Andrew & Sarah: Marriage, Divorce and Divorce Settlement

If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aug 21, 2005
Somewhere in
United States
In order to focus on Sarah's actual Current Events, we have decided to open a thread to discuss the Marriage, Divorce and Divorce settlement of the Duke and Duchess of York.

Let's try to stick with the facts that are known, not speculate on what we don't know, and treat each other with respect.


Those posts will be deleted without notice.

Warren, Wbenson & Zonk
British Forums Moderators
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Divorce Settlement between the Duke and Duchess of York

It would be lovely if each of us were only judged by our best qualities, but it doesn't work like that. We're judged as a whole, good and bad.

As for being part of a special social elite, haven't the recent arguments been that she simply can't afford to remain part of that elite?
This is a woman who expects others to subsidize her lifestyle, and I do believe people have every right to judge her for that.

I'm afraid this all goes back to the unjust divorce settlement that Sarah received. Almost inevitably, when a wealthy couple who have children get divorced, if one of the partners has had primary or equal responsibility for the upbringing of the children (even if that partner brought little or nothing to the marriage in pure financial terms), they normally receive a significant settlement. Moreover, the settlement is normally calculated on the basis of the lifestyle to which the person became accustomed during their marriage.

Now when Sarah got divorced, her good nature triumphed over her own interests, and she accepted a pittance so as not to make a fuss with a legal case, out of respect for the Royal Family. One could certainly argue that, compared with prevalent situations amongst her peers, Sarah IS entitled to a certain level of lifestyle. I think that Prince Andrew was so keen to organise the paying off of her debts, partly because he recognised that she really should have had more at the time of the divorce.

I appreciate that all this is of very little help to Sarah’s creditors, who will not receive the full money owed. They must feel let down and I’m sorry for them, but at some point we need to move on. This whole thing has been really tough on Sarah as well, but she is now debt free and getting on with her life. She is no doubt being well-paid for the Oprah programme and like many celebrities, she will receive freebies in return for publicity. So I really don’t see that she should wear a metaphorical sackcloth and ashes just to appease those who feel offended in some way by her lifestyle.
. So I really don’t see that she should wear a metaphorical sackcloth and ashes just to appease those who feel offended in some way by her lifestyle.

Well, she doesnt do it, does she? Wearing sackcloth, I mean?

As this is a forum for discussions about Royalty (including former HRH) and theres an official thread about Sarah, Duchess of York, we should discuss her. Less if there is no actual reason to do and more if she does something people want to talk more about.

For me eg there is no way to "move on" with Sarah. I liked her in the beginning but when it became known that she not only cheated on her husband but brought the girls in it, I began to wonder what was happening. For I was assured that someone from within her own or the Royal household had leaked her whereabounts and doings to the media.

At that time in the past servants and assistents were still discreet. We wouldn' have heard about Diana if not for Diana herself - and the fact that she was immediately seem as the source of the information by the Royal Household shows me that they were used to absolutely rely on their environment, so only Diana herself could have been the source. In Sarah's case I doubt it was Sarah herself. Someone else betrayed her and I wondered why? How has she selected and how must she have treated her staff that they or at least one person betrayed her?

Ever since then I followed Sarah with an eye to the way she treats people that are "beyond her station". While she appears friendly, there have been all kind of domestic problems and surely not in any case the employee was at fault. Then money: I have no problem with Sarah's debts as long as she thought that the queen would pick up her bills in the end (that's tradition in a lot of aristocratic houses that the holder of the title and thus owner of the estate bails the family out if need arises, at least once). But once she realised that she wasn't able to pay her staff properly she should not have relied on them to support her lifestyle when their own consisted of serving her. That is absolutely appalling for me!

And no, I wont move on as she will do it again and again. Going out in grand style while other have to economize because they served her (you're not over such a loss of money and time in just a year) is tacky, tactless and shows what kind of character Sarah has. Nice on the surface but desinterested and respectless inside.
Well, I think what I come away with from this fascinating side tour is that despite protestations that "poor, skill-less, barely educated Sarah who is unable to earn any money ever and those mean Royals gave her nothing in a divorce," is heartily able to command high speaking fees and has been able to for some time.

So she does in fact have a marketable skill, and has earned millions with that, and thus should be self-supporting yet falls into horrific debt - not due to her lack of earning power, but more along the expense-line-item variety of money woes.

Income? Check. Lots of income? Check. Money woes? Check. Differerence between income and money woes? Expenses, i.e. spending. Check.

So let's finally put to rest that whole "Sarah should have gotten a better settlement because she can't earn any money for herself, poor thing" because her own twenty-year history completely belies that.

