Monday, May 24, 2010

The Duchess of York is not having a good week

... and it's her own damn fault, say a great many people on both sides of the Atlantic. The Duchess, the former wife of Prince Andrew -- who happens to be an unpaid trade ambassador for the U.K. -- was caught in a sting set up by a British tabloid as she tried to sell access to her former husband. (The video is here.) The scandal hit the papers this weekend, and now Sarah is tearfully apologizing to the press for her involvement in this scheme.

I think it's interesting how The News of the World, the tabloid that set up the sting, has positioned Prince Andrew as an innocent bystander in this mess, even though Sarah Ferguson (that's the Duchess) suggests that Andrew knows about her wheeling-and-dealing and even suggested the £500,000 figure as Sarah's payout. Of course, Sarah could by lying through her teeth, but she could be telling the truth -- after all, they've got an oddly close relationship for a divorced couple. At any rate, supposedly The News of the World has a staunch Royalist readership, so this could be the reason they're letting the royals off scot free on this scandal.

Knives are drawn for Sarah this week, and I wonder how she'll get through this mess. Reports have been flying about for the past couple months that she's on the verge of bankruptcy. And yes, I will admit I feel a bit sorry for her even though her latest downfall is down to her own poor decision making (what the hell was she thinking? Did she learn nothing from the Countess of Wessex's experience with The News of the World?) and she's got so many advantages that regular folks don't have. I'm reading comments sections of newspapers where readers are telling her to get a job or go live on a council estate. A job, yes, is a great idea -- she should do what Jackie Kennedy did and get an editor job in London! -- but other than that, she can hardly disappear into the woodwork and become a regular person, can she? She'll forever be associated -- good or bad -- with the royal family, and there will always be expectations of her. That's got to be a lot to live up to, especially when you lack the budget (or class, many would argue) to do so. I don't envy her at all.

And my last musing on the matter -- this would be a fine week for the royal family to announce an engagement, don't you think? Add your comments below.


  1. You know what, all those people who tell her to get a job? If she got one? Would complain she was taking it away from someone more deserving, or that she only got it because of her connections. I feel a little sorry for her too. Between her and Diana, I hope the royals really think about how they handle the younger generations, especially when bringing them into the fold.

  2. Yes, she definitely has a fine line to walk. So easy to judge but so hard for people to stop and realize she's a real human being. Interesting story, though. Engagement...Prince William? This goes to show how far out of the loop I've become. I've been so devastated by the fact that we aren't moving to England, now for several years, that it almost pains me to keep up with Brit news/life, etc. Silly, isn't it? Although, I'm slowly getting back into the swing, hence visiting you here ;)
    Great post, take care!

  3. Heard you on BBC radio. You sounded just fine.

    What isn't the Duchess living at the home she and the Duke built when they got married?

  4. Amy, as usual, I agree with you. The royals, moving forward, really need to think about this and figure out a way to make their family more "relevant." Other European monarchies have figured it out (Spain, Denmark come to mind). I have high hopes for Prince William. He seems to be in touch with reality.

    Elizabeth, sorry to hear England is off the table, really very sorry. :(

    And J Thomps, thank you for your kind comment. Prince Andrew sold Sunninghill a few years ago (another minor scandal), and now he's living at one of the Queen Mother's properties. I believe Sarah Ferguson has a sort of grace-and-favor room available there ... at least as of last week she did. ;-)

  5. If William is more in touch with reality, that's a sign of his mother's involvement in his early life.

    Signed, Diana Groupie All The Way

  6. I used to feel sorry for her. Since Royals aren't allowed to have a paid job, (or at least she claims she wasn't) she had very little when she was married and not a lot thereafter, yet was expected to live the life. She did a great job of bailing herself out the first time, and that's where my sympathy ends.
    Since then she has become greedy and extravagent without the means to support herself. What I don't understand however is why her ex and her daughters all don't pony up for an allowance for her. Perhaps they know she'll just fritter it away.
    As for Andrew being whiter than white - oh Please!

  7. LOL on that last bit. I bet he did have an inkling of what was going on. I think Sarah was telling the truth when she said on tape that it was Andrew's idea to ask for £500,000. I got what she was doing.

  8. Jerry O'MaraMay 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    I heard you on BBC as I actually am British and do not think you did a great job. To say that someone drinking had time to think about it. Hello she has a drinking problem.

    While your so into British abd I take it the Royal Family keep in mind she gets £15,000 a year from one of the worst Royals who a few years back spent over £300,000 of our money to go to a golf course.

  9. Jerry, thank you for commenting. I believe Sarah said she'd be drinking before she was caught on tape. Did she mention she had a "drinking problem," a long-standing affair with drink? This sting was set up over weeks, not hours, and I highly doubt she was so out of control of her faculties during those weeks that she didn't have time to think about what she was doing. I'm sorry: I just don't buy her drinking excuse, although I do believe her when she said she was drinking ... she was very loopy on tape.


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