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NotAPretender 09-12-2011 10:11 AM


Originally Posted by rmay286 (Post 1315459)
I've also heard the rumour that Sarah was "asked" to leave Weight Watchers, and I tried to Google for information either way, but found nothing. .....

I have a Hello! interview with Sarah in front of me, from 2009, and this is what Sarah said about Hartmoor: "I met someone who has masterminded the careers of several big entertainers and I was urged to start my own lifestyle company in America. It seemed fantastic, so I invested all the money I had earned from The Young Victoria film and everything from my Little Red books. I lost it all...The biggest problem was that while I worked out Hartmoor, I couldn't work for anyone else.".......

So - that is Sarah's explanation for why she left Weight Watchers. I don't know what to believe...

rmay, I snipped a lot. But I think what you wrote answers itself; you were unable to find independent corroboration of Sarah's statements because - there isn't any. Sarah believes that if she says it, it is true, despite any evidence to the contrary. She is simply not credible on any level, even the simplest of things.

I agree with Diarist: done.

Diarist 09-12-2011 02:56 PM


Originally Posted by rmay286 (Post 1315459)

She also says, "I didn't lose my WeightWatchers contract, I walked away in December 2007. I had had 10 wonderful years with them and I left with real sadness. But I had no choice. As you know, WeightWatchers sells lines of food and when I set up my company, Hartmoor, my new contract excluded me from working for any other food firm."

So - that is Sarah's explanation for why she left Weight Watchers. I don't know what to believe; but out of curiousity, I searched for pictures of Sarah during her later years at WeightWatchers. In order, here are photos from 2005, 2006, and 2008. I don't really see any major fluctuations in weight.

Sarah Ferguson Arrives For The Cipriani Wall Street Concert Series At
Sarah Ferguson Duchess Of York Debuts Her Line Of Jewelry For KG
Sarah Ferguson The Duchess Of York Arrives At The Chain Of Hope

My opinion is this: that Sarah was actually a pretty decent WeightWatchers ambassador and did keep the weight off; but she was either lured by the promise of still more cash in Hartmoor, or she was advised that because she was nearing 50 and had been the ambassador for 10 years, Weight Watchers might be looking for a fresh face...or both.

I agree with so much of what you have wrote. My view of the loss of the Weight Watches contract has been based on what I have heard and also my own observation of Sarah over the years. Certainly, in the pictures above, she does not actually look oveweight, but in the Cipriani Wall Steet photo [the first one] her dress looks a little tight - I am looking at the folds going across the dress, which I believe is a general indication that the dress is a little too small [KittyAtlanta knows a lot about clothes and she may be able to confirm this] which is, I suppose, just another way of saying that Sarah is growing a little big for the dress!!

Certainly towards the final years of the contract, there were rumours - although I do stress they were rumours - that poor Sarah was having to resort to a lot of saunas and other means to keep her weight low enough for the Weight Watchers contract. And from my own personal observations of her at various events, I sometimes thought that she was putting on a little more weight that WW would think acceptable - I am thinking of when I saw her at the Monaco Grand Prix and also when I was skiing in Verbier - she was at the Farm Club most evenings one year and although she was not as fat as she had been at one stage, she just looked like she was, well, expanding a little bit. Understandably perhaps - it is progressively harder to keep one's weight down as one ages...

Let me also so that I do not think that being large is wrong; I just mean that WW do not applaud that in their Ambassadors.

My humble opinon therefore is that perhaps Heinz did start to think that Sarah was not the best person to represent them for a much longer period. The statements that were then issued by Sarah about the termination of the contract also strike me as typical of the carefully-worded publicity statements agreed by lawyers and PRs to be issued when any contract ends.

Only my thoughts


Diarist 09-12-2011 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 (Post 1315480)
. In the pictures taken at Princess Beatrice's graduation, Andrew looks uncomfortable in front of the photographers, but Sarah is clearly posing. Note the way she positions her leg in some of the photos. It's a classic way of placing one's leg in a flattering position. That spoke volumes to me.

If you look in the latest postings in the York Family Current Events thread, you will see that Sarah has turned up with her daughters, and that she is placing her leg in the same way again!!:smile:

Diarist 09-12-2011 03:30 PM


Originally Posted by Meadow (Post 1315477)
The thing that sprung out for me was her saying that Hartmoor was her company but under her contract she couldn't work for another food company...umm if it was her company and she would have had input into the contract if she really could of worked for Weight watchers then surely she could have worked around that in her own contract. Was Hartmoor going to sell diet food? ....

