Outside the royal circle: How Sarah Ferguson rebuilt her net worth and found her way back into the royal family
This time around, the former Duchess of York is fulfilling all her wishes on her own dime instead of her husband's money and slowly working on repairing old bonds.
Sarah Ferguson is nothing if not fiercely resilient. The former royal, who made quite a dramatic exit from the royal family in 1996 after getting a divorce from her husband Prince Andrew, still knows a lot about how to live a lavish life. However, this time around the former Duchess of York is fulfilling all her wishes on her own dime instead of her husband's money.
This year, The Richest was reported as saying that the former royal is worth a whopping $1 million as of now, all thanks to her various endorsements, book deals, and TV appearances through the years. However, this definitely pales in comparison to what her two daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice are worth since of course, they're still a part of the royal family.
As per the reports, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are reportedly worth $5 million each, which is exactly five times more than what their mother's net worth is. Their net worth is mostly from trust funds that have come from their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II over the years, coupled with what they earned from their parents' divorce.
However, what is further interesting is how Fergie, the royal outcast, earned her money to become a millionaire, even so without any help from the British Royal family, considering that before joining the royal family, Fergie used to work at an art gallery like her daughter Eugenie. She then went on to become a part of a public relations firm in London. When the Queen's Secretarial College alum met Prince Andrew, she was running the U.K. branch of a publishing company, as reported by Good Housekeeping.
"I have a printing and publishing job. Since I work for myself, I have the freedom to be able to arrange things around what I do so I can do a bit of everything really," she said in a 1986 interview. "When Andrew's away, I'll work harder than when Andrew's here. Right? Right."
When Fergie got married to Prince Andrew in a lavish ceremony, her $33,000 Burmese ruby ring was the talk of the town and made massive headlines all around the world. After becoming a royal bride and eventually the Duchess of York, Fergie shared her husband's wealth, which reportedly totals $75 million.
Prince Andrew's net worth, just like his daughters, comes from a trust fund set up by the members of the royal family, primarily including his mother, the Queen of England. In addition to the fund, Prince Andrew also is entitled to a stipend of $408,000 from the Queen, making his net worth what it is.
When the royal couple divorced in 1996 after four years of separation, as a part of the divorce settlement, the former Duchess is entitled to receive a little over $19,800 (£15,000) a year from the royal family. According to sources, her divorce settlement also consisted of about $660,000 (£500,000) from the Queen so that she could buy a new house for not only herself but also for the benefit of her daughters.
In addition to that, Fergie also received $1,848,050 (£1.4 million) from the Queen to start trust funds for Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, as well as around 462,000 (£350,000) somewhere in cash. Apart from that, she was also party to an agreement that the Duke of York would pay for his daughters' education.
Almost left penniless after her divorce, in order to maintain the status quo which she once had in the society given her former royal status, Fergie resorted to endorsing Weight Watchers in 1997 after she was heavily criticized in the media for her weight.
Through her 11-year relationship with the weight loss program, Fergie reportedly lost more than 50 pounds and even managed to make a decent living out of it. During the time, she also reportedly endorsed Wedgwood and Avon. In 2010, when the former royal was almost declared bankrupt with reported debts ranging from $2 to $5 million, she was allegedly filmed offering Mazher Mahmood, an undercover reporter who had come disguised as a businessman, access to her ex-husband for an outlandish sum of more than $660,000 (£500,000).
In the captured video, Fergie was seen walking away with a briefcase in her hand which reportedly contained $53,000 (£40,000) in cash. However, in 2018, the former Duchess of York filed a lawsuit against News of the World for roughly $52 million (£40 million) claiming it as damages for "destroying her career."
Picking up the pieces of her life and her finances after the 2010 scandal, she former Duchess slowly rose into the ranks. The former royal family member spoke very openly about all her mistakes in the royal household, and after a point, even landed a six-part documentary, "Finding Sarah," on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Speaking about the documentary and the 2010 disaster, Oprah said, "We had a moment of real connection, watching the tape of her trying to get £500,000 [for access to Prince Andrew]. She said she didn’t want to go into bankruptcy. I said, 'But when you look at that tape, don’t you see a morally bankrupted person? The one thing you were trying to avoid, you already are.'"
Then came her book Finding Sarah: A Duchess's Journey to Find Herself was born. However, this was not the first literary work to come out of the former royal; she had previously written a number of children's books and self-help books since the early 1990s. In order to boost her net worth furthermore, Fergie also made various appearances on TV, including as the health advisor on ITV's The Duchess in Hull and as a presenter on BBC's 'In Search of the Spirit'.
Recently, however, Fergie has dedicated most of her time to charity work, and as of now, the former Duchess has given her support to cancer research, which is a cause that she picked up after marrying Prince Andrew. She is also a founder of a nonprofit called Key To Freedom, an organization that gives women in India the opportunity to sell goods at the popular British retailer, Topshop.
Through the years, the disgraced former royal has also worked extra hard towards mending and maintaining her relationship with the royal family members, which can be assessed by her recent appearance at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's lavish wedding in May.
Fergie, who still lives in the same house as her ex-husband, has on multiple occasions spoken about the close bond she continues to share with her former spouse. "We’re divorced from each other right now. [But] we’ve never really left each other," she has said.