FERGIE ‘Diana knew that if she ran quicker into dinner than I did she wouldn’t have to sit next to… somebody who was rather difficult. We’d both be running down the corridor to see who could get there first.’ (October 2009)
‘Two weeks after we got married, Andrew went to sea and I only saw him for 40 days a year for the first five years of our marriage. We should have fought for him to leave the Navy and become Governor General of Canada.
‘If we had, maybe we’d still be together.’ (October 2009)
‘No one wants to see my daughters not appreciating what they’ve got.’ (October 2009)
‘A man is a bonus in life, not a crutch. Besides, I’ve already been lucky in love. You cannot go in a glass coach pulled by six white horses to marry a prince and not feel lucky.’ (October 2009)
In October 2009, Sarah Ferguson revealed that the public want to see her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie (pictured together in 2011)appreciating what they have
LADY ANNE GLENCONNER, Princess Margaret’s former lady-in-waiting, on being asked by a local VIP in Australia if Margaret would accept a present – a ‘boomerang cover’: ‘I ran to tell the princess, who said, “How does she know how big my boomerang is?” We cried tears of laughter.
‘It turned out to be a quilt which is sent to women’s institutes, and they each stitch part of it and send it back, which is why it’s called a boomerang.’ (June 2002)
‘Margaret was quite a flirt, and maybe there was a time when she was lonely. I think she and the Earl of Snowdon were very suited.
‘He loved all the royal stuff at the beginning, but I think he got bored with it. Princess Margaret said to me, “Tony wants me to cook and I can’t. I’ve not been brought up to do it.”
‘I think he wanted to be alone with her, but she’d never been alone. She’d always had a dresser and butlers. She’d never even eaten a meal alone.
Lady Anne Glenconner, Princess Margaret’s former lady-in-waiting, said Margaret (pictured in 1966) loved washing up and dusting, but was a terrible cook
Lady Anne said that the Earl of Snowden (pictured together in 1947) enjoyed the royal stuff at the beginning but grew bored with it
‘When they were courting they would meet at a flat which belonged to a friend of Tony’s, and she found that informality romantic and exciting. But once married, she wanted to live in a style she was used to.’ (June 2002)
‘In Swaziland for King Sobhuza’s 80th birthday, the king wore just a leopardskin loincloth and the princess spent ages fumbling around his groin area trying to pin some medals on.
‘Afterwards she said, “I’m going to tell my sister I’m not going to pin any of her honours on people who are not properly dressed.” Then she laughed her head off.’ (June 2002)
‘I used to take the princess’s breakfast up to her when she stayed at my Norfolk home, but once she arrived with her own kettle and said, “I’m going to be self-contained.” I’ve a photo of her washing my car wearing a pair of rubber gloves.
‘She also loved washing up and dusting. She said if she’d been a servant she would have been a housemaid, as she’d have been no good in the kitchen.’ (June 2002)
‘We had a house party and I went for a walk with Roddy Llewellyn and he told me he thought the princess was wonderful and that he had never seen such beautiful eyes. I said, “Don’t tell me, tell her.”
Lady Anne said: ‘When they were courting they would meet at a flat which belonged to a friend of Tony’s, and she found that informality romantic and exciting. But once married, she wanted to live in a style she was used to’. Pictured: Margaret and Tony in 1960
‘I thought, “Heavens! What have we done?” I comforted myself with the thought that they wouldn’t see much of each other again. But I had noticed the chemistry as they played gin rummy together.’ (June 2002)
‘After her strokes she had stopped eating and I had tea with her. I encouraged her to eat a jam tart. When I came downstairs, the Queen appeared and asked how I had got on. I told her and she said, “A jam tart?” and was very pleased.’ (June 2002)
RODDY LLEWELLYN ‘It is tempting to write the truth about me and Margaret, but it would be misinterpreted. So I just have to go on living with all this rubbish which is regurgitated.
‘One is far better keeping a dignified silence. It is the only way I know I can live with myself.’ (July 2000)
‘We all worry about Margaret. It’s interesting that all her friends are 100 per cent loyal. And I know who all her friends are.’ (July 2000)
‘There can’t be anything much wrong with following your heart, can there? But then perhaps one shouldn’t.’ (July 2000)
Roddy Llewellyn (pictured with Margaret) said: ‘There can’t be anything much wrong with following your heart, can there? But then perhaps one shouldn’t’
VISCOUNT LINLEY ‘My mother has a magnificent seashell collection from all over the world. She likes setting them out and washing them all. She has an incredible knowledge of each one.’ (March 1999)
‘As a parent my mother was incredibly loving and knowledgeable and enthusiastic and witty and stylish. Then her fantastic mind began to fade.’ (March 2003)
PRINCE PHILIP when he gave Margaret away, as revealed in a piece on royal weddings: ‘Up socks! Everything’s going to be fine!’