I so agree, Meadow. Sarah's statement seems completely at variance with what I understand by founding one's own company. The reference to her 'contract' with Hartmoor is even more curious. I am no expert on US companies, but I understand the way that British companies work. The thing to do, surely, if one is starting one's own Company, is to ensure that the company's objectives and its start-up documentation embraces your existing work. A major asset of Sarah's at that time was her 'Weightwatchers' contract. If there is going to be difficulty with Hartmoor having its own food line, then it seems clear that you make sure that Hartmoor has NOTHING to do with food so that there is no conflict of interest. Hardly rocket science! In fact, the only difficulty I could see would be that theoretically, Heinz might have had difficulty with Sarah now having her own company. In which case, Sarah's business advisors should have either worked to resolve this problem to allow the Heinz WeightWatchers contract to 'co-exist' with Hartmoor, or, if such co-existence was not possible, then her advisors should have carried out a form of 'due diligence' exercise and told Sarah that 1m per annum from Heinz was better than the possibility of trying to make more money from Hartmoor.

Perhaps of course Sarah did receive such advice - but chose to ignore it. In which case, it further destroys Sarah's apparent competency as a savvy-business person.

What a mess....

Russophile 09-12-2011 03:59 PM

Well Russo is number 2 of 6 for the Finding Sarah book and quite impatient to receive it from the library and then I'll add my 2 cents.

Diarist 09-12-2011 04:07 PM


Originally Posted by Tyger (Post 1315466)
Diarist - You do write with a lovely style and your thoughts are informative. Thank you. I am an American and I don't know who you are but I am gathering that you have an intimate understanding of the world of which you speak - and that is very compelling. So thank you for the insights. :flowers: .

Why, thank you Tyger. Actually I am very unimportant. My most important role is as a mother, a wife and as a daughter to beloved parents. And hopefully as a good relative to my wider family and as a good friend to the large number of people I am so lucky to have to care for me. But over the years, my family background and my work and my social life has brought me into contact with royal occasions, royal events and royal pastimes. I am therefore able to draw on my experiences. But what I write is based on my observations and to an extent what I say will often be my opinions and interpretations of situations. I think that some forum members here are far more impressive, with their knowledge of aspects of foreign royalty and procedures. Now that is hard to get a grip with; I just write about what I know and have gathered first hand, rather than as a result of hard study.


Originally Posted by Tyger (Post 1315466)
Sadly, she doesn't seem to have friends. I don't think Oprah is a friend, though she may be understanding and friendly. Sarah seems very alone with only paid attendants. That is very sad. She needs Andrew and her daughters - I hope they don't cut her out. It doesn't look like they will and that says a lot about Andrew no matter what else one might think of him. He's doing the right thing, I think.

Ah, I so agree with what you have said here, Tyger. Sarah I know does have friends from her schooldays - for example Clare Steele, now the current Marchioness of Milford Haven. She also is loosely friendly with Lord Cowdray, a contact from the Ibiza days with Paddy McNally, who is also a friend of Sarah's.

But, in my humble opinon, what Sarah doesn't have is any really close, sensible friends. I certainly don't rate Oprah as a true friend; she is a savvy business person and I think that her first concern was with Sarah's earning potential for OWN. I feel that a true friend would have told Sarah to seek the therapy and help she needed privately, not fully in the public eye!

Sarah above all needs someone with her intersts at heart and particularly if she is going to recover any form of self-respect! But again, Sarah has to be prepared to listen to sound advice and act on it. After the Fake Sheikh scandal, there were reports that one of Sarah's most trusted members of staff had walked out on her on the basis that her position had become untenable because Sarah had worked behind her back setting up the meeting with the Fake Sheikh.

Which is another reason why I think that Oprah has been bad for her. It allowed Sarah to try to excuse her bad behaviour by giving her the opportunity to conveniently identify her problems as stemming from her being a 'people pleaser'. IMHO, this was just a label which has enabled Sarah to try to 'justify the unjustifable'! Sarah got caught up in the fake Sheikh scandal because she was - I have to say - being devious and acting without integrity. She was doing wrong, and her upbringing - traditional English - would surely have taught her right from wrong. [and if she was so sure that what she was doing was above board, why did she not set up the meeting through her office, just like any bona fide meeting to broker a deal would be?]

