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Sarah Ferguson – Victim of Tabloid Vultures

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Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith
Sarah Ferguson

I am not saying that the royal family is like the mafia, but there is one similarity that when you are 'in' the family you are protected. Everyone's secrets remain secrets and if someone stuffs up or gets caught out the full weight of family influence comes to bear and more often than not the problem goes away.

Sarah Fergusson never really quite fitted in with the Windsors. She was not the fairy tale princess – slim, pretty and deferentially supportive of her husband. Fergie was loud, curvy and prone to gaffs. When she parted ways with Prince Andrew the protection of the family was withdrawn. No more positive publicity stories and royal lifestyle. She was on her own and cut off from the protection of the family. Diana was treated in similar fashion, but this was tempered somewhat by her having the heir and spare to the throne in her care.

Once the family protection was withdrawn she was fair game for the tabloids. They moved on from the derogatory 'Duchess of Pork' stories to long lens sensations like having her toes sucked by her 'financial advisor' while sunbathing topless.

Having carefully rebuilt her image over a decade and repaid her debts she succumbed to the character flaw that could be covered up to some extent when she was in the royal family. She has the habit of living the royal lifestyle without the royal income. There seems to be a fundamental inability to tailor her spending to her actual income.

When her business interests began collapsing late in 2009 in a sea of debt and having been bailed out many times in the past I guess there was pride at stake to beg the Royals for help one more time. When a smooth talking man appeared posing as a wealthy Indian businessman offering her ₤500,000 for one of the few things she could provide – access to Prince Andrew. It is not surprising she took the bait.

Sarah has never really fitted in with the Royals, although she desperately wanted to. She didn't sting them for a big divorce settlement in the hope of still being part of the Windsor crew. This was a bit like someone trying to get in with the 'in crowd' at school but not really being wanted.

A lot of the work that Sarah Ferguson has done over the years has been excellent and with a more frugal approach to her lifestyle she would have continued to carve out a position for herself of respect as someone who carried out much of the charitable work that is expected of the royals but paid her own way doing it. 

That is gone now and she is firmly back in her more familiar public role as comical tabloid fodder. A victim of her own inability to match her lifestyle to her income and I a moment of weakness taking a 'godsend' of an offer that was too easy to turn down.

I know News of The world was just doing what they do best, but there is no glory in taking advantage of a vulnerable woman in deep financial trouble by offering her an easy way out where no one got hurt. Fergie has been her own worst enemy at times over the years but she seems to have been a good mother and has worked hard for a variety of charities and causes.

So while we can all laugh a bit at her predicament and some would revel in her downfall and disgrace, perhaps we should consider if we would have done any different in her situation. She might be naturally clumsy and made some bad decisions over the years, but she has largely carried herself with dignity. If the tabloids had embraced her quirkiness instead of casting her as a fat, dumb big spender then things might have been different.

When have those vultures from the tabloids spent any time working for teenage cancer victims, families and children in need and those with mental disabilities? Sarah has and I bet there were no hidden tabloid cameras filming her doing that work.    

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