Royal redheads on the prowl
From correspondents in London
December 4, 2004
THE Duchess of York has told how she likes to go out "on the pull" with her 16-year-old daughter Beatrice.
She revealed in an extraordinarily frank interview: "We always talk about boyfriends. She longs for me to have one and I long for her to have one."
Sarah Ferguson, who has had a string of high-profile lovers since her divorce from Beatrice's father Prince Andrew in 1996, said: "It's such fun because we go out on the pull together and I say, 'Look, what about him?' and she says, 'Oh, Mum, no.'
"We're so close. We're mates. We have a real laugh."
The Duchess, whose younger daughter Eugenie is 14, has revealed how much she missed having her own mother around as a teenager.
Susan Barrantes moved to Argentina to remarry when Sarah was 12.
"Looking at the girls now I realise how much more I missed having a mother," she said.
"Now is the time in Beatrice's life when she really needs to know her mother is strong and there.
"I've told her she musn't fret. She musn't worry if other people have boyfriends. Her time will come.
"The other day she had a wobbly and said she didn't want to be grown up, not that day, so she just sat with me and had a hug. It's OK to be a little girl. I'm 45 and I still feel like a little girl."
The Duchess, in an interview with a British newspaper, also claimed she "thrives" on being alone.
Although she is very good friends with her former husband, she dismissed speculation they might remarry as "rubbish".
She said: "We get on so well. We are different people now.
"We support each other and if in doubt I will ring him and say, 'Listen, I can't cope'. We're a family really."
Sarah's love-life has caused her some embarrassment in the past, most famously when she was photographed topless in the south of France in 1992 with her "financial adviser" Johnny Bryan sucking her toes.
She subsequently dated Italian count Gadda della Gherardesca for four years but spent the past 3 1/2 years going through what she calls a "man-free patch" until she decided she was ready to seek romance again this year.
She is optimistic about finding love and said she had few requirements in a man.
"As long as he laughs and doesn't mind the cameras on me," she said. "Some spontaneity would be nice - to have someone say, 'Come on, we're off to Paris for the weekend'."