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  #681  
Old 05-31-2011, 01:25 AM
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Alex, your assessment of the Sarah situation is astute and well written.
Are you a professional journalist ?

I think the word "needs" is indeed the key to Sarah's predicaments......

We all have needs .... we need to have needs..... but there is a limit.
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  #682  
Old 05-31-2011, 01:40 AM
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What puzzles me about all this is why, given Sarah's personal background, permssion was given for the marriage. Was it because of the Koo Stark situation possibly and the feeling of not wanting to say "no" again. Even though Andrew was the spare it would seem that more concern would have been given to his choice of a wife as her personal life was not exactly white as the driven snow which seems to have been of so much concern at that time OR was that attitude just with regard the POW?
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  #683  
Old 05-31-2011, 02:12 AM
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Which is perhaps why her former husband referred to her as "my third child." I'm beginning to see a link between Sarah's personal history and her charity Chances for Children. Sarah, as a child, didn't have a chance. Perhaps she was and is an immature person who knows how to act like an adult at times but is, inside, that little girl who wants to please the neglectful grown-ups of 40 to 45 years ago. Maybe she had a mental acceptance that Andrew would necessarily be away a lot; but when it actually happened, she felt like she was abandoned again.

So for her to "recover", maybe she needs to re-address those early abandonment issues. Abandonment is a very strong fear for anyone who's ever had to deal with anything like that. Sarah, for all her jolliness, might have been as fragile as Diana was when she married into the BRF. The Royal Family--with its ancient history and its palaces--can appear to be very solid and dependable to someone who wants permanence and reassurance.

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Originally Posted by rmay286 View Post
Sarah's behaviour is like a little girl looking for someone to take care of her.
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  #684  
Old 05-31-2011, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Princess of Durham View Post
What puzzles me about all this is why, given Sarah's personal background, permssion was given for the marriage. Was it because of the Koo Stark situation possibly and the feeling of not wanting to say "no" again. Even though Andrew was the spare it would seem that more concern would have been given to his choice of a wife as her personal life was not exactly white as the driven snow which seems to have been of so much concern at that time OR was that attitude just with regard the POW?
I think at that time people including the Royals actually liked Sarah and did not see to the base of her character - overall she is friendly, funny, helpful and (to the older Royals) respectful, she surely knew the rules of Court and social life in Royal circles, was down-to-earth on the other hand. One can really imagine her blooming at Balmoral (for a time), helping with the barbecue etc. That there is an empty core which constantly needs to be filled and fueled by attention, money, shopping, being on the move etc. was not to be seen at first.

And Andrew was no longer a child, but a "war hero" with the tendencies to live a loose lifestyle ("Randy Andy"), so I guess they hoped he would settle down with a lively girl who would never bore him.
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  #685  
Old 05-31-2011, 02:23 AM
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I think so, too. There seemed to be relief as much as pleasure when Andrew settled down with a girl of "good, country stock." She also had aristocracy in her background, which was in her favour.


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Originally Posted by Kataryn View Post
And Andrew was no longer a child, but a "war hero" with the tendencies to live a loose lifestyle ("Randy Andy"), so I guess they hoped he would settle down with a lively girl who would never bore him.
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  #686  
Old 05-31-2011, 02:25 AM
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Very interesting and informative, Diarist/Alex! Thank you!

I've only read up on Sarah on a very "commercial" book on the BRF so it's really great to have alternative views on her and her spending.
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  #687  
Old 05-31-2011, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
Maybe she had a mental acceptance that Andrew would necessarily be away a lot; but when it actually happened, she felt like she was abandoned again.

So for her to "recover", maybe she needs to re-address those early abandonment issues. Abandonment is a very strong fear for anyone who's ever had to deal with anything like that.
I think so, too - when Andrew was in the navy, Sarah felt that he had abandoned her to a lonely, restrictive royal life that she hadn't been prepared for, and couldn't adapt to.

