Inside Sarah Ferguson's Relationship With Her Sisters

The following references child abuse.

While most of us are well aware of her close relationship with the late Princess Diana, that was not Sarah Ferguson's first sisterly bond. Born on October 15, 1959, Sarah is the daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson and Susan Barrantes. She arrived two years after her sister Jane Ferguson. In 1974, Sarah and Jane's parents divorced. Their mother, Susan, went on to marry polo player Héctor Barrantes in 1975. The following year, Ronald tied the knot with Susan Deptford.

As Jane and Sarah transitioned into early adulthood, Ronald introduced three more children — Elizabeth, Andrew, and Alice Ferguson — into the world. Sarah, of course, went on to become the Duchess of York, but she never got too royal for her beloved siblings. From celebratory posts on social media to attending their special occasions, it seems that Sarah has remained connected to her siblings throughout the years. Here is everything we know about Sarah's bond with her three sisters.

Jane and Sarah Ferguson got into trouble as kids

Long before public toe-sucking scandal, and long before her wild bachelorette party shenanigans made headlines, Sarah Ferguson was mixing it up. When Sarah and Jane Ferguson were kids, the two could be a bit rebellious. And as Jane suggested to The Times, the duchess was apparently the one spearheading said rebellious acts. 

Born on August 26, 1957, Jane was the quintessential big sister to Sarah. While Jane would share her toys and try to stick to the house rules, Sarah was apparently more keen to push the envelope. Despite Sarah's claims that Jane was not as innocent as she appeared, Jane revealed that their antics as children would likely be a result of Sarah's misdoing. "Oh my God, we got into so much trouble!" she told The Times. "Once, we were in Mum's room and Sarah got hold of Mum's pearl necklace. Then she got a pair of scissors and cut in between each pearl, so the necklace fell apart. She was the naughty one and I was the goody-two-shoes. I must have told her off hundreds of times."

Jane Ferguson inspires Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson found herself in a lot of drama throughout the years, but the Duchess of York has turned the narrative around on multiple occasions. Prince Andrew's ex-wife successfully rebuilt the respect she once lost from the general public — which is certainly not an easy feat. Sarah has become an inspiration to numerous onlookers, but who inspires the duchess?

On March 8, 2020, Sarah Ferguson took to Instagram to celebrate the monumental women in her life for International Women's Day. In addition to honoring public figures like Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher, she took the time to celebrate some of her blood relatives. In the post, Sarah shared a photo of her late mother, Susan Barrantes, with the caption, "My mother whose courage to always follow her heart was where my woman inspiration came from." The collage of photos didn't end there, as Sarah included her sister Jane Ferguson in her list of inspirational women. Jane — who works in public relations while also parenting three children — got a meaningful shoutout from her loving sister. Alongside a photo of the two laughing side-by-side, Sarah wrote, "My incredible sister Jane who continues to inspire me every day."

Sarah Ferguson has been a 'pillar' for Jane Ferguson

Jane Ferguson is the mother of Seamus Makim, Ayesha Makim, and Heidi Luedecke. Growing her family was not easy, as she experienced a number of pregnancy complications and had four miscarriages. In her interview with The Times, Jane shared that Sarah Ferguson supported her throughout the emotionally and physically difficult experience. "It's such a lonely world when a doctor can't tell you why these things happen," she said. "Throughout this, Sarah has been a pillar for me. Having our own children has brought us closer still. Sarah and I talk to our children a lot more than our parents would have."

Sarah also faced complications when she was pregnant with Princess Beatrice. While Jane's experience was far more debilitating, this didn't stop Sarah from contributing to charities regarding the research into miscarriages. According to the Telegraph, Sarah started the £1 million Birth of Hope Appeal in 2000. During an event in Manchester, Sarah not only revealed how pregnancy complications affected her family — such as losing her sister, Sophie, to pre-eclampsia — but she also shared a letter written by Jane. "I feel very strongly about supporting a charity for research into miscarriage, premature births and stillborn babies," she wrote. "I have three wonderful children but I have also lost four babies at different stages of pregnancy and each time is as hard as ever. Everyone is different and each loss is traumatic whatever stage of pregnancy it is at."

