When Queen Elizabeth II died last September, her two surviving corgis were given to her son Prince Andrew and his ex-wife and longtime roommate Sarah Ferguson. It was a reflection of the close bond between the queen and Ferguson that lasted long after she separated from Andrew in 1991. In this week’s episode of her podcast, Tea Talks With the Duchess and Sarah, Ferguson told her co-host, Sarah Thomson, about her final conversation with the late queen before her death at the age of 96.
During a conversation about how her recent experience with breast cancer has changed her attitude towards life, Ferguson mentioned that the queen frequently advised her to be herself. “It’s the last thing that the Queen said to me: ‘Just be yourself, Sarah,’” she added. “And she saw it. She just got so annoyed when I wasn’t being myself. And that’s probably when I got into all the pickles. But now I am myself, and I’m just so lucky to be able to be myself.”
Over the last year, Ferguson has discussed her connection to the queen and the legacy that the late monarch has left behind in various interviews. In October 2022, she told a crowd at a literary festival that she believed the queen was proud that she had found another career as the author of romance novels. “When we wrote the book, I gave it to the boss and I said, ‘You don’t need to read it,’” Ferguson said. “But I think she was so proud that we did it. And that’s just huge for me. She was just very, very special.”
In March 2023, she told People that she respected the queen’s humility and support for the monarchy. “She was so brilliant at putting you at ease. She had the most incredible faith of any single person I’ve ever met,” she said. “She just knew what to do. She knew how to make people feel good. She never took it onboard as about her.”
After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis after a routine scan in May, Ferguson underwent an eight-hour mastectomy at London’s King Edward VII Hospital. In the months since, she has been recovering at Royal Lodge, the Windsor home she shares with Andrew, and has continued to record episodes of the podcast, which originally launched in March. Over recent episodes, she has discussed her experiences as grandmother to the children of Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice and has given a few updates on the queen’s two corgis, which are joined by five more dogs she shares with Andrew.
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