In the "Finding Sarah" preview segment with Dr. Phil, Sarah describes her mother's death. She says, very coolly, "She was decapitated." Dr. Phil stares at her and says, "You just described a very traumatic incident as though you were telling me what you had for lunch." Sarah looks back at him unblinkingly. "Oh - should I be different?"

Like Dr. Phil, I was struck by Sarah's emotionless description of the event. It was like she was barely describing a human being, let alone her own mother. Yet she sheds tears when she describes losing her life in the royal family. It doesn't seem to make sense. Even though Sarah claims to have forgiven her mother, when she talks about her, she seems completely emotionally detached.
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  #688  
Old 05-31-2011, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rmay286 View Post

Like Dr. Phil, I was struck by Sarah's emotionless description of the event. It was like she was barely describing a human being, let alone her own mother. Yet she sheds tears when she describes losing her life in the royal family. It doesn't seem to make sense. Even though Sarah claims to have forgiven her mother, when she talks about her, she seems completely emotionally detached.
Here in Germany we have at the moment the fact that the children born during WWII are retiring. So it's a common problem now for them that the scares and emotional scars they received as children come up now that their life changes from being busy to being more relaxed. That is a tough thing for many. Now. But they have managed to live peaceful and good lifes during most of their adult years. So it's not the bad childhood itself in many cases who make life difficult for somebody but the chance to indulge in these childhood fears and scars.

Sarah has gotten attention and pampering throughout her whole life. To say it harshly: she has always speculated that she would be "kept" in one way or the other by either family or men. And she grew so accustumed to that kind of "keeping" that she lost any contact with the real world and the concept of being responsible for her own life.

I don't pity her and the hole in which she is now is of her own making. There were enough opportunities where she could have decided in a different way but she didn't. I only feel sad for her daughters who won't get a chance to get off their mother's emotional hook without massive willpower and the willingness to fight her and accept the guilt Sarah will IMHO try to install in them. Especially as Sarah surely is convinced that she is right in clinging to her daughters because "she does not walk out of them like her own mother did".

Maybe the decision of the BRF that the York-girls will not become working Royals but inseatd shape their own future is a way to protect them from their mother. I wouldn't wonder if Sarah showed up the first time Beatrice unveiled a plaque in an official function as representative of the queen... So better for Beatrice not to do that! Not even Sarah will follow Beatrice to her place of work, so...

Oh, it's a sad story.
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  #689  
Old 05-31-2011, 05:07 PM
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I don't think the "being kept" comment is harsh. In fact, when I was reading the comments by Diarist that was exactly the thought that came to mind and one of the reasons for my question. Essentially Sarah was a kept woman when Andrew came along (off and on) and I just wondered why that had not had a negative influence in the acceptance by the BRF in the very beginning. Whatever the reasons she is a mess and yes, I suspect the decision of not having Beatrice and Eugenie working royals may in fact be because of Sarah hanging on to them.
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  #690  
Old 05-31-2011, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Katrianna View Post
In addition, didn't Sarah have one of her father's mistresses as one of her ladies-in -waiting? .
Lesley Player. Find her book, it's very interesting and gives an interesting perspective on the whole scandal as well as sets precedent for Sarah who keeps making the same mistakes over and over and over again.
Now, what is she to do? Or what is she doing?
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  #691  
Old 06-01-2011, 06:05 AM
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Thank you Everyone for your responses to my post. I must say that after I had logged out, I did wonder whether I had 'overdone' things by making such a long post. I will try to deal with your questions now; again, please forgive me, I am not an expert on Forums and will have to deal with each response individually rather than in a 'joint post'.

Right, here goes:
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  #692  
Old 06-01-2011, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
Your posts, Alex, have brought back a lot of memories for me. I'm again disturbed by the actions of Sarah's mother; as you said, leaving the family and moving to another continent. It's such a selfish thing for a mother to do. Do you know whether Susan Barrantes ever sought custody of the children?

Whilst I don't know the FULL details of the divorce of Sarah's parents, I can, I think, help with general background information and also make an enlightened guess.