Sarah Ferguson is a fan of her sister's pet product range

Sarah Ferguson's deep bond with her furry companions is a bond many of us can relate to. Alongside her and Prince Andrew's five Norfolk terriers, Sarah added the late Queen Elizabeth II's two corgis, Muick and Sandy, to her ever-growing family of dogs. This passion for furry companions, however, doesn't stop at Sarah. Jane Ferguson happened to cofound a company that's all about pooches. And as Jane dished in a 2021 interview, her royal sister is a big supporter of this venture.

While chatting about the arrival of Princess Beatrice's first child on an episode of Australia's "The Morning Show" (via Daily Mail), Jane's two enormous dogs happened to be perched on either side of her and licking at silicone mats. It would seem this was no accident. Turns out, Jane was ready to talk all about her pet product company, LickiMat, which carries the aforementioned lick mats. At the end of the interview, Jane shared that Sarah is one of her satisfied customers. "[My sister] actually does have five of these!" she said. "Probably other members of the Royal Family use them too!"

Jane and Sarah Ferguson's complicated childhood memories

Over the years, Sarah Ferguson has caught a lot of public heat thanks to her infamous scandals ranging from bribery to infidelity. While the harsh criticism from the masses was without a doubt difficult to process, Sarah has also suggested that her childhood affected her mental well-being. In a 2023 interview with Sunday Times, the Duchess of York revealed that her parents, Ronald Ferguson and Susan Barrantes, were abusive. Sarah not only cast doubt on her mother's parental instincts and methods, but detailed the sadness she felt following her parent's divorce. "Dad used to call me a sheep's a***," she stated. "If I refused to eat my semolina Mum would hit me and say she needed to beat the devil out of me."

While these claims are nothing to scoff at, Jane Ferguson has a different account of their early childhood together. According to the Daily Mail, Jane said, "I don't remember that verbal abuse, but that's Sarah's experience." However, Jane didn't write off her sister's claims as false. "She's not lying, that's her experience," she said. "But my experience was that Mum was a wonderful woman and loved us both enormously and did the best she could."

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Sarah Ferguson is a fan of her older sister's significant other

Like Sarah Ferguson, Jane Ferguson had her fair share of failed relationships. One happened to be her first husband, Alex Makim — whom she met when she was 15. After marrying in 1976, Jane gave birth to Seamus and Ayesha Makim. Unfortunately, Jane and Alex would call it quits in 1988. Jane, however, wasted no time as she married Rainer Luedecke in 1994 and gave birth to her third daughter, Heidi Luedecke, in 1996.

Jane eventually went through another divorce, and since then, she's found a new significant other, Ramin Marzbani. In an interview with New Idea, Jane revealed that Sarah approved of their relationship when they met at Princess Eugenie's wedding. Outside of Marzbani being extremely intelligent and respectful, the two clicked shortly after meeting each other. "Oh yes, [Sarah and Ramin] have met and they got on like a house on fire," Jane told the publication. "Sarah calls Ramin 'The Headmaster'. Why? Because his general knowledge is incredible! He is like someone I've never really met before and he brings out the best in me, that's for sure."

Elizabeth Ferguson's baby was born on Fergie's birthday

Ronald Ferguson and Susan Deptford welcomed Elizabeth Ferguson in 1986. While Elizabeth and Sarah Ferguson are not close in age, Sarah and Elizabeth's daughter are close in birthday. 

On October 15, 2020, Elizabeth and Henry Cobb welcomed their first child, Elba Pear Rosemary. Funny enough, Elba was born on the duchess' 61st birthday. According to Richard Eden of the Daily Mail, Sarah's team noted that she was extremely happy for her younger sister. "The Duchess is thrilled," they stated. "It was the perfect gift for her birthday." Sadly, Sarah couldn't see the baby due to the pandemic. Elizabeth, however, remained somewhat hopeful that the birthday twins will meet before the end of 2020. "We really hope we will be able to get together for Christmas but obviously don't know yet," she told Eden. Perhaps Elba and Sarah will one day celebrate their shared day with a joint birthday party.

Sarah Ferguson is protective of Alice Ferguson

There's only so much flying under the radar you can do when you're related to a public figure such as the Duchess of York. While most of her sisters seem to prefer to keep to themselves, this didn't stop publications from prying into Sarah Ferguson's siblings' private lives every so often. Given her experience with damaging headlines and embarrassing scandals, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Sarah hoped the media would be kinder to her sisters, especially Alice Ferguson.

