Sarah Ferguson says Prince Philip was "terrifying"

We can believe it

Duchess Of York And Philip
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham / Getty)

The late Prince Philip and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, had a famously complicated relationship, but Fergie still has plenty of good things to say about her erstwhile father-in-law.

Asked recently whether the then-Duke of Edinburgh was a wise man, she answered: "Very wise. You had to be on your best. If you asked a silly comment, you were certainly told it was a silly comment" (via the Daily Mail).

"Terrifying. 'Why are you asking me that? I do it every day. Why are you asking me that?' Ugh! Then you lose all your confidence. 'Did you go driving today?' 'Car or horse?' 'Oh, God, sorry. Yes.'"

Unfortunately, Philip apparently wasn't a huge fan of Sarah's — before she and Prince Andrew were married, but particularly amid the breakdown of their marriage.

"She’s the one person that Prince Philip would not have anything to do with,” royal author Jane Dismore once said on the podcast The Firm: Blood, Lies and Royal Succession (via Grazia US). "He didn’t like Fergie — she knew that she wasn’t welcome when Prince Philip was around."

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams also had some pretty harsh words to say about Fergie: "Ferguson’s idea of being royal was best summed up by one of the courtiers who said, 'vulgar, vulgar, vulgar.' She hadn’t an idea of what being royal really meant. It wasn’t just the awful lapses of judgment. It was an attitude to royal life."

The Duchess has been involved in a few scandals in her day, but the most memorable one happened when she was pictured allegedly having her toes sucked by businessman John Bryan, according to Express.

Then, Andrew and Sarah divorced in 1996, which did nothing to help her popularity with Philip. However, the Duchess and the late Queen were quite good friends.

"If you ask me what I’d be doing with the Queen right now, I’d be walking looking at primroses and snowdrops, and telling her all about the magnolia tree," Sarah said in her recent interview. Wholesome!

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.