At the time that the Fergusons divorced, English Divorce law had become much 'simpler'. If the proceedings were uncontested, the procedure to end a marriage was all done by paperwork: although the divorce was 'pronounced' in open court, it was not preceeded by a dramatic 'trial' with witnesses etc. Apart from the end of the marriage, separate procedures took place over money and children - if uncontested, this was done by a mixture of paperwork and/or private hearing.

In English divorce at that time, the USUAL STARTING POINT was the concept of 'joint custody [basically the right to make decisions about the children and their welfare] to BOTH parents, care and control [i.e. physical 'possession'] to one parent, and the Divorce Court tries to encourage parents to come to an agreement rather than 'battle it out'. The 'usual starting point' of joint custody, care and control to one' was almost always followed, and even if one party had [say] committed adultery or [say] had apparently walked out on the family, this IN ITSELF did not mean that the above 'usual starting point' would not have been used.

If we go back to the case of the divorce of Princess Diana's parents, there was a long and very public battle IN OPEN COURT for access, with, if I remember correctly, Diana's mother Frances 'fighting' for the custody of her children, with even her own mother testifying against her as to the suitabilty of Frances Spencer to be a good mother. This disupte was public and very well known in England.

ON this basis, I presume that the Fegusons did manage to agree arrangements for the children, because there is no record of anyone remembering a 'divorce fight'; bearing in mind how much of the 'Sarah Story' has been picked over, I am sure any battle would have 'come to light'.

My guess is that the Major Ron and Susan Barrantes agreed on 'joint custody' i.e. the right to make joint decisions about their children's welfare, with Major Ferguson getting physical 'care and control'. In effect this meant that the children would mostly live with him - which in practice would only have taken place when Sarah was NOT at boarding School - but with reasonable 'access' being granted to Susan Barrantes - which would have allowed her to see Sarah, and indeed have Sarah to stay in Argentina.

Don't forget that the way that the International Polo World works is for the top [foreign] players to come to England each summer - say from May through July / August. Thus, Susan Barrantes would have been around for Sarah for much of Sarah's school holidays.

This is purely speculation on my part, but I don't whether Susan Barrantes would have actually wanted to have had any more physical access to Sarah - not as a matter of cruelty but of logistics. Susan and Hector Barrantes lived at a fairly remote estancia [which I gather was comfortable but not luxurious] some hours' drive from Buenos Aires, and I don't think that it would have been a practical place for a young teenager - there would have been NO young English friends of a like-minded persuasion for Sarah to chum up with, nothing much to do....etc. These are only my thoughts, however.

I will say this though - it is also my very humble opinion that one reason why Sarah found marriage to Andrew so tough is that she NEVER had the chance to observe a normal marriage in its 'ups and downs'. I am sure many of us here, both from either our own marriages or those of our parents, will remember that once the 'magic' of the early days wears off, many drop back into a sort of comfortable routine, nothing hugely exciting happening the whole time etc, and with the occasional [one hopes only occasional] little dispute etc which is then hopefully resolved quickly. I think if Sarah had had the chance of observing a more 'normal' marriage, she would have been better prepared for the domestic routine- Andrew coming back from his naval career tired etc, no opportunity for constant goings-out and holidaying etc.

Hope this helps,

Alex
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  #693  
Old 06-01-2011, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Katrianna View Post
Alex, thank you again for presenting a factual, yet unbiased account. I may not remember this right, but weren't Fergie and Paddy McNally seen together as late as the Dec. before she and Andrew were engaged that Febr. or March? In addition, didn't Sarah have one of her father's mistresses as one of her ladies-in -waiting? Thank you in advance.

Thank you Katrianna. Certainly the London tabloids did print stories saying that Sarah was [and I quote!] 'carrying on with Paddy McNally'. I always try to avoid speculating, but I would guess it was true if only because the parties did not immediately press for a retraction!

