It was meant to be an olive branch – but the Queen’s invitation to Sarah, Duchess of York to join the royal family during their annual summer retreat at Balmoral has turned into a right royal disaster.
New Idea has learned that the weekend turned to chaos as an explosive row erupted between Fergie and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
‘Fergie and Camilla came to blows at Balmoral last week, it was an enormous row that absolutely no-one saw coming,’ a palace source tells New Idea.
According to insiders, the Queen had invited the disgraced former wife of Prince Andrew to Scotland ahead of her daughter Princess Eugenie’s wedding in the hope that all the family could get used to the duchess being back in the royal fold.
But despite the Queen putting her differences with her former daughter-in-law Sarah aside, she wasn’t counting on the Duchess of Cornwall and Fergie brawling after a build-up of over 20 years of simmering tensions.
‘It seems that Fergie has never really confronted Camilla over the pain and heartache she caused Diana over her affair with Charles,’ explains the royal source.
‘Fergie and Diana were close friends and she saw first-hand the anxiety and depression that [Camilla and Charles’] affair brought to her – and it’s always churned away inside Fergie.’
Despite Diana and Fergie falling out towards the end of the princess’ life, the pair were extremely close at one point, a fact which the Duchess of York has never forgotten.
‘Diana was one of the wits I knew – nobody made me laugh like her,’ she gushed in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar.
In fact, Princess Diana was instrumental in orchestrating the romance between Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, with Diana taking the chance to matchmake, by inviting her future sister-in-law to a party at Windsor Castle back in 1985.
So the fact that Fergie would want to defend Diana over Camilla comes as no surprise.
Just one year after Diana had set up Fergie and Andrew, Prince Charles began secretly seeing Camilla behind his unsuspecting young wife’s back.
Diana was also busy looking after their two young sons.
And now, in the run up to the 21st anniversary of Diana’s tragic death, Fergie has finally let rip at Camilla.
‘Fergie couldn’t hold it in any more and really let Camilla have it during after dinner drinks at Balmoral,’ continues the source.
‘She and Camilla have never seen eye-to-eye, but being at Balmoral brought back a lot of memories of Diana and all the time they spent there together – so it was only a matter of time before she let Camilla have it.’
‘They really went at it, Fergie didn’t hold back and told Camilla she had Diana’s blood on her hands for all the pain she caused – no-one really knew where to look, it was a fight that no-one’s seen before within palace walls.’
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now.