Although not unexpected, the death of Queen Elizabeth II has sent the world into mourning. The official royal website has gone dark in solemn tribute, and heartfelt messages are pouring in from past and present presidents, world leaders, and even Pope Francis. But the most poignant statements have come from Her Majesty’s family — including her former daughter-in-law.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, tweeted a three-part tribute to the queen. “I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen,” the duchess wrote. “She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 70 years. She has given her whole life selflessly to the people of the UK & the Commonwealth. To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend. I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce.”
Ferguson concluded, “I will miss her more than words can express.”
Despite her awkward split from Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson enjoyed a warm relationship with the queen right up to the time of her death, as did her daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Calling the monarch her “greatest mentor” in one interview, Ferguson added, “I absolutely admire the incredible way Her Majesty is so modern . . . and how flexible, and how understanding, and how forgiving and how generous” (via Town & Country).