The problem, then, is spending. When someone outspends income in the millions, well, that's a horse of different color. That's either unjustified entitlement, or it's illness.
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I think you make a valid point: consistently outspending your not inconsiderable income will lead to problems. Once something like that happens, and you yet aghain publicly embarass yourself and your family by your less than credible dealings, the least you can do is try and stay away from the good life for sometime, IMO!
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I think you make a valid point: consistently outspending your not inconsiderable income will lead to problems. Once something like that happens, and you yet aghain publicly embarass yourself and your family by your less than credible dealings, the least you can do is try and stay away from the good life for sometime, IMO!

But she has her enabling ex-husband so why should she? That's how she's thinking. As long as there's a lifeline there she's not going to learn.

And as for the pittance she received at her divorce:

She admitted to taking it instead of fighting. Her fault. She got herself out of debt and built a small fortune and then lost it. This is all her fault.

Zonk was complaining about people bring things up from years and years ago and I resisted the urge to point out that the only ones that due that are the Fergie apologists who desperately want to make a divorce settlement she accepted the entire catalyst for everything instead of her selfish behavior. That settlement means nothing now.

Fergiefan, you say that the creditors should move on? Maybe you stop bringing up an event that means nothing today. Yes, move on after having been paid a fraction of what you were owed while the person who owed you money goes right back to the exact lifestyle that put her in debt in the first place.
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Divorce Settlement between the Duke and Duchess of York

Please can I try to help with the facts of Sarah's divorce settlement?

Under English law, the parties' means [assets] are taken into account. Strange as it might sound to us,[ because the traditional view is that 'Royals are Rich'], at the time of the divorce, the Duke of Y's actual assets were 1. His Civil List Allowance [actually, much of the Civil List payments to her family have been taken over by the Queen, but bear with me, the principle is the same] 2. His Naval Salary 3. An Insurance policy.

The Civil List payment had to be left out of the calculation, because it is regarded as 'payment of expenses of the royals in carrying out their duties' and not 'general spending money'. In other words it could not be used to maintain a divorced wife [unless Sarah had retained Royal duties] Thus the Duke of Y's available Assets [to fund the divorce settlement] were relatively modest.

So far as their house, Sunninghill Park is concerned,the legal position was actually not as people believed, although it had always been stated quite openly: this was that THE QUEEN [not the Duke of York and Sarah] had taken out a LEASE of the property [not outright ownership even] From the Crown Estate. Thus, strictly speaking, the house was not an ASSET of the Duke of York. So it couldn't be taken into account in the divorce calcuations. Some time after the Divorce, the Queen then bought was is known the 'freehold' [basically outright ownership] from the Crown Estate, and it has been reported that she then transferred the ownership to the Duke of York [who by then had been divorced for some years]

Please note also that the 'aura of wealth surrounding the Duke of York' was actually the Assets of the Queen and therefore under English Law couldn't be taken into account in calcuating the divorce settlement. [It would of course have been a different matter if the Queen had been making regular payments to Andrew - this income would therefore have had to have been assessed.

Sarah and her interests were represented by her own solicitor, who was a well known and competent matrimonial lawyer. He was professional bound to act in her best interests.

I hesitate to mention it, but in the British Press at the time it was mentioned that Sarah was also receiving advice from her financial adviser, John Bryan.

As in any divorce, the parties have to decide what their expenses were. Sarah obviously needed somewhere to live and money for the day to day expenses of looking after her daughters. She was NOT going to have to pay for their education - this expense was to be borne by the DoY. She was not going to have to perform royal engagements.

At the time of the settlement, the English Newspapers - Including the [London] Times [which is regarded as a paper of record] carried reports that Sarah was happy with the settlement. This apparently included a lump sum and money to buy a house to be held in trust for her daughters as well as a monthly sum.

What happened next is a mixture of fact and unverified statement. It is a fact that Sarah did not use the money intended to buy a house - she started renting a house; and of course if you rent rather than buy, it 'eats up your capital' with no asset permanently acquired.

As to the unverified statement, I have seen several newspaper and magazine reports claiming that Sarah, following receipt of her lump sum, immediately gave half of it to her mother, Susan Barrantes, to help keep her Argentine Estate, which apparently she was at risk of losing because of debts. I do not know - and have no way of knowing - whether it is true; If it is true, then obviously, Sarah lost a substantial part of her capital very quickly, which must have made life hard for her. The friends of Sarah and indeed many of her fans on forums always clam that Sarah has a very generous heart, which may well support the contention that she gave money to her mother.

