ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 had the chance to sit down with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, to discuss her new book, released during Women’s History Month.
The ex-wife of Britian’s Prince Andrew released her second historical novel, “A Most Intriguing Lady,” on March 7.
[WATCH FULL VIDEO AT BOTTOM OF STORY]
During our discussion, the Duchess talked about her new book, her relationship with the late Queen Elizabeth II and the advice she would give women looking to make a career change.
Q: You have just released your second historical novel, “A Most Intriguing Lady,” what can readers expect from this book?
A: Well, it’s very exciting. It’s lovely to talk to you today, Cathleigh. It’s about super-sleuthing. I mean, it’s female detectives. It’s my second book. So the first one was me, launching myself as an author. I was quite sort of nervous, you know, because you never know that you can do something well, and actually I did it. I really enjoyed it. And I escaped from the pandemic, and I escaped from any problems I might have into the book. When I was writing it, it made me sort of forget, like I am talking to you now. I’m right with you now, Cathleigh. The second book, “A Most Intriguing Lady,” is very much more me and my confidence as an author and it’s a really good read. During the day, she’s a lady, and at night, she’s a super sleuth that sells society crimes in many of the country houses in England and Scotland and Ireland.
Q: Most people may be surprised to learn you’ve written dozens of books. What made you want to start writing?
A: It started I think when I was a little girl, I made up stories and dad, my father, always said that I shouldn’t make up stories. But I made up stories for everything. I then wrote my first children’s book, “Budgie the Little Helicopter,” in 1989 because I was flying helicopters. So I just wrote about my adventures in a helicopter because it’s very different and difficult to fly a helicopter. From then on, I went on to “Little Red.” Yes, I’ve written 82 books. I got married in 1986 and I wrote two history books on Queen Victoria and Albert and then wanted to make a film and I made a film, “The Young Victoria,” and that was an incredible success. In fact, Sandra Powell won an Oscar for Best Costume with that film with Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend in it. So I’m pretty excited that my two books that I’ve just written are going to be made into a TV series. So, it’s pretty exciting to be, at 63, launching myself in a new career as an author.
Q: What advice would you give other women who are thinking of trying something new or looking to switch careers?
A: Well, I always say the best way to give advice is leadership in your own self. I personally believe that I don’t let the day go by when I haven’t made someone feel better or being more polite to someone or smiled at someone. You just seize that moment of trying to make yourself a better person. I do think that you, I have this desire to make people’s dreams come true. If anyone’s watching, who’s giving up hope, I am a peddler of hope. I love to bring joy. I have always wanted to write novels, so I dared to ask for help. So, I think my advice would be to ask for help. I went into HarperCollins’ William Morrow and I said, ‘I’d love to write a novel. I don’t know how. Could you please give me some advice and give me perhaps one of your finest historical novelists to help me do this?’ You can say, well, it’s alright for her. But actually, I’m saying anyone can do it if they just realized that they can ask for help.
Q: I want to ask you about the late Queen Elizabeth II. You had a very close relationship with Her Majesty. What is something that most people would be surprised to learn about her?
A: Well, the most extraordinary, longest reigning monarch of all time, 70 years. Everyone saw her steadfast, consistent and always showing up. I believe that I’m the same. I show up, you know. I’m always steadfast to what I believe is right. I have learned more with the luck and the gratitude of having five seconds with that lady. Her Majesty was an iconic legend. I always used to look at it when I was with her and say, ‘Goodness, some people that the whole life would have been made just by that one minute with the Queen to say hello and here I am having lots of conversations.’ She was beyond anything... more my mother than my own mother and I miss her dreadfully. The people out there who want to know something different. She had the most extraordinary sense of humor ever. She put everyone at ease straightaway and she loved to laugh.
Q: I know you and Prince Andrew are now raising the late Queen’s remaining corgis. How is that going?
A: Well, we have five Norfolk terriers and their noses were fairly out of joint when they saw these rather fabulous dog beds arriving with the two corgis from the castle. But they’ve all got on well. The seven dogs we have now, it’s very much like the carpet moving when we get up. They are very special. No wonder the Queen loved the corgis because they just have a very gentle way with them. It’s a real delight to have these two national treasures and they are very special indeed. They are really funny. They just think everything is quite funny. I mean, they’re very gentle.