Where I can help with a little primary evidence is that in the job I had at that time, we [or rather my boss] needed to know [for planning purposes] whether any Royal Weddings [or for that matter, I suppose, any other royal event] were likely to be taking place over the coming months. For this reason, we kept in close touch with BP etc. As I have said, the contact was maintained by my boss, not humble me, but I do remember clearly that people in our department were saying around Jan/Feb 1986 that the Palace had stated that the papers [tabloids] 'were taking the royal romance along way too fast', [the exact words used in my department] i.e. that the relationship between Andrew and Sarah was NOT 'hurtling' towards imminent marriage. I take this to mean that BP was aware of certain surrouding circumstances which would indicate that although Sarah and Andrew were 'seeing each other', their relationship did not apear to be exclusive or permanant. Maybe I am reading too much into this comment, although I can tesitfy as a fact that when the couple announced their engagement in March 1986, we were all 'caught on the hop' i.e. surpised by the announcement.

I think it may also be interesting if we examine the background to the Sarah/McNally romance: it was Paddy McNally himself who actually drove Sarah to Windsor Castle for the fateful Ascot week houseparty that led to the start of the romance! Certainly after the house party Sarah was indeed still seeing McNally for a few months. I can also remember that people used to say that it was never entirely clear when the McNally/Ferguson romance ended - or indeed who ended it! I can remember being told that McNally had said that he 'decided to let Sarah go gently,[meaning 'gradually'] because he did not want her to stay with him expecting marriage, because he had no intention of marrying...' Who knows whether this is true or not?

Another thing: don't forget that it is often that habit of 'upper class girls' for whom marriage is actually 'their main career plan' to 'keep their options open until the last moment'. Remember, Lady Diana [as she then was] actually had made a date with the highly eligble [and sometime escort] Hon. George Plumptre to go to the ballet on the night that her engagement to Prince Charles was actually announced - she then sent him the famous note 'I am sorry that cannot go to the Ballet with you tonight as I am otherwise ''engaged''.

All this is a long-winded way of saying that yes, I expect that Sarah was indeed 'keeping her options' open with McNally. As we know, the engagement was announced in March 1986, but had the relationship not come to fruition, Sarah would have needed McNally to host her for the ski-ing season of Jan-March 1986!
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rmay286 View Post
Thanks for your thoughts, Diarist. I didn't mind the length, because it was very interesting to read your opinions. I'm quoting this part because it had never occurred to me before that even when Sarah worked in publishing, she wasn't funding her own lifestyle - Paddy McNally was paying for her............

.........What I don't quite understand (and probably none of us do) is why Sarah needs to live a luxurious lifestyle with the expensive vacations, designer bags, etc. I know that she doesn't need to...but she acts as though she needs to. It seems to go beyond simple greed. At this point, most people would have decided to live within their means; but Sarah still seems to be flying around the world (in Thailand during the royal wedding) while looking for the next quick fix.


Thank you rmay. I never want to be seen to 'Sarah-bash', partly because it is not my style to be unkind to anyone [and hopefully I mostly succeed with this aim] and secondly, I don't like to 'kick anyone when they are down' as the British saying goes, and poor Sarah is indeed 'on the floor' at the moment.

I do wonder, though, why Sarah thinks she is entitled to a luxurious lifestyle. [and sorry, this is not meant to sound 'sharp', it is meant to be a factual question not a direct criticism of Sarah]. Nothing in her background in my humble opinion seemed to 'entitle her' to a life of luxury holidays and possessions. As I have said at some length, her family lifestyle was 'comfortable', not 'rich, rich'. Even during her time with McNally, she was required to help support herself by working at a basic secretarial position [at a 'normal secretarial salary'] - true, I don't think her job was particularly arduous because she seemed to be given substantial time off [to be with McNally] to fly over to Switzerland and Foreign Grands Prix etc [freely granted by her boss Richard Burton [not the actor by the way!!] who was a friend of McNally. But her income was quite modest - she shared a rented flat in a far-from-luxurious road in Lavender Hill, Battersea. This district of London is 'across the river' and although perfectly 'respectable' at the time that Sarah lived there, it was a 'cheap, residential area'. Rich 'Sloane Rangers' preferred [i.e. had the means to!] live in the upmarket /upscale areas such as Chelsea, Belgravia, Kensington [Lady Diana] or parts of Fulham. Battersea was for the less affluent!