Aside from participating in Sarah's marriage ceremony with Prince Andrew, Alice has remained relatively private. It wasn't until her later teenage years that Alice started to pursue a career in modeling. Despite her short-lived passion for it, the attention this could've garnered would've been a difficult transition from the life she was already used to. According to the Independent, Alice appeared to express some trepidation about what can come with pursuing that line of work, stating, "In a way it would scare me to have all my privacy taken away, but I've never really thought about it because I don't really expect it to happen." With Sarah's experience in the limelight, she shared her concerns about Alice's modeling. "I hope Alice never has to go through the learning curve of life like I have had to do," she said. "I hope she will come to terms with feelings in her heart and soul and not have to learn them by being totally humiliated."

Sarah Ferguson and her sisters attended their father's funeral

After being diagnosed with a number of health complications — including prostate cancer, arthritis, and heart disease — Major Ronald Ferguson passed away in 2003. This would come just five years after the death of his ex-wife, Susan Barrantes. Ronald's children attended the funeral to celebrate his life.

According to Hello! magazine, the service was held at the All Souls' Church in Dummer, Hampshire. The ceremony was only attended by close family members such as Susan Deptford, while also including members of the royal family such as Prince Andrew and King Charles III. Sarah Ferguson attended alongside her siblings Jane, Andrew, Alice, and Elizabeth Ferguson. Sarah's daughter Princess Beatrice also attended the ceremony, whereas Princess Eugenie couldn't make it due to school. In addition to a Thanksgiving service at All Saints' Church in Odiham, those in attendance followed his "unique" wish to avoid wearing black and ended the service with a cover of the theme song from the BBC radio show "Sports Report."  At the funeral, Lord Palumbo gave a speech in place of Sarah and Jane to express their fondness for their father. "When we were small, Dad would flood us with birthday cards 'signed' by the cat, dog, ponies, house, and car," he recited. "The rhododendron bush was very loyal indeed, we recall."

Sarah Ferguson went to each of her sisters' weddings

No matter how busy her life may get, Sarah Ferguson always makes time for her sisters' nuptials. Going as far back as 1976, Sarah attended Jane Ferguson's wedding to Alex Makim, who she divorced 12 years later. In 1986, her siblings were present to watch her tie the knot with Prince Andrew at Westminster Abbey.

This wouldn't be the last time Sarah united with her half-siblings to celebrate the exchanging of vows. In 2010, Alice Ferguson married banker Nick Stileman in Dummer, Hampshire. Of course, the duchess and her two daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, had to make a stylish appearance to celebrate the monumental occasion. Finally, in 2019, Sarah attended Elizabeth Ferguson's wedding to Harry Cobb at the same location as Alice's ceremony. Sarah was joined by her daughter Beatrice and older sister, Jane. Though Sarah's connection with her half-siblings has remained relatively private throughout the years, it's assuring to see her attend each of their weddings — suggesting that she truly puts her family first.

Sarah Ferguson left her half-sisters out of her posts on National Sibling's Day

Only two years apart in age, Sarah and Jane Ferguson grew up together. When their younger siblings arrived, however, Major Ronald Ferguson's two eldest were already all grown up: Sarah is 23 years older than Alice Ferguson and 29 years older than Elizabeth Ferguson. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they had entirely separate childhoods, or maybe it has something to do with Elizabeth and Alice's desire to stay out of the public eye, but on at least two separate occasions, Sarah wished a happy National Sibling's Day to Jane only. 

In 2020, Sarah made a heartfelt post on Twitter about Jane. Paired with pictures of the two at Princess Eugenie's wedding, the duchess wrote, "Today is National Sibling Day and I raise a toast and am happy to boast that my sister is the finest in the land. So thank you my dearest Jane I stand and applause with both my hands ... Love you Jane." And the year before that, she tweeted a tribute to her eldest sister, her children, and her sister's children; again, her three younger siblings were not mentioned. "On National Siblings Day, I'm celebrating my sister who is so important to me and I love her more than ever, even so far away in Australia," she wrote. "The bond is never stronger and to the other siblings in my life @janet1332 @yorkiebea Eugenie @HeidiLuedecke @SeamusMakim @AyeshaMakim."