Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson revealed in a recent interview how she found herself in the back of a police car during a wild bachelorette party with Princess Diana in 1996.
Fergie married Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, Prince Andrew, in 1986, having formed a close friendship with Princess Diana when they were both single and living in London.
The royal sisters-in-law were known for pushing the boundaries of the established traditional form of monarchy, with both coming under fire from the institution and the media at various points in their lives.
Fergie and Andrew divorced in 1996 and despite that and his recent scandal-related downfall, they maintain a deep affection for one another and continue to live together at their Windsor Castle estate, the Royal Lodge.
Appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Wednesday as part of a promotion for her new romance novel, A fascinating ladythe ex-queen revealed a series of anecdotes behind the palace walls, including a glimpse into Queen Elizabeth II’s final days and the truth behind her bachelorette hijinks with Diana.
“Is it true that you and Princess Di once dressed up as police officers… for a hen party?” host Kelly Clarkson asked Fergie, who retained her title of Duchess of York after her divorce until she remarried.
“That was actually my bachelorette party, 1986,” she replied. “It was extraordinary because we went to a nightclub – of course you go to a nightclub with the Princess of Wales – the Princess of Wales at the time – and I was still Fergie. I wasn’t married yet and we went into this nightclub and she was very good in her costume anyway.
“So we sat down and the waiter came up to us and said sorry this is a members club and it’s for fun and we don’t serve cops here. She looked straight at us,” she said.
After she left, the Duchess revealed to Clarkson that she and Diana were “arrested” over their costume choices.
“We were arrested by the park police in a park, right?” she said laughing. “Well, we got in the back of the van and she had her engagement ring on the other way and I put mine on the other way.
“We were just sitting in there and she just looked around and saw smoky bacon flavored chips (chips) and started grabbing them and eating them! And the cop in the front said, ‘You can’t do that!’”
When asked exactly why they were pulled over by the police, Fergie explained, “Because we were posing as cops!”
After divorcing Andrew in 1996, just a year before Diana died in a car crash in Paris at the age of 36, Fergie wrote a revealing memoir that has reportedly caused a rift between the once-close friends over her intimate revelations.
Titled My storythe Duchess told a version of the Bachelorette story, adding that when the arresting officers realized it was Diana they had in the back of the police van, they dropped the giggling couple off at a Mayfair nightclub to continue their evening .
At the end of the night, she wrote, the couple walked back to Buckingham Palace and jokingly closed the palace gates as Andrew pulled his car into the forecourt.
“When he saw the closed gates, he correctly took it as a sign that something was wrong,” she said. “He turned on his car locks, slammed the Jaguar into reverse and screeched around the corner [Victoria memorial]. He thought he was being tricked. At that point, I wondered if we hadn’t gone a bit too far.”
The next morning, the soon-to-be-married Fergie admitted what had happened to the Queen, who she wrote found the story “quite amusing”.
Though Fergie has faced her own round of scandals over the years, including filming in a cash-for-access media sting in 2010 and various financial issues, Fergie claims she had a special bond with the late Queen.
Fergie and Andrew inherited the monarch’s beloved corgis after her death in September.
“One of the things she would say to me now, to get on this show,” Fergie told Clarkson Wednesday, “is that she would say, ‘Get out there, be yourself,’ that was it, tell me what she always did.'”
James Crawford Smith is news week‘s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and keep reading his stories news week‘s Facebook page of the royals.
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