What I am trying to say is that on her marriage to Andrew, it was not as if Sarah was foregoing a hugely rich lifestyle of her own. In other words, on her divorce, the settlement did not have to try to 'return her to the [luxurious] position she would have been had she not married Andrew'. She gave up no luxurious lifestyle of her own - she was McNally's girlfriend, not his wife, and not on a full-time live-in basis, and her own father's means were not 'super-rich'. Even the lifestyle that she had with Andrew was misleading - it was hugely expensive because of Sarah's spending - don't forget, she ended the marriage in debt, due to uncontrolled spending on 'non-essential, non-royal' items.

This leads me back to the question as to what Sarah can realistically do now to recover from the scandal, and the first of these, in my very humble opinion, is to accept that unless and until she has the means to do so [e.g. by re-marriage to a hugely rich man], poor Sarah has just got to accept that she must stop living way abover her means. As I have repeatedly said, no other royal [apart from Charles and the Queen] can afford to live the lifestyle to which Sarah apparently aspires to.
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  #695  
Old 06-01-2011, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Renata4711 View Post
Alex, your assessment of the Sarah situation is astute and well written.
Are you a professional journalist ?

Thank you Renata, you are very kind. No, I am not a professional journalist. I don't write nearly well enough and I think that I would not be objective enough to pursue many of the more unpleasants stories! After university, I joined the civil dervice, ostensibly as a 'high-flyer'. This term always amused my nearest and dearest very much [it also amused me as well, because I rate myself as very ordinary!]. I had studied the British Consitution as part of my degree and for some reason the powers-that-be thought it would have been useful preparation for the work I did which had an occasional royal content. Let me make it very clear that I was privy to no actual secrets - and looking back I did not even have to sign any confidentially agreement - perhaps an oversight, but there again, I don't think I was privy to anything secret at all! To put it bluntly, many of the tabloids seemed to know far more about 'royal goings-on' than we ever did!

Somebody here once asked me if I worked for the Royal Household! An emphatic no! on this one!

I left full time work some years ago because personally I felt that I could not juggle my particular full time job successfully with a family. I know many, many people do manage this and I admire them, but for me it was not the right decision to remain working regular day-time hours full time. [and I am the first to say that I do miss my full-time salary very much, but we just about manage; in my case, new clothes are an occasional treat, ditto visits to the hairdresser, and the holidays are mostly self-catering now - all of which I am sure will ring a bell with those here trying to raise a family!!] I now freelance, doing a bit of the old work I did, and I also help companies and businesses with what they see as matters of protocol and etiquette and I do also do a little work for some magazines, basically proof-checking copy of social event reporting [i.e. to make sure that the journalist has not referred to 'Lady Mary Whatever' when s/he really means Lady [no first name] Whatever. I often say that I am not entirely sure what actually qualfies me to do the work I actually do!

Alex
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  #696  
Old 06-01-2011, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Princess of Durham View Post
What puzzles me about all this is why, given Sarah's personal background, permssion was given for the marriage. Was it because of the Koo Stark situation possibly and the feeling of not wanting to say "no" again. Even though Andrew was the spare it would seem that more concern would have been given to his choice of a wife as her personal life was not exactly white as the driven snow which seems to have been of so much concern at that time OR was that attitude just with regard the POW?