And another reason why Sarah needs advice is because she needs to kill the Fake Sheikh incident once and for all. The reason that it continues to haunt her is because she keeps on 'fanning the flames' by trying to claim that she was merely trying to help a friend etc. The best way would be for her to admit that she was up to no good and that she recognises that fact. And that there were no excuses. And that helping a 'friend', if that 'friend' really exists, is not an excuse and she needs to recognise it. Interviwers are always going to bring up the scandal whilst there continues to be 'mileage' in it. If Sarah just said that she had acted wrongly and that there were no excuses and she wants now to apologise and move on, then that would help to kill the Sheihk story stone dead. And then Sarah might just be able to move forward in some way. But she has just got to face facts and accept that her days of wanting a role in the forefront have now gone and she needs to retire from the public stage.

As always, just my thoughts, which are not meant to offend.


cmkrcwi 09-12-2011 04:52 PM

I thought she was claiming the "friend" was the one who introduced her to the fake Sheik, not that she only did what she did to help someone.

Either way, as soon as she started feeling suspicious about the sheik, all conversation should have ended. If it doesn't feel right, it usually isn't.

Mermaid1962 09-12-2011 05:02 PM

As posters on here have said, Sarah didn't do anything that was actually illegal; so there's reason why she can't make a public confession except her own inability to see the facts or dislike of admitting fault.


Originally Posted by Diarist (Post 1315681)
If Sarah just said that she had acted wrongly and that there were no excuses and she wants now to apologise and move on, then that would help to kill the Sheihk story stone dead.

kakieanne 09-13-2011 12:15 AM

Sadly, I also agree with Diarist, Sarah's time is past...the world has moved on to the next generation of royals. I strongly suspect that is what Sarah is going to do as well. She will probably continue her lifestyle of living at Royal Lodge, lots of freebie holidays (that she takes her daughters on) and charity work (with her daughters). Sarah will simply go from being Sarah, THE Duchess of York to being Sarah, Duchess of York, Mother of two royal princesses.

Osipi 09-13-2011 05:37 AM


Originally Posted by kakieanne (Post 1315786)
Sarah will simply go from being Sarah, THE Duchess of York to being Sarah, Duchess of York, Mother of two royal princesses.

Actually this is what she became when she divorced Andrew.

Perhaps now that the limelight from her recent ventures into docudrama and the ensuing book has fizzled out with not so great acclaim, she's realizing that her options are dwindling down to next to nothing and her only ticket to a "claim to fame" is the golden umbilical cord. She sure seems to be milking it for all it is worth lately.

Kataryn 09-13-2011 07:37 AM


Originally Posted by kakieanne (Post 1315786)
Sarah will simply go from being Sarah, THE Duchess of York to being Sarah, Duchess of York, Mother of two royal princesses.

Most children in their 20s hate it when they are somewhere in a professional way and parents show up.Maybe Sarah manages to be there but staying in the background and just watch and share - then it might be ok for the princesses. But if she wants to be in the foreground then they'll hate it one day. So we just have to wait and see what Beatrice and Eugenie are going to do about their mother - it is their privilege to show Sarah how they want her to cope with their lives.

Lord_Royal 11-24-2011 07:16 PM

Everyone should give Tina Brown's account of Sarah, Duchess of York, a read. I think it's about as spot on as it can get...

Fergie Bribery Scandal: Tina Brown on Sarah Ferguson - The Daily Beast

NotAPretender 11-27-2011 04:59 PM


Originally Posted by Lord_Royal (Post 1340664)
Everyone should give Tina Brown's account of Sarah, Duchess of York, a read. I think it's about as spot on as it can get...

Fergie Bribery Scandal: Tina Brown on Sarah Ferguson - The Daily Beast

A lot has happened since May of 2010, when this article was published, that I'm sure would give even Tina Brown cause for pause on the subject of Sarah.

Lord_Royal 11-28-2011 03:10 AM


Originally Posted by NotAPretender (Post 1341350)
A lot has happened since May of 2010, when this article was published, that I'm sure would give even Tina Brown cause for pause on the subject of Sarah.

