Before marrying into the royal family herself, Sarah Ferguson watched her good friend Princess Diana wed her prince.
The two women had been good friends since their early teens, running in the same upper class British social circles.
As Lady Diana Spencer prepared to become the new Princess of Wales, Fergie supported and advised her as best she good, and insiders say the redhead was good at making her smile – which she desperately needed at that time.
So as Diana began her royal journey, it was hardly surprising that she wanted Sarah by her side – and asked the royal family if she could be her lady-in-waiting.
The role sits somewhere between close friend and personal assistant, and is seen to be a very high honour.
However the royals rejected Diana’s request, saying Sarah wasn’t suitable.
Speaking on Channel 5’s Fergie Vs Diana: Royal Wives at War, Sarah’s friend Lizzie Cundy said: “Sarah was told that she was actually unsuitable to be Diana’s lady-in-waiting, which was a huge blow to Sarah.
“I think the Royal Family felt Sarah wasn’t posh enough.
“Diana was actually quite upset about this but maybe she didn’t fight for Sarah enough.
“Maybe she could have put her foot down more.”
Royal biographer Tom Quinn claims that the Palace were “nervous” of Fergie, who was loud and outspoken.
He told the programme: “It’s not a servant and it’s not a friend. It’s sort of somewhere halfway between. It’s a genteel occupation and gives enormous status.
“Diana was persuaded that it was to risky having Sarah Ferguson, she was seen as a loose cannon.
“She was fun, but she made them nervous.”
But Diana didn’t give up on her plan to have one of her closest friends with her inside the Palace, so instead decided to play matchmaker.
She invited Fergie to a party the Queen was throwing and made sure she was seated next to Prince Andrew, and they hit it off straight away.
They were engaged just a few months later and married the following year – and Diana got her wish of having a friendly face at her side.
Charles, Diana, Andrew and Sarah became the original Fab Four, going on holiday together and carrying out engagements as a group.