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Just what will Andrew say to Fergie about her latest debacle?

Sarah Ferguson’s life seems more like that of someone who has just been kicked out of the Big Brother house as opposed to someone who was kicked out of Buckingham Palace.

From the toe-curling toe-sucking episode with a former financial adviser to being caught in a tabloid newspaper sting over money for introductions to her former husband, Prince Andrew, who is now a trade ambassador for the UK, her life seems to lurch from one crisis to another.

And money always seems to be at the root of her problems. It was said that the dear old Queen Mother ran up an overdraft of £4m before she died, and Fergie seems to have similarly expensive tastes.

At one stage she wrote a number of highly successful books which must have netted her a few quid. Then she reportedly was a £2m-a-year ambassador for Weight Watchers. Just how much money does she need to have to get by?

For certainly she was not selling herself cheap to the undercover journalists who posed as businessmen in the sting reported at the weekend.

She took a £27,000 downpayment and then asked for a further £500,000 if the businessmen wanted information on good trade deals from Prince Andrew. There is no suggestion that Andrew knew anything about Fergie’s little earner or that he is any way facilitates deals for cash.

While Fergie pointed out that her ex-husband is whiter than white, she was still demeaning his character by suggesting that he might drop valuable business information to her which would be useful to the businessmen she was negotiating with.

She may not have sold herself short, but she certainly was selling Andrew down the river. It really was the most blatant exercise in money grubbing imaginable from a woman who used to be part of the Royal circle.

I must admit that in the early days I thought she was harshly treated by a family which was hardly an exemplar of all that is good in society and which, indeed, seemed as dysfunctional as some of those who turn up on Jeremy Kyle and such like television shows.

But it does seem that they did read Fergie right. She still remains on good terms with her ex-husband and they share the upbringing of their children. Her past associations make her very marketable and there is no reason why she could not earn a very decent living on her own.

Yet she apparently could not turn down the chance to make a quick buck at someone else’s expense. Poor Andrew must feel hard done by. I have no idea whether he does much good as UK trade ambassador, but someone obviously considers that he helps the country’s overseas business deals.

Quite how they will feel now – and how will those who have concluded deals on his recommendation will react to the Fergie story will be interesting. Will business people involved in delicate negotiations feel reluctant to divulge too much commercially sensitive information? Will they feel that maybe Andrew has let information slip innocently and that it has been used to advantage by his ex-wife.

Belfast Telegraph