Rupert Everett revealed he once went to the theatre with Princess Margaret but struggled to pee because she was standing outside banging on the door ‘like an old pub drunk’
RUPERT EVERETT ‘I was friends with one of Princess Margaret’s ladies-in-waiting and we all went to the theatre. Margaret’s nickname for me was “Leggy”.
‘In the interval we went to this room in the theatre with a loo off it. I went to have a pee and, once inside, I couldn’t manage it because she was standing outside the door.
‘Then she started saying, “Come on, Leggy,” and banging on the door like an old pub drunk. I was desperate to go all the way through the second half.’ (July 2014)
PRINCE WILLIAM on himself In Ben Fogle’s documentary about him, featured in Weekend: ‘Africa’s the perfect place to come. The locals haven’t a clue who I am, and I love that.
‘The more grounded and the more normal you can be, the better. My mother instilled into Harry and me from a very early age that being grounded was very important.
‘We’re very laid-back anyway. We don’t want to be mollycoddled. We want to see the real stuff, we want to do the real stuff.’ (April 2011)
‘I’d say I’m getting better at cooking. Kate would say I’m getting a lot worse.’ (April 2011)
BEN FOGLE ‘In Botswana we were all camping together in what the press had dubbed a luxury tented safari – it was far from that; we were sleeping on the floor in very rudimentary tents.
‘In the morning when we were heading off it was freezing, with a little fire there, and William was there offering cups of tea to anyone who was around. He’s the same when you see him with the young kids from the homeless charity Centrepoint.
Ben Fogle revealed he feels very comfortable around Prince William (pictured together in 2010), and says that the Duke of Cambridge is ‘so funny’
‘Beforehand, they think he’s going to be a bit stuck up, but afterwards it’s, “Wow, he’s so funny, so relaxed.”’ (April 2011)
‘I met William many years ago. I feel very comfortable around him. There are many things we have in common, he loves the countryside, he loves Africa. Kate does too.
‘Over the years I’ve seen a very different side to him to the one we read about in the papers. We’re all starting to see a lot more of it now – that open, calm, chatty, comfortable, humorous side.’ (April 2011)
CAROLYN ROBB former cook at Kensington Palace: ‘Their favourites were my treacle tarts. Prince Harry would ask for them.
‘Once I sent him to ask his mother if it would be OK, and he came back with a note saying, “Mummy says it’s OK”. William was the caring big brother, and Harry must have been a wonderful little brother to have.
‘He was the more mischievous one. You could just see the mischief in his face. William, I always thought, was very like his mother, with a wonderful twinkle in his eye.’ (May 2018)
JENNIE BOND former BBC royal correspondent: ‘I’ve heard it said that when someone said to Kate, “Oh God, you’ve got William, that’s fantastic,’ she said, “Well, he’s actually quite lucky to have me too.”
‘Good for her.’ (April 2011)
ZARA TINDALL ‘I went to the rugby World Cup but no, I’m not going out with Mike Tindall.
‘Because I’m single at the moment, I’m paired off by the press with every bloke I stand next to. It could be someone else next week. It’s more annoying than flattering, actually.’ (February 2004)
‘Me, a royal rascal? Why is it me who always gets the blame? We all get on very well, my cousins and I.’ (October 2001)
Exasperated Zara Phillips (pictured in 2010) said in 2004 that the press pair her off with anybody she stands next to – including future husband Mike Tindall
Zara once asked why she is always described as the royal rascal, and revealed that she gets along well with her cousins (pictured with Prince William in 2002)
‘Although she’s the Queen, she’s my grandmother, and we don’t have a different relationship because of who she is. She knows all my horses and likes to know what’s going on.’ (February 2004)
‘When I do cross-country riding I’m quite superstitious and have to wear my lucky socks with flying pigs on. I’ll have to get new ones because they’re getting worn out.’ (February 2004)
‘Whenever I’m with my grandmother and great-grandmother and they’ve got a runner, we sit down to watch the racing on telly and we all egg them on. My granny is great fun.’ (October 2001)
She also revealed that no one objected to her tongue stud (pictured in 1999)
‘I did have a tongue stud, I just decided I wanted one, but there wasn’t the fuss that people made out – no one objected, but people think I took it out earlier than I did!’ (October 2001)
EARL SPENCER ‘I know it sounds macabre, but I read my tribute to Diana’s coffin before the funeral in the chapel at St James’s and somehow felt yes, it’s right.