After the Divorce, as we know, Sarah began to forge her own career, with writing, Weight Watchers, Royal Doulton china etc. She appeared to be doing quite well at this, because the Sunday Times newspaper actually listed her in their annual wealth list. This was on the basis of her own earnings. The Duke of York has never made the rich list.

I have also seen it stated in various articles that Sarah 'forewent a large settlement for the sake of maintaining civilised relatonships with the Royal Family'. I do not know whether that is true, but I am quite sure that her lawyer would have fought hard for all she was entitled to - and I do not see how she could have got any more money in her Divorce settlement, unless people mean that she should have begun a legal action against the Queen for money, which would not necessarily have been successful - there is not requirement in English divorce law for wealthy parents to contribute to their son's divorce costs, unless of course they had been supporting him already.

It has been reported in the Newspapers that at one point Sarah was thinking of using the solicitor of Diana Princess of Wales [Anthony Julius] to try to 'reopen her settlement'. I do not know this is true, although I can well understand why it was probably abandoned if it was true - 1. I can't see what grounds there were for maintaining the original order was wrong and 2. Sarah had subsequently had a financially lucrative career [even if she then spent it] and so theoretically on paper was / had been richer than the Duke of York...

Finally, there is some discussion in the better English papers that in the last few months, Sarah has misremembered the size of her divorce settlement. At the time of her most recent financial difficulties it was reported that she claimed that she had received 'NIL' settlement. She then apparently admitted that she had recieved more money. The Daily Telegraph [regarded as a paper with 'good' contacts] then printed an article setting out her divorce settlement, which accorded with what was generally printed at the time of her divorce.

I would add one further proviso - Sarah and Andrew Divorced some years ago, when money was 'worth more'. By this I mean that the figure quoted to buy a house at the time of the Divorce [which from memory was £300,000, although I will check this] was AT THAT time sufficient to buy a suitable house for Sarah and the Princesses. Now, some years on, because of the rise in property prices, the sums look insufficient.

I hope some of this helps.

Alex - wonderful information. Thank you for providing a clear and concise analysis of the "divorce settlement."
Does Sarah own her mother's home in Argentina or perhaps share ownership with her sister, Jane?
Alex - wonderful information. Thank you for providing a clear and concise analysis of the "divorce settlement."

Thank you NotaPretender, I try to help when I know something, and in return am very grateful for the wonderful input and information which members here post for all to read. First, an amendment, a source and what I think is quite an interesting comparison I can make

First, an Amendment to what I said above; Sarah, Duchess of York was apparently given £500,000 to buy a house for herself and her daughters, so the figure I gave above in my earlier post was an underestimate. As I have said above, for some reason Sarah decided not to buy a house [bear with me, I am coming to an interesting comparison in due course] and instead for some reason went to rent a number of houses, including one on the Surrey/Berkshire Boarder called Romenda Lodge [from memory.]

I mentioned that the Daily Telegraph [actually it was the Sunday edition called the Sunday Telegraph, but the principle is the same and both are regarded as 'respectable' newspapers] had published details of Sarah's settlement. The tone of the article is that it is was published with the 'blessing' of staff at the Royal Household, so I take it as quite accurate; furthermore, after its publication, Sarah and her supporters did not seek to question it and on this basis I am of the opinion [and this is my opinion, not a fact I do stress] that Sarah's reported comments that she had been given a 'Nil' settlement were inaccurrate - this was at the time of the 'access to Andrew scandal' and Sarah herself admitted that 'she was not in a good place at this time, and so my interpretation is that her money worries had distorted her judgement at the time. Anyway, that is just my opinion, so read on from the Telegraph


The Duchess, who last weekend was the victim of a tabloid newspaper sting in which she offered to sell access to her former husband for £500,000, was secretly filmed twice claiming her divorce settlement was "zero".

She then upped the figure to £15,000.

Senior members of the Royal family have kept silent over the claims but courtiers are incensed by the Duchess's suggestions that she was abandoned financially.

Senior sources have given The Sunday Telegraph precise details of the divorce settlement in order to disprove the Duchess's "outrageous" claims. Her package agreed in 1996, when the couple divorced, included:
  • £500,000 provided by the Queen for her to buy a new house for her and her children.
  • £1.4 million provided by the Queen to set up a trust fund for Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
  • £350,000 in cash provided by the Queen which had no restrictions on its use.
  • An agreement that the Duke of York would pay his daughters' private school and university fees.
  • A modest monthly allowance which it is believed was then based on the Duke of York's salary as a Royal Navy officer.
Furthermore, the Royal family did not insist on an all-binding confidentiality clause as part of the divorce settlement which has enabled the Duchess to cash in on her royal connections, including earning £2.2 million from writing her autobiography.
The late Diana, Princess of Wales received a £17 million from her divorce settlement but only in return for a watertight confidentiality agreement.

