Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sarah Ferguson - down but not out

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has been forgiven by her ex-husband Prince Andrew for attempting to use his name to raise £500,000 ($721,000) according to today’s Daily Mirror newspaper.
At the weekend she was exposed in a classic tabloid sting offering an undercover News of the World reporter posing as an Indian businessman access to Prince Andrew. He has an official position as a special representative for international trade and investment for the British government. According to the Duchess, the Prince holds the key to untold riches, well, deals.
Here is a clear case of whatever the subterfuge, there is a public interest issue supporting the exposure.
Andrew it has to be said knew nothing about Fergie’s plan to relieve her longstanding financial problems. Her ruse was, of course, completely indefensible but it is equally difficult to huff and puff with moral outrage. There are many PR companies and lobby specialists who legitimately make millions on the strength of their government contacts.
In the video the Duchess of York was a rather pathetic, slightly boozed sight. She accepted a miniscule divorce settlement because at the time in 1996 her name was a valuable international brand. Now the commercial cupboard is bare and her efforts are directed at supporting charities.
Andrew, who saw service as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War, seems an amiable enough product of his class. He doesn’t look the type to turn a down a free lunch and 18 holes. So despite the embarrassment she has brought, he might be amused or flattered that his ex-wife thinks an introduction to him is worth half a million quid.
There might be even some surviving affection. After the mistake the Royal household made in encouraging Prince Charles to marry the virginal Diana Spencer, it seemed sensible to allow Andrew to wed the friskier Fergie. It must have been fun once.
If nothing else the Duchess of York is the mother of his two daughters Beatrice and Eugenie. Given the cost of Royal protection, the couple did taxpayers a favour stopping at two.
Andrew, fourth in succession to the throne, a product of Gordonstoun, the Navy, and the golf course is no different to any other parent who worries divorce might damage their children. So he is unlikely to want to kick Fergie out of the home he provides for her in Windsor.
It wouldn’t surprise me if book agents aren’t beating a path to her door. Fergie – my story has just opened a whole new chapter. Ten years from now she could still be hosting her own TV chat show.

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