I can only speculate, but since you ask, I would speculate as follows: The most important thing, I think, is to put things in context, which is actually much easier now that we are looking back at things. First, on paper, Sarah 'ticked all the right boxes' in my opinon. She knew the royal set-up. As a fellow forum member has said here, Sarah appeared an ideal joiner-in: I can indeed imagine Sarah helping Prince Philip wield the Barbeque fork! Sarah was also a good horsewoman who I believe used to ride out with the Queen, which I am sure actually delighted HM, whose love of horses is second to none; contrast this with poor Diana - does anyone here remember the photo of an awkward Diana out riding with the Queen, the Queen actually having Diana on a leading rein!? The poor Princess loathed riding [mainly becuase of a childhood riding accident I believe], although to me, the important difference was that Sarah was partly a country girl as well, whereas Diana, despite her 'Country House' background was essentially 'metropolitan' in character!

Don't forget that around the time of the Royal Ascot House Party, Diana was (as we now know) in the grips of an eating disorder and painfully thin. It must have been joyful for the Queen to watch Sarah jesting with Andrew over the profiteroles and happily tucking-in!

Look, too, at the state of the relationship between Andrew and Sarah. The couple were very much in love; behind the scenes, the Queen would have been only too aware of the fact that Charles did not really love Diana and was really pining for his mistress Camilla. I am sure that the Queen noted with approval that the relationship of Andew and Sarah was a love-match!

If there is one thing that I cannot emphasise too much about BRF marriages from the time of the Queen Mother and Bertie onwards, they have been contracted for reasons of love, rather than dynasty. Although dynastically impeccable, the union of the QM and Bertie was essentially a love match. Look at Prince Philip and the Queen - Prince Philip's background and connections were impeccable; but to me, it is clear that the Queen 'fell in love with him'. Princess Anne married Mark Philips - the union foundered, but again, it was initially a love-match. Contrast the situation with that of Princess May of Teck. She became engaged to Prince Albert; very shortly after their engagement, he died. And so she was then betrothed to his surviving brother George [who then became King George V]. It hardly sounds like a love-match, does it??!!!

I therefore think that even if the BRF had any initial doubts about Sarah's suitability, the obvious love the couple had for each other at the time would have been a 'plus point' in the eyes of the Queen I am sure.

Koo Stark? This was surely a love match, so why did the Queen not agree to their marriage? Now there is a problem. I think the first thing you have to do is to place the romance in the context of the times. 25 [plus] years ago it was not particularly 'done' for royal brides to have lived with anyone. This meant, in practice, that the bride either had to be a virgin or, if she had lived with anyone, that they would be discreet. Take Sarah; her two main boyfriends, Kim Smith-Bingham and Paddy McNally could be relied on to be discreet. Then look at Koo Stark; whilst the popular view is that the romance was a non-starter because of the 'soft porn' film Emily, I remember that at the time, Koo Stark's previous consorts were regarded as something of a problem. One was a Turkish businessman. Another was Robert Winsor, a self-made millionaire [famous for manufacturing those money-spinning 'point of sale' racks just before you get to the till in supermarkets, with all those last-minute sweets etc]. Koo was engaged to Robert Windsor for some years. She also received what the papers called a 'kiss-off' when they parted [from memory, a car and a cash sum]. I think that these things all scuppered Koo's chances.

One more thing - it's interesting how the Koo Stark business turned out: after she split with Andrew, her 'career' was in effect based on her royal relationship! She was successful in several libel actions she brought against tabloids who suggested that her relationship with Andrew was still continuing. The jury [made up of a sympathetic public] found in favour of Koo, largely I think because at that time she was perceived to be a young woman who had been forced to give up her royal love, and at that time, the British Public was just begining to fall out of love with the rather too loud and bouncy Sarah. Koo was awarded huge sums in damages and began a large holiday-and-racehorse purchasing lifestyle. She continually sold stories about herself to Hello and the tabloids, in which she cleverly hinted strongly about her relationship with Andrew but never actually gave anything away about the very personal side of their relationship. The money flowed in....and Koo started a very expensive 'travel round the world' lifestyle, partly financed too by her 'career' as a photographer, taught to her by Royal Photographer Norman Parkinson, to whom she had become known via the royal connection. Koo spent and spent, and apparently did not put too much aside for a rainy day, because here we are in 2011 with Koo....bankrupt. Partly it has to be said, as a result of a disasterous romance, but there again, look at all that uncontrolled spending....