Now, here is the interesting bit; I said in my original post that one had to bear in mind that money values have changed since the divorce settlement in 1996; Sarah was given £500,000 to buy a house although for reasons best known to herself she preferred to spend renting instead. I thought that people might be interested to see what was available to buy in the Surrey / Berkshire region at that time [where Romenda Lodge that she rented was, and near her former matrimonial home:

And this is what I found: By the most amazing of coincidences, this very week [April 2011] the Daily Telegraph reports that Kate Middleton's childhood home, West View, is currently being sold by its present owners, and here is the most interesting extract:

The [Middleton] family [sold their former house West View] in 1995 and moved two miles to Bucklebury – one of the area’s prime spots. The five-bedroom home Kate’s parents bought for £250,000 is now worth £1.7million.
‘West View should make about £500,000,’ says [the estaste agent /realtor].

So basically, Mr and Mrs Middleton were looking for a house in the same area [Berkshire] at more or less the same time that Sarah got her divorce settlement and began renting. As you will see, the house the Middletons moved to cost £250,000, which is the house that they live in today - AND the house that Prince William has visited many times and even stayed at. The Middleton's house has land, a tennis court, room for horses etc. SO in other words, the sum given to Sarah to buy a house was TWICE the amount that the Middletons paid for their current house [which is now worth the best part of two million pounds sterling] which we know is quite literally Fit for a Prince.

Why Sarah decided to rent is a mystery; had she been so inclined, she could have bought two houses - one to live in and one as an investment even! ON these figures, it seems that the Queen gave her a realistic settlement.

I hope this helps

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Does Sarah own her mother's home in Argentina or perhaps share ownership with her sister, Jane?

Hello Mermaid,

I have no way of knowing personally what is true, but understand from what I have read that the estancia owned by the Sarah's mother Susan Barrantes [first wife of Major Feguson] was left jointly to Sarah and her Sister Jane. Susan Barrantes inherited the house from her second husband, Hector Barrantes. It was a farm and a where Hector Barrnates bred polo ponies.

I have seen various allegations that the Barrantes estate was debt-ridden; whether this is so I do not know, but certainly, Hector Barrantes died relatively young from cancer.

I remember that shortly after the birth of Beatrice [or perhaps it was Eugenie] Sarah and the Duke of York posed for a very lengthy photospread in the UK edition of Hello Magazine. The couple apparently received a substantial sum.

I remember reading in all the English Newspapers [not just the tabloid trash] that there was considerable disquiet about the feature.

First, the Queen apparently felt that it was wrong for the couple to accept money - it used to be an unwritten rule that British Royalty did not 'sell themselves for money'.

Secondly, it did put the Royal Family in some difficulty; many monarchs and crowned heads of reigning families do give formal interviews to the press and tv on personal, family matters. Traditionally, the British Royal family did not do this [Princess Anne gave interviews about Save the Children Fund, and Prince Charles did about Highgrove's gardens, but these were not 'personal']. The Queen apparently took the view [according to the papers] that if certain members of her family were now giving personal interviews and photo-opportunities for money, it made it very hard for the Queen to complain about invasion of her privacy when papers photographed their family.

Several British Papers then printed a story that Sarah and Andrew had agreed to the Hello interview and photoshoot as Sarah's mother needed the money to help with the crippling debts at her Argentinian home.

Subsequently, I have mentioned above the rumour [which we cannot prove one way or another] that Sarah gave half her wedding settlement to her mother to help defray the debts.

I have seen statements in the past attributed to Sarah to the effect that she wanted Beatrice and Eugenie to eventually inherit the Ranch, which was apparently why she was trying to clear the debts.

Now, my theory is this; if Sarah has really paid two lots of quite substantial sums of money to 'save the ranch' and if she wants Beatrice and Eugenie to have the house, then this would imply to me that Sarah has probably 'bought out' her sister Jane's interest in the house, and so yes, this would mean that Sarah owns it outright, subject to any debt it may still have.

I am sorry for the length of this post, but wanted to set out fully what I know and identify the 'sources', which to me are basically newspaper reports which we have no way of knowing are accurate enough, in the hope that you and other forum members can read through this and give any input they can.

I have to say though that if Sarah does have some interest in the ranch, albeit that it might have a mortgage, then she may have a useful asset!

