Still family. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, paid tribute to her former mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth II, after her death at age 96 on Thursday, September 8.
“I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen,” Ferguson, 62, wrote via Twitter on Thursday. “She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 60 years.”
Fergie, who called the queen “the most incredible mother-in-low and friend,” noted that the sovereign had given “her whole life selflessly to the people of the U.K. and Commonwealth” over the years.
“I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce,” she shared. “I will miss her more than words can express.”
The Young Victoria star tied the knot with the monarch’s son Prince Andrew, Duke of York, in July 1986 at Westminster Abbey. After six years of marriage, the two announced their separation and divorced four years later. The pair, who remain on friendly terms, share daughters Princess Beatrice, 34, and Princess Eugenie, 32.
While Ferguson notoriously had a rocky relationship with Elizabeth’s late husband Prince Phillip, she has been vocal about her love for the queen over the years.
In 2021, the Weight Watchers spokeswoman appeared on an episode of the “Tea with Twiggy” podcast and referred to Elizabeth as her “greatest mentor” and the “person who believes” in her most, revealing that the royal matriarch was “more of a mother to me than my own mother.”
She added, “I absolutely admire the incredible way Her Majesty is so modern … and how flexible, and how understanding, and how forgiving and how generous.”
The Duke of York was one of many members of the royal family who flew to Balmoral, Scotland ahead of the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s death. Andrew, 62, Prince William and Prince Edward all joined King Charles and Duchess Camilla at the estate in order to be by the sovereign’s side after news broke that she was “under medical supervision.”
Prince Harry, for his part, was still on his way to join the rest of the royals when the longest-reigning British monarch passed away.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday. “The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Following her death, Prince Charles, 73 – who assumed the throne upon his mother’s passing – paid tribute to her majesty.
“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” he wrote. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”