Sarah Ferguson opens up about her own 'perceived rivalry' with Princess Diana

And it's very relevant.

And it's very relevant.

Sure, being a royal had its advantages – the fashion, the princes, the tiaras, the castles – but it definitely also has its drawbacks, from the end of privacy to the dreaded rumour mill.

No one knows this more than the two millennial Duchesses, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.

(Image credit: Rex)

The two women, both 37, have endured an endless stream of online bullying since becoming royals, and from the continuous speculation around a supposed feud to racist abuse, it has gotten extremely out of hand.

This month it emerged that the social media backlash against the two royals is at a record high, with a source telling Hello! magazine that it is getting increasingly serious.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, seemed to comment on the reported feud this week as she opened up about her own ‘perceived rivalry’ with Princess Diana.

Alisdair Macdonald/REX/Shutterstock

‘Women, in particular, are constantly pitted against and compared with each other in a way that reminds me of how people tried to portray Diana and me all the time as rivals, which is something neither of us ever really felt,’ Fergie wrote in an open letter as part of Hello!’s campaign, #HelloToKindness.

‘People feel licensed to say things online that they would never dream of saying to someone's face, and that encourages others to pile in. It's so ubiquitous that we've all become numb to what's going on. There is good evidence that this online culture is having a detrimental impact on people's mental health, particularly vulnerable young people.’

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She continued: ‘I believe that it's time to take a stand. This isn't about freedom of speech. The truth is, it's not acceptable to post abuse or threats on social media or news sites, and it's not acceptable to harangue other users simply because they disagree with you.

‘It's not acceptable to pit women against one another all the time. It's not acceptable to troll other people viciously online.’

Here, here. It’s 2019, and online bullying should be a thing of the past.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.