I hope this helps,

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Sarah is the victim of her own uncontrolled spending habits. While married to Andrew, she racked up debts totaling $4 million. Upon divorce, The Queen gave her over $1 million to provide for herself and buy a home, while setting up a $2 million trust fund for Beatrice and Eugenie.

Unlike Diana, Sarah was not required to guarantee that she would never enter the commercial realm or make money from business. Indeed, she went on to be very successful in the U.S. as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and endorsing Wedgewood products. She made enough money to pay off her debts and then made several million dollars for a few years after that.

It's not The Queen's fault if her former daughter-in-law cannot live within her means nor is she responsible for her financially.
Diarist, thank you for the clear and concise information and the work you have done and last, for sharing your findings. Everything has been laid out without bias.:flowers:
Thank you, Diarist.:flowers: I was thinking that if Sarah did own the ranch, this would be one reason why she didn't declare bankruptcy. The ranch perhaps would have been sold otherwise to pay her creditors.:ermm:

I have to say though that if Sarah does have some interest in the ranch, albeit that it might have a mortgage, then she may have a useful asset!
Diarist, thank you for your wonderfully concise and detailed posts on the divorce settlement. I stand corrected on my previous assertion that Sarah that voluntarily took less than she was legally entitled to. This definitely does not seem to be the case.

However, it does seem as if her understandable emotional decision to save the Barrantes ranch may well have left her short on the “house money”, leaving only the £350,000 lump sum and the £15,000 a month (which even in those days was very little), everything else mentioned going to the girls, not to her. I don’t think she could possibly have lived in an appropriate style on that, so she had to work (which, to be fair, the lack of confidentiality agreement allowed her to do).

So Sarah worked hard, paid off her debts, and for several years lived on a perfectly sustainable budget, based on her earnings. The problem, then, is how she arrived at her recent position of debt. An article in the Evening Standard explains that the problems with her US company Hartmoor were partly due to bad advice from a so-called “financial mastermind”, who, it could be argued, exploited her by convincing her to sign away intellectual property:
( Then, there was the effect of the global financial crisis on her businesses.

So an unfortunate combination of factors beyond her control brought her to a position of spiralling debt.I’ll admit that Sarah has had problems with overspending at certain times in her life – as I’ve said before, this kind of compulsive behaviour can often be linked to unhappiness or insecurity, and I think at times she can be vulnerable to these kinds of feelings, as anyone who’s read her autobiography will know.

I'd like to respond specifically to Kataryn's post about how Sarah treats those below her station. (Sorry I can't seem to quote the the moment). I understand your view, and I apologise if in my previous post I came across as unfeeling towards those who lost money, through no fault of their own, due to Sarah’s financial problems, especially those of her loyal former staff who weren’t fully paid for their services. I really feel for them and I’m sure Sarah does too. It must have been heartbreaking for her to have to let them go last year with money still owing, and if there was any other option I’m sure she’d have taken it – but of course the same agreement had to be in place for all creditors. I certainly don’t feel that she tried to exploit her position with those in her service. She certainly never meant for this to happen, but things got out of control.

What I’m saying is that I think there’s more to the situation that just recklessness or greed, as some have implied. And when we see pictures of Sarah at a restaurant or on holiday, it isn’t that she’s being deliberately insensitive or “rubbing it in” – she’s just going about her life (she's no longer in debt, after all). I’m sure none of her former staff would want to see her bankrupt or ruined, and I hope that some of them, even after all that’s happened, would want her to get on with her life and be happy, especially after all she’s been through in the last year or so.
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Thank you, Diarist.:flowers: I was thinking that if Sarah did own the ranch, this would be one reason why she didn't declare bankruptcy. The ranch perhaps would have been sold otherwise to pay her creditors.:ermm:

Yes, and it puts an interesting construct on her steadfast refusal to declare bankruptcy. And the rumor that Sarah gave part of her marital settlement to her mother remains just that, an unsubstantiated rumor.
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To put this in financial terms, then, Sarah’s lump sum settlement including all components, and including the hefty £2,500,000 for her autobiography, was £3,350,000. That autobiography could not have been written without the marital settlement which allowed her to speak of behind-Palace-walls-matters; thus it is appropriate to include it in her cash on hand with which she walked away from the marriage. Invested safely and at a cash throw-off of 8%, Sarah could expect to see an annual 1996 income of £268,000, without ever dipping into capital. (She could have sought higher-risk returns to increase her annual income.) The capital itself would have grown to between £4,690,000 and £5,980,000, and her annual income today still using the “safe” rate of 8%would be £375,000 to £478,000.