I don't think so actually. Yes, she's done a book, the OWN documentary and a few desperate television appearances...but the root cause is the same.

What I liked about Tina's appraisal is that Sarah would meet her in New York and talk about some ludicrous deal she had in the pipeline. What were her 2011 projects? Just more ludicrous deals.

Tina Brown, I think, very accurately gets to the roots of Sarah and how she is destined to repeat her mistakes, over and over again as she is in an environment, both within and outside her control, that dictates, to a great extent, her behaviour.

Kataryn 11-28-2011 03:48 AM


Originally Posted by Lord_Royal (Post 1341442)
Tina Brown, I think, very accurately gets to the roots of Sarah and how she is destined to repeat her mistakes, over and over again as she is in an environment, both within and outside her control, that dictates, to a great extent, her behaviour.

Well, she did no research into the question how much Sarah really got at her divorce, she obviously simply believed Sarah. Which is no good point to start out writing such a piece. It is definately not Sarah's lack of luck which led her to all those embarrassing situations, but her own doing. That reporters were there to tell was a chance she was willing to take.

Diarist 11-28-2011 03:35 PM

Lord Royal is spot-on with his assessment that Tina Brown was correct about Sarah and her ludicrous schemes etc. But, as Kataryn says, Tina Brown's article is poorly researched: Sarah had a very much more generous divorce settlement, as I have detailed on the appropriate thread. [The fact that Sarah appears to have gone through the capital like a knife through butter doesn't alter the fact that the BRF were very generous to her: the 15,000 is probably what she would have been entitled to on divorce - i.e. based on her husband's income, as under English divorce law there is no requirement for one's wealthy in-laws to chip in some cash!]

Tina Brown is also quite WRONG about Sarah's legal representation on her divorce: Sarah was represented throughout her divorce by a very competent so-called 'magic circle' matrimonial lawyer. As I have also said elsewhere, the reason that Diana got more was because her spouse, unlike Andrew, had the huge capital resources of the Duchy of Cornwall, which could - and indeed had to be - taken into account in the calculations. Prince Andrew, at the time of the divorce, had limited resources - his Civil List / Equivalent income had to be left out of calculations as it is payment for expenses, not resources.

And as for Sarah leaving school at 18 as Tina Brown seems to think, rubbish!! I knew Sarah Ferguson and she did NOT leave school at 18 - she left school aged 16 after 'O' Levels [from memory, she gained 6 'O' Levels] and then spent a year at Queen's Secretarial College, which was a finishing-school-type-of private-secretarial-college: The Queen Mother's niece Margaret Rhodes went there.....

Hope this helps,


Diarist 11-28-2011 04:07 PM

And in my very humble opinion, the root cause of Sarah's problems seems to be her sense of entitlement.

Sarah seems to think that she is entitled to the lifestyle of one of the super-rich. Before her marriage, she certainly glimpsed this lifestyle: she saw first hand the wealth from the Grand Prix set and the International Polo set: but in both cases, this money belonged to the super rich who had earned it through being thoroughly astute businessmen etc: Paddy McNally was connected with the huge advertising revenues from Grand Prix circuits: he put together all the deals etc that brought him his great wealth, no doubt aided in part by his friendship with billionaire Mr Bernie Ecclestone. Sarah NEVER had access to this sort of money IN HER OWN RIGHT.

Polo 'wealth' is concentrated in two sectors: first, the team owners - known as ' Patrons', who are the international super-rich: Galen Weston, Kerry Packer, the late Henryk de Kwiatkowski and [ahem!!] Peter Brant, whose little financial difficulties landed him in gaol at one point! And, as well as the super rich, a good few of the English patrons included the aristocracy [Lord Cowdray for starters!!] The second sector of polo wealth is that of the high-goal [top ranking] polo players: these mostly international players [there are few such UK players] earn fortunes playing for patrons as well as -in many cases - breeding and 'making' [i.e. training] their own polo ponies, which they then sell for enormous prices to the aforesaid patrons.....

