Sarah Ferguson ‘had to make a living’ when she appeared on Oprah before Harry and Meghan

Sarah Ferguson says royal life is 'not a fairytale' in 1996

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Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, affectionately known as Fergie, went onto the US talk show nearly 11 years ago. She discussed difficulties within the Royal Family and her relationship with the Queen’s second-youngest son. Parallels have been drawn between Fergie’s chat on Oprah and the upcoming interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Oprah With Meghan And Harry airs on ITV this Monday after the show debuts in the US, the night before.

In a teaser for the interview, the former Suits actress was warned that “no subject” would be “off-limits”.

The royal couple have come under fire for talking to the TV star and Piers Morgan called for them to cancel the broadcast. 

On Good Morning Britain, he slammed them for demanding privacy while giving a tell-all interview and felt the show was airing at a bad time.

Mr Morgan argued “spilling the beans” while Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip “lies seriously ill in hospital” was “crass beyond belief”.

Meghan and Harry have regularly been criticised by the ITV star, and others, during their bid to financially support themselves. 

They were attacked for negotiating deals with Netflix and Spotify, reportedly worth £81million and £29million. 

There has been a fierce response to their attempts to rely-less on funds from the royal purse, which is partially funded by the taxpayer.

This came in contrast with some opinions on Fergie’s bid for self-sufficiency.

After the royal’s interview with Oprah in 2010, royal commentator Neil Sean praised her for trying to raise money to support herself.

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He told The Early Show: “Sarah Ferguson has to make a living.

“What she has to do is sell Sarah Ferguson, which is what she’s done time and time again.”

Mr Sean remarked that she was “a lovely girl” but had been “continually misguided”.

The commentator suggested appearing on TV shows was the best way to become self-sufficient.

However, he cast caution to a programme “as huge as Oprah Winfrey’s”.

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Mr Sean continued: “Why on earth would you go on a show… and then confess another problem.”

He reiterated Fergie was “not part of the Royal Family” so she would not receive money from the Queen.

Mr Sean said: “She is just the Duchess of York.

“Her children, of course, the daughters, are on the royal civil list and they’re looked after.”

Mr Sean explained that she “needed to find some way of earning some income”.

He said: “It’s nothing to do with the Royal Family whether they support her or not.”

In a swipe at Fergie, Mr Sean said she “needed to get a grip” and “realise that the freeloading days may be over”.

He believed that Fergie should have moved outside of the UK as it would be easier for her to find work. 

Mr Sean noted that Donald Trump “liked the idea of her on The Apprentice”.

However, he added that “it just wouldn’t wash” on the UK version of the show because it was on the BBC.

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Mr Sean claimed they “couldn’t really be seen giving away our publicly funded money to Sarah Ferguson to appear on reality shows”.

Despite earning praise from the royal commentator for trying to break away from the public purse, he claimed the royals were not impressed.

Mr Sean said: “The Queen is less than happy [and] Prince Andrew is not very happy.”

Later, he continued: “The Queen certainly does not believe in speaking up about anything that happens in public life.”

Ahead of Meghan and Harry’s sitdown with Oprah, a trailer teased clips from the show.

It showed the Duchess being asked if she was “silent or silenced”.

In another part, Oprah described an event as “almost unsurvivable – although the clip did not reveal what it related to.

Harry detailed his fears of “history repeating itself” in reference to his mother, Princess Dianna’s death.

She died following a car crash in 1997, while being pursued by paparazzi in Paris.

Oprah With Meghan And Harry: A CBS Primetime Special will air on Sunday, March 7, in the US and at 8pm Monday on ITV.

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