Respective US dollar amounts for each of those numbers are $3,817,000 (autobiography fee; ) $5,117,000 (capital/cash on hand from all sources; ) $409,000 (annual income 1996; ) $7,683,000 to $9,796,000 (2011 capital/cash on hand; ) $614,000 to $780,000 (annual 2011 income based on 8% return.)

In 1996, the average household income for London was £25,609. Nationally in the UK, it was £21,365. Diarist has already covered the cost of housing for a London residence.

Sarah had no royal responsibilities at all. Her own responsibility was to raise her daughters, the cost of whose education was not her concern. Sarah most certainly did not “have to work.” She “had to work” to support her level of discretionary spending which exceeded her income – which at that time was in excess of ten times the London household income. In other words, she worked to support her social life.

The gap between her income and her debt remains her expenses.

I fail to see how the ample numbers above translate to anything less than a more-than-comfortable lifestyle for anyone. The difference, as I see it and as has been borne out, is that Sarah remains addicted to grasping to remain part of a class to which she no longer by birth or marriage belongs. She left the marriage a rich woman but desired more wealth. Her entitlements were temporary and ended with the end of her Royal life. She unjustly lusted after more and more; she worked to support her lifestyle, earning millions and millions. Those millions and millions were still not enough.

As far as stiffing the help, Sarah is in my opinion a low-rent Bernie Madoff. The global financial crisis is not to blame for the losses that they incurred and inflicted on others; it merely exposed them for what they are.

Sources: Wealth of the Nation,,,
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Good message NotAPretender. When you add to that the millions that Sarah has earned and the fact that for most of her divorced years she has had free room and board from Andrew...that's a lot of money that she has gone through!
With all due respect, I think that the comparison between Sarah and Bernie Madoff is out of order. Whatever you think of her, you can't put her on the same level as a man who knowingly and systematically conned hundreds of people out of huge sums of money. People did suffer through Sarah's financial situation, but, even if you see that as recklessness on her behalf, it was an unintended consequence of a situation that got out of control, not a calculated criminal act. And how many schools and orphanages did Madoff set up? How many disadvantaged kids did he help?
It's an outrageous comparison, and a horrible slur on Sarah.
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Yes, and it puts an interesting construct on her steadfast refusal to declare bankruptcy. And the rumor that Sarah gave part of her marital settlement to her mother remains just that, an unsubstantiated rumor.

I should first like to say 'thank you' to everyone who has posted their gratitude to me for my posts. And please accept my apologies for being slightly tardy posting my thanks, but I was away from home in order to attend The Grand National.

It's hard to provide a concise summary, but were Sarah to petition for bankruptcy [or one of her creditors petition to make her bankrupt,] AND if the Court then did GRANT the petition for bankruptcy, under the principles of English Bankruptcy law, the 'ownership' of all 'valuable assets' belonging to Sarah would pass to the Official Receiver, with a view to being sold, with the proceeds then going to meet the claims of her creditors.

On this basis, yes, I think that she would definately lose the 'Barrantes' Estancia. I do not know whether she owns any other real estate. She was rumoured at one time to have property in the USA, but I do not know whether these reports were in any way accurate.

On becoming bankrupt, Sarah would also 'lose' all her jewellery (and she does have a fairly substantial collection of 'private' jewellery) including generous presents from the Queen [ Tiara, suite of diamond jewellery that was temporarily stolen from her luggage in New York etc], and over the years I remember reading that the Duke of York had given her many presents of jewellery.

She would lose any valuable antique furniture she may have, and also any other 'luxury' items.

Your Trustee in Bankruptcy does leave you 'basic' 'ordinary' furniture, and your TV and DVD player etc, but everything else has to go. Usually you are left with your clothes [on the basis that you 'need' something to wear] and also for a practical purpose - most clothes, if sold, would realise very little, after subtracting the expenses of sale.

Arguably, assuming Sarah has retained much of her wardrobe, and we don't know this, I suppose a case could be made for saying that she now has no need of her 'public clothes', many of which could be worth selling - I know that during the early stage of her marriage she dressed in Yves Saint Laurent and other comparable designers; many of these clothes would now be regarded as 'vintage' and could [theoretically] command reasonable prices, which could be even higher if an auctioneer was able to extract a premium on the basis of the provenance of the clothes [e.g.' suit by Alistair Blair, worn during the formal announcement of her betrothal, and much photgraphed...' etc.)

Now, this is speculation on my part, but I think that Sarah, like most of us, would be upset to lose her personal possessions, which she would if she was declared bankrupt. However, the real difficulty that Sarah would have to face if made bankrupt is, in my humble opinion, the HUGE restriction it would place on her travel. Currently, the USA does NOT let a bankrupt enter the United States. I think that there is a similar restriction in place by Switzerland.

