By Simon Cable
Only last month, she admitted she was still on the brink of bankruptcy.
But the Duchess of York has now claimed that she is debt free - after her long-suffering former husband came to her rescue.
Sarah Ferguson claims she has managed to pay off in full the £2million she owed creditors after a string of failed business deals.
And the 51-year-old compares Prince Andrew to a heroic knight who 'rode in on his white charger' to save her.
The duchess made the comments in an interview with Hello! magazine.
They come only weeks after she gave an interview to a U.S. television station, in which she confessed: ‘I’m not just emotionally bankrupt, I’m continually on the verge of financial bankruptcy.’
It was then she also admitted she has ‘little’ understanding of money because of her gilded life after marrying the prince.
‘I went to Buckingham Palace and lived on the second floor and suddenly you have to remember to tell someone if you’re leaving, then you have to order your food in time because the kitchen is two miles away, you have to not open your curtains, you have to have so many restrictions,’ she said.
‘I got to a point where I didn’t know what to do. When we got divorced I just had to get on with it but I didn’t understand things about money, probably because I never had to.’
During her six-part U.S TV series, Finding Sarah, it was pointed out to the duchess that she was still living a luxury, globe-trotting lifestyle.
She replied: ‘It’s just because my ex-husband’s so nice that he lets me be a guest at his house. If I didn’t have him I’d be homeless.’
In her Hello! interview, Sarah does not make clear whether her former husband actually dug into his own pocket financially to help her or if he just provided emotional and practical support by allowing her to continue to live with him at Royal Lodge, the Queen Mother’s former home in Windsor Great Park, a remarkable 15 years after they divorced.
Close: Sarah Ferguson (centre), pictured here with daughters Princess Eugenie (left) and Princess Beatrice (right) is still on very good terms with her ex husband Prince Andrew
But the revelation demonstrates the continuing closeness of their relationship despite a string of scandals. In the mid-1990s, towards the end of her marriage to the prince, Sarah had built up an overdraft of almost £5million with the Queen’s bank Coutts, due to her profligate spending.
After news of her debts emerged she went out to work securing lucrative speaking contracts with companies including WeightWatchers in the U.S.
She went on to clear her debts but in subsequent years, unable to curb her spending, Fergie found herself in the red once more. Last year she was caught by a tabloid newspaper demanding £500,000 from a bogus businessman to set up a meeting with the prince, a UK trade ambassador.
The sting exposed how deeply Sarah was in debt following the collapse of her U.S. lifestyle company and she has since been working largely in America in order to pay back her many creditors.
The duchess also discussed in the Hello! interview how Princess Beatrice has been taking advice from a stylist after the striking hat she wore to the Royal Wedding in April was widely mocked.
To help out her daughter, the duchess has enlisted Charlie Anderson, who is used by Harry Potter star Emma Watson, at a cost of £1,500 a day.
Princess Beatrice’s striking fascinator was compared to a Star Trek weapon, a cat flap and a lavatory seat by internet pranksters.
A Facebook site entitled Princess Beatrice’s Ridiculous Royal Wedding Hat attracted more than 100,000 visitors. One asked whether she was a new Doctor Who villain.
The duchess admitted she felt guilty after the 22-year-old princess’s Philip Treacy hat was criticised.
Sarah told Hello!: ‘After the wedding hat thing, I realised that I wasn’t there enough to go around the shops, so I pulled in the help of stylist Charlie Anderson for a few weeks.
‘I think it is important that Beatrice doesn’t get labelled as having a stylist because she doesn’t have one. She has done it all herself and has immaculate good taste but she was working so hard to get her 2:1 degree that she didn’t have time to go shopping.’
Princess Beatrice later sold the item on auction site eBay for £81,100. The proceeds went to charities Unicef and Children in Crisis.
Read the full article in Hello! out now.