Mr. wOw – no matter how ridiculously opinionated he tends to be – always tries to ramp down any moral condemnations – aside from those involving cold-blooded murder.
Life is a bitch and a bastard and so are those of us who float or fight through life. Oh, sorry – you think you’ve always done the right thing, been honest, never cruel, never emotionally lazy or distant, always properly remorseful when caught at less than your best. Never a slut? Bull. And I say it again. Bull.
So it is with this fine sense of human nature – my own all-too-flawed nature right there at the tippy top – that I have approached Fergie, The Duchess of York, and her excruciating public debacle. She was attempting to “sell” access to her jovial ex-hubby, Prince Andrew. She was caught on tape. She was drinking. She was badly lit, too. (Although she had the right idea with the trench coat she wore, considering the furtive, illegal-ish nature of her mission impossible.)
Mr. wOw has met the Duchess on three occasions. He found her charming, attractive and earthy. And not in the least concerned with imposing herself as a “royal.” Those might have been the three best days of her life, but I figure there had to be a soupcon of truth in what was projected, even so. (I met Princess Diana once, briefly. My only impression was that she was much better-looking in person. Her nose didn’t look nearly so long, when you were caught up in her presence. And her eyes were astonishingly blue!)
I watched Fergie, as she is semi-affectionately known, on Oprah. I found the cast-out royal a tragic figure, actually. Her excuses fell sadly flat, her remorse and embarrassment palpable. She kind of tried not to blame the Royal Family, but her subtext was – who else can you blame? They liked her at first, because she was the anti-Diana – less drama, less diva, more willing to stomp through the wilds of Balmoral Castle in boots and a heavy sweater. (The Queen in particular appreciated this!) The press savaged her physical appearance – ruddy and matronly in comparison to the whippet-thin Diana. But still, she was a breath of fresh air. As the years rolled on, however, the air grew stale, the Duchess grew restless, fell into an affair, was caught, humiliated and in time divorced. Life has been a patchwork since. One senses she didn’t receive a proper alimony (or whatever the Royal Family calls it) but that she was foolish with money to begin with. She has written books, endorsed this and that and raised two beautifully behaved daughters. She has also stayed on good terms with Prince Andrew, who clearly loved and liked her. I can attest she is easy to like. And probably very easy to love.
But just like common folk sometimes do, Sarah dug herself a financial hole out of which she felt she could not climb, unless she did something drastic, and something within her means to do – that is, something she might get away with if people didn’t look too close. We know how that turned out.
After watching Sarah struggle through her hour with Oprah, I could only hope she gets some help. (Perhaps a wee bit of a drinking issue?) For sure she needs to have a healthier relationship with money and how to save it, make it grow. Look, instead of being grilled by Oprah, Sarah would have done better to schmooze with Suze Orman!
And yes, I think the royals should reassess Sarah’s settlement, deal with her debts – wipe them out – and make sure she is never compelled to go down this terrible road again. They can afford it. Why, as we speak, the Queen is angling for a raise. Yes, my dears, a raise.
Now, it’s not really fun to be a major royal. In fact it is a royal pain in the ass. But it ain’t digging ditches, either. Until Queen Elizabeth is compelled to dig a ditch, I think her salary should be stabilized, forever. If it gets cold at Buckingham Palace, throw another old ermine over your legs.
As for Fergie, if I ever have the opportunity, I’ll be happy to lunch with her again. But … we’ll go Dutch.