To put it bluntly, if Sarah could not visit the USA, her major source of earning would presumably be seriously affected; arguably, interested tv companies could come to the UK to film her for features and shows [f the tv companies thought the expense was viable] but Sarah would not be able to continue with her American-based public-speaking career or undertake any personal commerical appearances.

So far as entry to Switzerland is concerned, it would appear to rule out her skiing holiday.

Bankruptcy lasts for a period of at leat a year from the date a person is declared bankrupt [it can be for more than a year, but is usually a year]. During this time, although Sarah could have a bank account, she could not at any time 'seek credit', which could affect her ability to operate a credit card account etc. This restriction alone could well impact on her daily life.

Oddly enough, generally speaking, bankruptcy seems to carry less of a stigma than it did when I was young. [in fact, at one stage in the not-too-distant past, bankruptcy had a 'criminal stigma' and you could be imprisoned.] How it could affect Sarah is a moot point - generally, there is a good deal of sympathy towards some bankrupts, as an example, a small local businessman whose business has failed because people to whom he extended credit failed to pay him etc. It is purely my own opinion, but I suspect that Sarah would not necessarily receive much sympathy if she were to be declared bankrupt. And apart from any travel restrictions that bankruptcy would place on Sarah, it might impact negatively on her 'brand'. These though are just my own opinions.

In conclusion, it is my view [which is only my opinion] that if Sarah was to be declared bankrupt, although it would 'wipe the slate clean' after a year or so [depending on the length of time ordered by the court], it would have quite an impact on her beyond that time because of the affectit would have on her 'brand'. For this reason, the Individual Voluntary Agreement route that she apparently has taken would appear to be her best way forward. It carries less of stigma [you are not bankrupt], she could still travel unhindered and could continue to operate a credit-card account etc.

I hope that something I have said above is some help in the debate.

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Fascinating reading, Diarist. Especially the travel restrictions placed on individuals who have been declared bankrupt.

I hadn't given much thought to the jewelry aspect, but that's an interesting point: Sarah does have a nice selection of items. It would be quite a blow to have a tiara given to you by HM the Queen end up under the auctioneer's gavel to settle debts incurred due to lifestyle choices.
I thought I'd bump this up again, as we have a couple of new arrivals to our world. We owe Diarist a debt for the clear and straightforward analysis of the settlement. Cheers!
I'm afraid this all goes back to the unjust divorce settlement that Sarah received...... Now when Sarah got divorced, her good nature triumphed over her own interests, and she accepted a pittance so as not to make a fuss with a legal case, out of respect for the Royal Family.

Uh, that was rather stupid of her wouldn't you say? Given her over-spending habits and her lack of skills that would enable her to get a real job, how exactly did she expect to survive? She would have been far better off getting a good lawyer whereby she could have gotten perhaps $6 - $7 million dollars as a settlement. With proper advise from a respected financial advisor (who doesn't suck on your toes), this money could have been invested wisely and she could have lived on the interest alone.

Actually it would have made no difference if Sarah had received $20 million as a settlement, because she---like her parents---is addicted to living "the good life" and she would have spent all the money anyway. She reminds me of one of these people who win millions in the lottery, blow it all and end up bankrupt. It all boils down to sheer stupidity.

I have zero respect for Sarah at this point.

One could certainly argue that, compared with prevalent situations amongst her peers, Sarah IS entitled to a certain level of lifestyle.

At this point, no she's not. She's been an embarassment to the Royal Family from day one and has done nothing as a public figure that would justify her living the high life.

This whole thing has been really tough on Sarah as well

Aaawwww. Boo-freaking-hoo. She has no one to blame but herself. She has no moral compass, she has no self-discipline, she has absolutely no business sense, she still looks like she got shot through a cannon most of the time and her life has been one big train wreck.

She'll get no sympathy from me.
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The thing is, that Sarah gets fifteen thousand a year in alimony, no rent to pay, and she has had up to over a decade to learn substantial skills to successfully survive. She has had more than enough time to learn and use them and then end up earning a solid, stable living, even at a high level. Considering the stuff she pulled, she's lucky she's still living with Andrew and not on the street.

Another issue, is that Diana got a higher settlement because Diana married Charles before she could even have a career, she was just nineteen at the time of her marriage and she had a few kids in a short time. Sarah had a variety of jobs, had traveled the world, and was twenty-six at the time of her marriage, not a sheltered nineteen year old. Diana also was the mother of the future King and the monarchy isn't about being fair or equal. Life isn't fair or equal.