Sarah, before her marriage, certainly SAW this great wealth, but never in her own right. She was an appendage to Paddy McNally who was canny enough not to get engaged or married to her, which would have made himself liable for maintaining Sarah. And as for the polo scene, well, Sarah managed to get invited to a few - very few - polo parties given by the rich and famous, but purely by 'working' her connection to polo through Major Ron, who in turn knew how to 'work' his connections as unpaid Polo Manger to Prince Charles, but we are talking about expenses being covered rather than any financial recompense: I suspect that Major Ron possibly recieved a few generous 'tips' for the odd royal introduction he might have put together, but basically, he had his partying and accommodation tabs picked up by Patrons, and he certaibly got nothing from Prince Charles. And, for what it is worth, Sarah was never the girlfriend of a Patron or Polo player, which would have presumably given her some form of generous spending 'allowance'. It is a horrid thing to have to say this, because I abhor the type of society we live in where looks are all, but believe me, no polo player or patron wanted to be seen with 'Big Fat Fergie' or 'Poor Old Fergie' [as she was known] on his arm. The most she ever managed was the odd roll in the hay with a polo groom [very infra dig!!]. And the biggest tragedy of all is that suddenly, when the most eligble man in the world [as Prince Andrew, young royal war hero was at the time] took up with her, Sarah, instead of cherishing her good luck then went and blew it with the catalogue of bad behaviour and infidelities that we all know about, and which I have no need to repeat here yet again...

But I will say this, her options for recovery seem almost zero: Sarah seems incapable of earning her own living except by 'selling' her [ex!! 'royal] celebrity'. Her latest current affairs photos all seem so show her posing against 'advertising' banners at the various charitable and 'good causes' functions at which she now seems to be turning up to!! I have no proof about what the financial arrangements are, but I daresay that if one is posing against a 'All Saints Spitalfields' background, the fashion company is probably going to help generously with her 'expenses' [which again makes a mockery of using her royal connections: no member of the BRF charges for appearances - their expenses are covered either from the Civil List or the equivalent [uk appearances] or the Foreign Office (i.e. taxpayer) where Foreign Royal Tours are concerned.

And as for Sarah somehow managing to present herself as a savvy businesswoman - forget it! On her own admission, she has tried to excuse her various misdemeanors by saying that she never understood [even the most basic concepts of] finance!!

i have said it before: I think that Sarah can never be taken seriously as an independent business person and I do not think that she can ever be taken back into the BRF again - no chance that she can re-marry Andrew for example. All I think she can do is to ask her advisors to negotiate a form of grace-and-favour housing and a modest monthly allowance from the Queen [cf Marina Mowatt] in return for disappearing from public life.

Only my thoughts and NOT meant to offend,


NGalitzine 11-28-2011 06:20 PM

Totaly agree Alex. In the UK Sarah is beyond the pale leaving her the option of retiring to a quiet life out of the public eye in the country (Lincolnshire would be good) or leave the country permanently and see what she can make of herself in America or some other country where she can live as a D List celebrity and perhaps bag a rich man who wants the cachet of being step dad to a couple of princesses.


Meadow 11-28-2011 08:05 PM

I agree with you Diarist and Sarah only has herself to blame! I think she would be lucky to get any grace and favour place now and if she did I don't think she would get the upmarket address she feels she should have. I don't see marriage on the cards for her I really think that time has past. Andrew seems to have been the only silly one to do it. And I dont think he will ever remarry her while I can see they are friends he seems to be enjoying his life without her he dates who he wants and goes where he wants and doesn't get into debt like she always does. Sarah is probably being paid to show up to these events but in time even that will dwindle! Most D celebs can make some sort of living but for Sarah I don't see that as being enough.

Mermaid1962 11-28-2011 08:19 PM

Sad to say, but young and thin is what sells now. It's been 26 years since Sarah was the young, popular bride of HRH The Duke of York. A generation has been born, grown up, and settled into their own lives since that time. Why would they have any possible interest in a former duchess of any kind, even one who was married to a Prince of the United Kingdom? The people who are old enough to know who Sarah is, remember the glamour of the wedding and those hopeful first years; but they (we) also remember the scandals and the slide into pariah-hood. Sarah was always so interested in being "herself" when she married into the BRF that she never developed real royal dignity. The only thing "genteel" about her is her plummy accent. There's no gracefulness. There's nothing that says "I'm a woman of high social standing." PERHAPS she could do voice-overs for commercials, because she does have a good voice. But I think that anything else in the media--such as doing a talk show or documentaries--would become, inevitably, about her and end up involving the princesses or her former life.

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