRH’, despite Buckingham Palace saying he would no longer use the title.
He was stripped of his honorary military titles and forced to no longer use his HRH style and – in the latest ignobility – was recently deprived of his Freedom of the City honour by councillors in York, who branded him ‘an utter disgrace’.
It led to fresh calls for Andrew to also lose his Duke of York title, but the Queen is understood to be reluctant to concede to these demands.