Sarah Ferguson maintained a close bond with the late monarch during her lifetime, but on one occasion she refused an honor gifted by the Queen.
The late Queen Elizabeth II was known for her generosity, especially towards her beloved grandchildren. Her close relationship with her former daughter-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, was a testament to the enduring bond between them. However, tensions arose when Sarah declined to move into an extravagant property gifted by the late monarch.
The Gift of Birch Hall
Queen Elizabeth II was renowned for her generosity towards her grandchildren, and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie were no exception. During the royal weddings of Prince William and Prince Harry, the Queen gifted each child of King Charles a house to mark the special occasions. Even less senior royals, such as Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, benefitted from The Queen's generosity.
In 1997, the Queen purchased the lavish Surrey mansion, offering a luxurious seven-bedroom home for the young princesses to reside in as they grew older. The property boasted impressive amenities such as a tennis court, swimming pool, and a separate two-bedroom house, making it an ideal family home.
However, tension arose when Sarah Ferguson, also known as Fergie, declined to move into Birch Hall due to the substantial maintenance costs associated with the property. Despite the grandeur of the mansion, the financial burden proved to be too much for Fergie, leading to the decision not to occupy the residence. As a result, Birch Hall remained vacant for two years after the Queen's purchase until it was sold for £1.5 million in 1999, reports The Mirror.
Fergie's lifelong bond with the Queen
Despite the disagreement over the property, Queen Elizabeth and Sarah Ferguson maintained a lifelong bond. The Queen's continued support and dedication to Sarah, even after her divorce from Prince Andrew, were frequently praised by the Duchess of York.
Following the announcement of The Queen's death, Sarah took to social media to share a tribute to her late mother-in-law. She wrote on Twitter:
'I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. 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 70 years.'
Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, her corgis, Muick and Sandy, are now under the care of Fergie and Prince Andrew at Royal Lodge in Windsor. The corgis were originally gifted to the late Queen during the lockdown period to keep her company while she stayed at Windsor Castle, especially as the Duke of Edinburgh's health was declining.
After the Queen's death, the corgis were adopted by her former daughter-in-law and Prince Andrew. The adorable pups have adjusted well to their new home and are receiving plenty of love and attention from their new owners. Sarah Ferguson has provided updates on their wellbeing, and it's clear that the corgis are thriving under her care.
The Queen's lasting legacy
During her remarkable 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II left an indelible mark on the world, not only as the longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom and 14 other sovereign countries but also as a beacon of generosity and charitable giving. Her dedication to supporting numerous charities and causes inspired a culture of philanthropy not just within the royal family but also among the public.
According to The Guardian, throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth II was a steadfast supporter of over 600 charities, serving as a patron or president for each one. According to research conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation in 2012, in honor of her Diamond Jubilee, she played a significant role in raising an astonishing £1.43 billion (US$1.66 billion) for the charities under her patronage.
Among the plethora of charities she supported, a remarkable 14% of her charitable portfolio was dedicated to organizations tackling community and civic issues, showcasing her commitment to improving local communities. Education and training causes closely followed, accounting for nearly 14% of her charitable endeavors.
According to Barron's, the British Red Cross held a special place in her heart, benefiting from her unwavering support for an impressive seven decades. Beyond financial contributions, Queen Elizabeth's official 90th birthday celebration in 2016 displayed her extraordinary kindness when she invited charity staff and volunteers to attend, generously donating the £1.2 million surplus from the event's ticket sales to 10 deserving charities.