CULTURE

Sarah Ferguson Calls Out Media for Pitting Women Against Each Other, Like Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton

Amid the Meghan Markle drama, Fergie has something to say.


Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The past six months have been rough ones for Kensington Palace, which has been on damage control over rumors about an alleged feud between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton. Now Sarah Ferguson, Prince Harry’s aunt, is speaking out against the media for pitting women against each other “in a way that reminds [her] of how people tried to portray Diana and [her] all the time as rivals.”

In an open letter, Ferguson, also known as the original Fergie, called out this practice and toxic social media culture, writing for Hello that, “We need to pay more attention than ever to what we’re all being exposed to online. It’s time to confront head on the fact that much of social media has become a sewer.”

No doubt Kensington Palace shares that view as the royal staff apparently spends “hours” policing sexist and racist comments on social media according to a recent report by the same publication in which Fergie penned a letter. While Fergie noted that she personally doesn’t read comments, she shined a light on the many negative ones that exist.

“Take a look at any website, and you’ll see extraordinarily abusive comments aimed not only at people in the public eye but also other internet users,” she writes. “Bullying, sniping, bitching, even the most appalling sexism, racism and homophobia are commonplace—it seems that online, anything goes.”

Fergie went on to point out that, overwhelmingly, women are the target of these remarks, just as she and the late Princess Diana once were. “Women, in particular, are constantly pitted against and compared with each other in a way that reminds me of how people tried to portray Diana and me all the time as rivals, which is something neither of us ever really felt,” she wrote without mentioning Markle and Middleton’s alleged feud but leaving enough room for readers to fill in the blank.

The issue with toxic Internet culture doesn’t just affect royals, of course, and Fergie noted that, adding, “People feel licensed to say things online that they would never dream of saying to someone’s face, and that encourages others to pile in. It’s so ubiquitous that we’ve all become numb to what’s going on. There is good evidence that this online culture is having a detrimental impact on people’s mental health, particularly vulnerable young people.” Coincidentally, mental health is something that Middleton’s husband, Prince William, has made a point of addressing in his royal platform.

Related: Sarah Ferguson Says She and Prince Andrew Are “The Happiest Divorced Couple in the World”

Reliving Sarah Ferguson’s 1986 Royal Wedding to Prince Andrew in 15 Photos

Andrew and Sarah, the Duke and Duchess of York, return to Buckingham Palace in a carriage after their wedding on July 23, 1986 in London, England.. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Prince and Princess of Wales leaving Westminster Abbey, London, for Buckingham Palace after attending the wedding of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson on July 23, 1986 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on their way to Westminster Abbey for the wedding of their son, the Duke of York, to Sarah Ferguson on July 23, 1986 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Prince William sits in Westmister Abbey for the wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York to Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York on July 23, 1986 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Sarah Ferguson on the arm of her father Major Ronald Ferguson, traversing the royal blue carpet in Westminster Abbey. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The wax work model of Royal bride, Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York, at London’s famous tourist attraction Madame Tussauds on July 23, 1986 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Michael Crabtree – PA Images

The newly created Duke of York and his bride, the Duchess of York, walk past members of the Royal family as they leave Westminster Abbey. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of York leave Westminster Abbey after their marriage. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

PA Images

The Duke of York seals his marriage to Sarah Ferguson with a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 23, 1986 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and wave at their wedding on July 23, 1986 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Anwar Hussein

A thoughtful Prince William, with bridesmaid Laura Fellowes, at Westminster Abbey for the marriage of Sarah Ferguson to his uncle Prince Andrew. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Estrella Martinez, Stuart Aston, and Pillar Martinez keeping warm outside Buckingham Palace before the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

A fan of the Royal Family in London for the wedding of Andrew and Sarah, the Duke and Duchess of York. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Hulton Deutsch

The Duke and Duchess of York(Andrew and Sarah) kiss after their wedding surrounded by fellow members of the British Royal family on July 23, 1986 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Duke And Duchess Of York in a carriage with union jack flags, balloons and a teddy bear On their wedding day on July 23, 1986 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

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