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Sarah, Duchess of York remembers her much-missed friend Princess Diana

Her Heart for a Compass is out this week

Rosie Nixon

Sarah, Duchess of York has spoken fondly of her dear friend Diana, Princess of Wales, admitting that she thinks about her most days. In an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! at Coworth Park in Berkshire, the Duchess reminisced on her life in the Eighties, when she enjoyed a close relationship with Diana.

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"I think about her most days because she's the only other person who knew and was around at that time in the Eighties, when we all wore those very strange clothes," says Sarah. "She was in the family before me and we had such fun.

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"She was such an angelic, beautiful, tall, stunning woman and she never really understood how many people loved her. And she never really understood how beautiful she was – which she fully admitted publicly.

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"She was so funny. There's nobody like her. I'll always remember her tinkling laughter and her being so naughty with her jokes. At dinner, she'd say something under her breath to me and then I would peal with laughter, and then uncontrollably not be able to stop it. And she would be able to control herself completely, so it looked like I was always naughty.

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Sarah posed for our exclusive photoshoot at Coworth Park

"There was a stage when I think people tried to separate us, and it made me so sad because I adored her. I still adore her and it really…'

Her voice trails off, before Sarah adds: "I love her. So I always say, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, if you love them, you love them. So my heart is always with her. I think she would be very proud of her sons and their wives, and the grandchildren."

There are shades of both Diana and Sarah in the story of Her Heart for a Compass – Sarah's debut novel that she co-wrote during the last lockdown with Mills & Boon author Marguerite Kaye.

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Her Heart for a Compass by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, £11.99, Amazon

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The immersive, romantic historical saga tells the tale of protagonist Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott, who was inspired by Sarah's great-great-aunt.

"I went back through all the redheads in my ancestry, and found all these very strong women with great big voices and strong opinions who showed leadership and kindness and goodness, and I found that really remarkable," she explains.

"It's not autobiographical, but I just felt so connected to all my ancestors. I think everyone will see the parallels [with Lady Margaret]: she's a redhead, she makes her own way in life, she rides horses, she's headstrong."

For the full exclusive interview and more photos, pick up this week's issue of HELLO! magazine on sale now. Her Heart for a Compass by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York is published by Mills & Boon on the 3rd August in Hardback, eBook and audiobook.

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