EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Fergie reveals desire to open her own bookshop

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: A surprise chapter in the eventful life of Fergie as she reveals desire to open her own bookshop

Many of those who presumed that they would be invited to King Charles’s Coronation have been bemused, and emotionally bruised, after learning that their blithe assumptions were misplaced.

But Sarah, Duchess of York – omitted from the guest list because, it is said, she is still considered an ’embarrassment’ – is made of sterner stuff, as she made radiantly clear at the London Book Fair at Olympia on Tuesday afternoon.

Indeed, it’s apparent that, far from shrivelling up in self-pity, Fergie has been spurred on to plot the next step in her colourful life story. 

‘I am seriously wanting to open my own bookshop,’ she tells me, adding that this new passion is underpinned by a desire to help others. ‘I really want to support the independent bookshop sector.’

Sarah, Duchess of York, promoting her various novels and Childrens books, in a meet and greet session at the London Book Fair in Olympia on April 18, 2023 in London, England

Sarah, Duchess of York (left) promoting her books, with her illustrator, David Williams Press, in a meet and greet session at the London Book Fair in Olympia on April 18, 2023 in London

Sarah (left) says she would like to open her own bookshop and support the sector

Sceptics may be disdainful. But they should perhaps think again. 

Few, after all, would have the resilience that Sarah Ferguson, 63, displayed after photographs of her having her toes sucked – by Texan bachelor and ‘financial adviser’ John Bryan – appeared in a national newspaper.

In subsequent years, beset by the immense debts she’d run up, Fergie wrote her first book about Budgie the helicopter. An ITV adaptation followed, as did sales of spin-off products. 

Very quickly, she cleared her debts – estimated at more than £4million.

Her authorial talents have found broader expression since then, encompassing Fergie’s Farm – inspired by her childhood at Dummer Down Farm in Hampshire – and, more recently, in knocking out Mills & Boon romances, such as Her Heart for a Compass.

Fergie assures me that she continues to straddle both child and adult markets, explaining that, aside from a children’s book, she is bringing out three new titles in her ‘young adult’ series. 

‘They are all about eating disorders and mental issues I went through as a teenager,’ she explains.

At this rate, her bookshop could be filled entirely with her own titles. She certainly shouldn’t struggle to find a strapping assistant. Who better than her ex-husband, Prince Andrew?

She says she is writing young adult fiction about eating disorders and mental health issues

Two of the bestselling books written by Sarah, Duchess of York

During the horrors of lockdown, he proved himself a redoubtable packer and stacker as he helped her deliver supplies to NHS staff and cupcakes to a hospice close to Royal Lodge, the house he and Fergie share in Windsor Great Park.

Let’s hope there is one title she wouldn’t stock at her bookshop: Prince Harry’s tawdry memoirs, Spare.

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