As for losing all her things like couture and jewels, that would be the biggest wake up call and she would end up rightly in shock and forced to start over. On the clothes alone she could make enough to pay off a substantial block of her debts and she has no business running around the world on that level of debt. IF she were reduced to the basics, she would face a stark reality about her financial situation that she needs to face. Maybe the basics is just what she needs.
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As for losing all her things like couture and jewels, that would be the biggest wake up call and she would end up rightly in shock and forced to start over. On the clothes alone she could make enough to pay off a substantial block of her debts and
Yes, perhaps Sarah could raise some money this way although usually such sales have a link to charity. Also Sarah has never been known as a style icon, at least not good style, so that might limit the market as well.

Really should be shopping at M & S, and living in a one bedroom apartment in Clapham.
I would think Sarah would own the ranch in Argentina outright if she has given that much money. It seems very silly to me to leave a place empty worth so much but then say you are homeless. Her not buying a house was her own fault the Queen gave her the money and why she gave it to her mother is beyond me. It shows someone who doesn't know how to think ahead and for someone who says she cares so much for her daughters providing a stable home doesn't seem to ever have been a priority for her. She made millions over the years and still didn't buy a house which she could have paid off and owned outright. But Sarah preferred to buy clothes and go on expensive holidays. Her charities folded owing a lot of money from what I remember and one paid the staff more monies then what was given to the needy at some stage. Sarah got a great deal with her divorce much more then she is making out she got. I always cringed when she talked about being a single mother and working for her children...rubbish most single mothers don't have nannies, chefs, maids and go on the kind of vacations she does or do the sort of shopping she does. Andrew paid for their schooling and they never had to go without anything. Sarah's overspending has been on herself mostly I read an article and it talked about a ridicules amount she spent on clothes in part because she was too lazy to send them back if she didn't want them so she was charged for them. I don't think she gets freebies like she used too but she still expects the same sort clothes etc. I think it is disgraceful that she knew she couldn't pay her staff but kept them on. They could off gone and gotten other jobs it seems to have gone on for awhile not just a week or two. I don't think she learns anything because Andrew bails her out, she needs to go bankrupt lose everything and then maybe she will learn. If she has property if she is really desperate she can sell it but for some reason selling Andrew was a better option for her. The girls rarely would go to Argentina so why keep it for them? I do wonder if maybe she is renting it but won't fess up because that would be an income for her as well. Otherwise she would be paying a great deal for something sitting empty that would require a great deal of maintenence and would have bills to pay. Which just doesn't make sense! I see Sarah having money troubles again sooner rather then later. She didn't get that much at least in her world for the Oprah show and her book doesn't seem to be selling well. She is either going to need some more work soon or we will be reading more stories of her badly in debt again very soon!
I too cringed when Sarah began doing her 'I am a single mother with two small daughters to support' routine. I don't mean to offend Sarah's fans, but I do think that her continued lack of dignified behaviour has impacted negatively on the monarchy as a whole; it is of course wrong for Sarah to shoulder the full blame for the disenchantments, but her profligacy and her complaints all served to raise the monarchy above the parapet when it came to attracting criticism......
Hhhhmmmm .... Sarah's behaviour can't impact on the British Royal Court.
If some of the younger members choose to act foolishly, this will still not impinge on the "top layer" of Royals.
I think Sarah got an extremely generous divorce settlement, at the end of the day she got an amount of money that at the time was enough to buy a large house with land for herself (£500,000), £350,000 to spend however she liked which she could have invested to generate more income and then a small continuining allowance. When she got divorced Sarah had to do nothing more than raise her two girls, she could have lived a quiet,easy life on what she has given in 1996 (which would have been worth much more than it is today). That Sarah wanted to carry on being to all intense and purpose a 'royal' - appearing in public etc - is her own falt and her own choice is it NOT her god given right and noone else should have to pay for it.
To me turning around as Sarah did and saying that she didn't get given enough 10+ years ago is morally reprehensible. She didn't complain in the good times when she was making money from her royal connections ( for which it is said she recieved a lower settlement so she could talk about her royal life) but then turned around in the bad times to say she should have got more. Sarah has had every oppourtunity to make a comfortable life for herslef but chose not to, that is her fault and her fault alone.
Hhhhmmmm .... Sarah's behaviour can't impact on the British Royal Court.
If some of the younger members choose to act foolishly, this will still not impinge on the "top layer" of Royals.

Agreed. The people in Britain know who know what Sarah is in a "Royal" context and wouldn't connect. Those on my side of the Atlantic who have been suckered through things like "Finding Sarah" don't know what an embarrassment Sarah really is so wouldn't sully the Queen's image in their minds either.
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