Incidentally, one of the people I used to work with said, at that time that the Sarah/Andew marraige went wrong, was that Andrew was basically a bit immature, over fond of silly practical jokes and without too much common sense [remember the paint-sprayed photographers, anyone?] but capable of carrying out orders well and of being directed to do things well [Royal Navy career] and that what he really needed in marriage was a ram-rod straight German Princess to 'keep him on the straight and narrow'. Instead what he got [Sarah] was someone who reflected many of his own faults.

Poor Sarah; I feel that unless and until she starts receiving and taking good advice, her future lifestyle is always going to cause problems for her......
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  #697  
Old 06-01-2011, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Russophile View Post
Lesley Player. Find her book, it's very interesting and gives an interesting perspective on the whole scandal as well as sets precedent for Sarah who keeps making the same mistakes over and over and over again.
Now, what is she to do? Or what is she doing?

Yes indeed, I think it was Lesley Player to whom you were referring, but could I please add a bit of background information?

I have never read Lesley Player's book, but I can assure you that whatever she and Sarah might think or have said, Lesley Player was NEVER an Official Lady-in-waiting. As I understand it, Sarah was in America [from memory] attending a Charity Polo Match, and not necessarily as part of an Official Royal Engagement. As I understand it, either Major Ron [who was present] or Sarah, asked Lesley Player to 'act as Lady in Waiting for Sarah' as no Official Lady in waiting was present.

Could I be permitted to point out that so far as the BRF is concerned, you can only be a Lady in Waiting if officially appointed as one - it is a matter for BP: the name of the potential LinW is officially put forward [usually by the Private Secretary], Enquiries are made as to the candidate's suitability, [criminal check, background / character check] etc, your abilities as to discretion, conversational ability, knowledge of protocol etc is all assessed and then, and only then, after satisfactory responses, the Queen's approval is sought and given and finally, the Appointment officially announced. A modest allowance is usally paid to [help] cover a Clothes Allowance, a rota of attendances is drawn up.... etc etc. [It used to be the practice to give the LinW a brooch bearing, in diamonds, the initial of the 'Royal' that she served.]

The only variation / exception I can think of to this is on one or two occasions when Princess Diana asked one of her sisters to 'help out' in the manner of a LinW, but in practice this was NOT official.

Lesley Player was NEVER appointed a LinW and Major Ron and/or Sarah had no power to do so. All they could have done was to ask LP to 'help out', but in whatever capacity she did this, it was NOT in a capacity as LinW whatever LP might have said about it, in her book or anywhere else.

By way of a bit of background information, I did come across Lesley Player hanging round at Guards Polo Club and also The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. As I have said before, the world of professional polo is one where Royalty and 'flash' weathy international businessmen meet. Polo tournaments are often sponsored by these 'flash businessmen types' or by luxury goods companies such as fashion-houses, jewellers or Champagne houses, often with an alleged charitable purpose. The idea is that two teams [one containing a 'Royal', historially Prince Charles, more recently William and/or Harry] compete for a trophy. Spectators are charged an entrance fee [some or all of which is given to the Charity to benefit]. The sponsors get their picture with William/ Harry/ Charles, the charity gets some money. All good and proper in theory, but in practice, it is an opportunity to - for want of a better word - 'social climb', and over the years, Royal Princes have found themselves (in my very humble opinion) mixing with some 'flash people' who are not awfully 'good types'. This is NOT snobbery on my part - one or two of the businessmen have been involved in corporate, er, skullduggery - or have even been in prison at some stage - just the sort of people NOT to have in close proximity to royals! To me there is a further complication - there is a very important -albeit unwritten rule - that people should NOT be allowed to 'buy access' to members of the BRF. [The emergence of the 'paid presenter' was one reason why presentations at Court ceased in the 1950's.............]. With sponsorship of polo matches in which members of the BRF play, the sponsor usually gets to shake the hand of the Royal involved.......to me, it is all a little-too-close-to-comfort to 'commercialising' the BRF, even if charity does benefit as well.........

