Monday, 12 Apr 2021

Eugenie and Beatrice’s grandad tore into royals over ‘monstrous’ bid to control princesses

Ronald Ferguson's reaction to custody row discussed by expert

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Sarah Ferguson’s father, Ronald Ferguson, exploded when he found out his daughter could lose custody of her children, royal experts have revealed. The Duchess of York’s guardianship over Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice was threatened when she and Prince Andrew announced their divorce. Channel 5 documentary ‘When Fergie Met The Monarchy’ discussed how the Royal Family was determined for the children to remain within the monarchy, even if Fergie decided to move abroad.

Royal author Tom Quinn told viewers: “It was put forward as a serious by the House of Windsor largely because they feel they should always be in control.

“They, or rather Andrew, would have custody of the children.

“Sarah would be, not exactly pushed away, but she would have visiting rights.

“I know at the time Sarah’s father was absolutely outraged and spoke to the press.”

Mr Ferguson outspokenly defended his daughter when there were suggestions in a newspaper that she might lose custody of her children as part of the divorce settlement.

He told the press: “I think it’s absolutely monstrous and quite unbelievable that there are suggestions that she should.

“I think it’s desperately hurtful, inhuman and cruel.”

In the end, the Duke and Duchess of York agreed to co-parent their children.

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But for the two royal princesses, Windsor family gatherings had to continue.

Daily Mail Editor-at-Large Richard Kay explained: “Your children become the royals’ children.

“That meant Christmas at Sandringham with Prince Philip, the Queen and all the other members of the Royal Family.”

He continued: “The Queen loved having her grandchildren around her.

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“But it did present a major dilemma for Fergie because Fergie was not invited.”

According to the documentary, the Duchess would be offered a farmhouse on the Sandringham estate.

While she would stay there, the children would go to the big house and be with their father and grandmother.

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward described the situation as “a little awkward and very sad”.

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