Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has admitted that some of the characters in her novels are "inspired" by the late monarch.
The Duchess of York was at the Henley Literary Festival in Henley-on-Thames this week, where she was interviewed about her newfound passion for writing. During the conversation, she revealed that she had taken up writing with the full blessing of the Queen, reports The Telegraph. Sarah Ferguson told the audience that her late mother-in-law was a "wonderful friend" and "the best icon ever", calling her "legendary" and "incredible" before adding that the two corgis she inherited from her after her death last month are "well-trained national treasures".
The former wife of Prince Andrew explained that she had given Queen Elizabeth II copies of her novel, Her Heart for a Compass, which will be released in 2021. "All my life I've known the leader and there's no one like her," Sarah Ferguson told the festival crowd. "I wouldn't be doing anything if she hadn't given me her blessing and to this day I still think about it." The Duchess went on to call herself "the luckiest person in the world, without a doubt" for having the opportunity to know the Queen and having her in her life.
A royal inspiration
When asked if there were any real-life women who had particularly served as inspiration for her literary characters, she added: "There's no doubt about it, mine is my mother-in-law […] When we were writing the book, I gave it to the chief and said, 'You don't need to read it.' But I think she was extremely proud that we had done it. [I gave her a copy in French too. On the other hand, when I went to Italy, she said, 'Don't give it to me in Italian because I don't read Italian', but she was reading French."
The Duchess of York also spoke about the recent funeral, explaining that she was "glued" to the Princes' Vigil in the presence of the Queen's grandchildren and silently sent them positive thoughts, hoping that no one would fall. Elizabeth II's eight grandchildren chose to honour her memory with the first such vigil in British history, led by Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry. "They were so brave. Like little James and Louise too, all the grandchildren were amazing." Sarah Ferguson ended her speech by saying that while she will miss the Queen "every day", "[she] believes that if we can uphold her values and what she has built over 70 years, we will do a good job. Kindness, humility, loyalty and all the good things… And never forget good manners."
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