Lesley Player was a woman of some myserious background -whether her fault or not, she gave people to believe that she was a clever astute businesswoman from an impeccable background. In fact, some time later this all turned out to be ''not the whole truth'' - her husband owned a failing car-hire business, Lesley's academic credentials turned out to be more imaginary than real [she spoke of a place at Cambridge (university) although it turned out that her subject was 'Home Ec' [home economics] a subject that is not even recognised at Cambridge. Her mother, far from aristocratic, turned out, I seem to remember, to be a school dinner lady. No shame in that whatsover - so why not be honest about your background?

Player had the 'gift of the gab' though, and began to talk about the possibility of sponsoring a 'Women's Polo Tournament'. She expressed her wish at learning to play Polo, Major Ron [who worked (arranging sponsorship for Polo matches] for both the Guards' Polo Club and the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club at stages of his career] soon came 'in on the act', bringing with him Sarah, whose presence of course 'boosted' the profile of particular polo matches she was involved with [usually as a trophy presenter....] But, as I have said, there was no real 'wealth' or 'substance' or even what I shall politey call 'integrity' so far as Ms Player was concerned. Major Ron did find her attractive though, and many of the broadsheet papers [not just the tabloids] ran stories of an affair. Poor old Sarah therefore found herself caught up again in the scandals, this time due mainly to the fault of Major Ron. From memory, Lesley Player's business then failed messily, there was talk of bankruptcy...you get the picture...

It is the same old story. Poor Sarah just cannot avoid getting caught up in trouble. As I [and others] keep on saying, her only real opportunity to progress to a happy and stable future is to keep away from scandal. It has a habit of catching up with her even when things are NOT her direct fault, as is the case with the Lesley Player affair. Sarah desperately needs a sensible person to guide her throughout; and Sarah has to follow that guidance and NOT try to hide things or keep things secret; her aides apparently were kept in the dark about the 'cash-for-access' scandal; anyone hearing of Sarah's plans to 'sell Andrew' would presumbably have said 'No'. I just don't know how anyone can ever get through to Sarah to give her the help and guidance that she so obviously needs, even if she does not realise it..... AT the end of the day, she is not really as astute a business woman as she thinks she is.....
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  #698  
Old 06-01-2011, 09:13 AM
Courtier
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Berkshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 650
Anyway, I think that that is quite enough from me. Sarah's future is an interesting topic, but I do not know what can be done to help her until she first helps herself!

Alex
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  #699  
Old 06-01-2011, 09:18 AM
Heir Apparent
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Posts: 3,502
So, this is Prince Andrew, getting involved (sequentially) with two women who like playing "va banque" with no money in their pockets.....

For him, the risk is much less because of the well-filled Royal coffers.

Both women were seduced by the cachet of royalty, and by an (unspoken) guarantee of oodles of money.

Who is to blame?
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  #700  
Old 06-01-2011, 09:28 AM
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: alpine village, Germany
Posts: 1,868
Thank you very much Alex for the insights not only into Sarah's but your own background. So nice to have somebody on the forums who at least has some well-based knowledge about British society's organization and thus can help with things like that.

You asked yourself why Sarah would feel she is accustomed to the lifestyle of the super richs: maybe it was not by chance that she at one point came to sit under a pyramid and trusted a future teller. There are people who believe in their own star and often make it to the top through this belief. But once the bubble bursts, they are left with nothing and are not able to get a grip on reality in order to save themselves. It's a bit like a gamester who continues to play even though the cards and his luck have changed.

I think when Sarah married Andrew she thought it was just the beginning, she did not realise that she had reached the top with its own rules and that you can be secure there by abidding to the rules, but only then.
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