The Duchess of York is finally weighing in on the bombshell TV interview that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave to Oprah Winfrey earlier this year.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Sarah Ferguson is asked about the interview, and offered a diplomatic response.
“All I want to say on this is that Oprah helped me greatly when I went to the U.S. and was interviewed by her,” said the ex-wife of Prince Andrew.
“I’m a great supporter of Oprah and everything that she does,” she added.
Meanwhile, the duchess was equally as measured when she discussed the Queen, describing Her Majesty as “a huge guiding influence in my life.”
The Queen, she added, “is the most extraordinary lady and most extraordinary head of state and most extraordinary mother-in-law. For me her dedication of her entire life to the service of her country is an inspiration, as it is to people around the world.”
Her relationship with her father-in-law, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been significantly more fraught, with Prince Philip allegedly once describing her as “odd and pointless,” and reportedly never forgave her for the embarrassment she inflicted upon the royal family when she was photographed having her toes sucked by Texas millionaire John Bryant.
Asked about Philip, Sarah took the high road. “The Duke was an extraordinary consort, father and grandfather, and his passing has left a great void in the family,” she said. “He served his nation and the Queen with incredible dedication for almost 70 years.”
During the interview, the duchess got candid about how she’s been portrayed in the press, and how that’s affected her personally.
“Being the focus of public scrutiny and criticism does take a toll on mental health, inevitably. I’ve been very open about how difficult it was when the tabloids criticized my weight and my choices and called me the ‘Duchess of Pork,'” she admitted.
“I remember one headline when a newspaper had run a poll and claimed that 82 per cent of people would rather sleep with a goat than Fergie. Of course that undermines your self-confidence and your self-worth. You start to believe that the whole world does think you are fat and frumpy,” she continued.
“I’m prepared to be quite open about the fact that my mental health has suffered thanks to some of the criticism I came in for, and things that happened in my childhood, such as my mother leaving when I was a teenager,” she added. “I certainly had an unhealthy relationship with food for a long time. I’ve been in therapy in the past to deal with those issues.”