Sarah Ferguson Explains What She Would Tell Her Younger Self About Marrying Into the Royal Family

Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson

“It’s New York, but we don’t get a royal every day,” the well-dressed woman in line behind me at the Sarah Ferguson event in Manhattan on Monday night stated.

The Duchess of York’s visit to The 92nd Street Y was part of her ongoing media tour in support of her new book, “A Very Intriguing Woman,” and Americans took the chance to see a royal in person.

The audience included high-society types, Upper East Siders and anglophiles, as well as reporters eager to see if Fergie would answer questions about Prince Andrew in front of a live audience.

Fergie held court from the time she got onto the stage. She was both charming and disarming as she called out people in attendance, including her godson and many friends, and said her daughters had called and begged them to come to support their mother.

She interacted with the crowd and even with her publishing company, telling them again that she wants to write another book in her series.

“Lots to do. “I’m just starting my life,” the 63-year-old royal added, repeating a narrative that would develop throughout the night, as this seemed like the duchess’s effort at a return tour.

One of her goals is to become an actress. While Meghan Markle famously put up her acting career when she joined the royal family, Fergie is now wanting to return to the entertainment industry, hoping that Hallmark will call.

The duchess told moderator and Glamour Editor-in-Chief Samantha Berry that she was “thrilled” to make a cameo appearance on “Friends” back in the 1990s.

“Now people come up to me and go, you were in ‘Friends’!” she said. “And then I decided definitely that I’m going to go on a Hallmark film.”

The duchess knows how to fascinate an audience, making expressions and casting knowing glances at audience members to emphasize her remarks. When she was asked what she would tell herself before marrying into the royal family, the crowd held their breath.

“Learn to play the game,” Ferguson said. “And play it better.”

“I was very young,” the duchess said of marrying into the monarchy ― both a family and a family business at 26.

“I could’ve just sort of understood it better. I think I was so taken and so in love,” she said. “I mean, can you imagine, ‘Why me?’”

Fergie wouldn’t get into specifics about what she regretted or would do differently. Instead, she offered up the sentiment: “You’ve got to hold people’s dreams, but you must want to hold on to your own.

“And I wonder whether I was in my people-pleasing, trying too hard to please everyone else I’d forgotten perhaps to take more care and to be more aware,” the duchess mused.

Though Fergie was forthright about her future plans and what advice she’d offer her younger self, she was cautious about other subjects, such as her disgraced ex-husband and anything involving Prince Harry or Meghan Markle.

During the night, she responded to queries by pulling out pieces of paper and reading quotes from the late Queen Elizabeth that she’d written up.

When asked about her relationship with the Duke of York, Fergie pretended to reread the quotation printed and joked, “I must have another quote.” When questioned if the two were still living together at Royal Lodge in Windsor, she remained vague.