‘The most bizarre thing about it was when I had finished reading it to her I could almost hear applause. I’m not being melodramatic, but I thought, “It does sound right to me.”’ (June 2000)
‘I saw Diana in the July before she died. She looked so fantastically well. I don’t think old age would have suited her. She was such a young and vibrant person.
‘I can’t imagine her growing old. But perhaps I’m saying that because I know now that she won’t.
‘The day she died was extremely traumatic. I was in South Africa, it was just me and my children in the house. I put on the TV and flicked between the BBC and CNN.
‘At that stage they thought they had witnesses who’d seen her walk away. Then I got a call from my sister Sarah. She said, “I’m afraid it’s bad news. Brain damage.”
‘I was stunned. I think I said, “Oh God.” I rang our sister Jane because her husband Robert worked for the Queen and I knew he’d have information.
Earl Spencer says that he couldn’t imagine his sister Diana (pictured) growing old
‘Jane said, “Robert is on the other line now.” She stopped talking and I heard him say, “Oh no.” Jane came back to the phone and said, “That’s it, I’m afraid. She’s dead.” We were both absolutely stunned.
‘I stayed up the rest of the night. Then my three daughters came rushing in early and I told them Aunt Diana had been killed in a car crash. Eliza smiled at me and said, “No, Daddy, not in real life.” She was just five.’ (June 2000)
JAMES HEWITT ‘The relationship with Diana was waning. It was difficult to sustain from a distance. But it reignited when I was sent to the Gulf.
‘I’m no psychotherapist, but there’s excitement in having someone in a war situation. If I’d been killed it would have been a good ending, from everyone’s point of view.’ (March 2002)
‘It was a love affair for both of us, and we did all the things that people in love do. We didn’t discuss in huge depth how it would pan out.
James Hewitt (pictured in 2003) spoke about his relationship with Diana and that he felt it was a fair deal as Prince Charles was also having an affair
‘I did think about guilt, but who was I deceiving? I thought I was being helpful to Diana. I was loyal to her, and that mitigated any guilt.
‘It was a fair deal, in as much as Prince Charles was having an affair, and what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.’ (March 2002)
On his last phone call to Diana, six months before she died: ‘She sounded bubbly and happy and jokey. She said she was going to shock the world.
‘I asked her how, and she said, “I’ll marry some big, fat black man and have lots of children.” She liked to test people’s reactions.’ (March 2002)
LORD SNOWDEN ‘I didn’t like the miniskirt because it made women’s bodies look short. But Princess Margaret and the Queen wore them and they looked great.’ (April 2006)
‘The Queen Mother, who was delightful, used to come down to my flat in Rotherhithe on the Thames and have supper. She liked it. At low tide, you could climb down a rope ladder to a small beach below.’ (April 2006)
Lord Snowden said he didn’t like the miniskirt – except on Princess Margaret and the Queen (pictured in 1977)
‘Nureyev had an impressive frame. I remember someone asking him to take his handkerchief out of his pocket for a photograph and him saying, indignantly, “That is no handkerchief. That is my manhood.”’ (April 2006)
‘The wackiest thing I did during the Sixties was to water-ski across the Channel on a mono-ski because of my bad leg. I got there, skied round a buoy and raced back. The princess thought I was mad, which I probably was.’ (April 2006)
AND THE REST…
CATHERINE OXENBERG the Dynasty actress and daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia: ‘Prince Andrew asked me to marry him on the palace balcony on Charles and Diana’s wedding day.
‘I’d decided I wanted to act so I said no, and he said he’d wait. It’s probably not healthy to marry a second cousin anyway.’ (November 2005)
PRINCE MICHAEL OF KENT ‘I think Gwyneth Paltrow’s marvellous. Oh yes. I thought her performance in Shakespeare In Love was absolutely terrific.
‘I watched the film endlessly on every aeroplane I took. You know the bit at the end, when she walks along those wonderful sands on some far-distant island?
‘It was done in Norfolk. I only know that because I was the one watching long enough to read the very last bit of the credits. I’ve never met her, but I’m a great admirer.’ (March 2000)
MARQUESA DE VARELA Hello! magazine’s chief networker: ‘Camilla was amazingly successful with men even when she was very young. She wasn’t beautiful, but very, very sexy.’ (November 2002)
Meghan Markle’s brother Thomas revealed her father would take thousands of photos of her as a baby. Pictured: Meghan before she met her prince in 2003
THOMAS MARKLE JR Meghan’s brother: ‘When Meg was born, Dad was a changed man. She was his whole world. The look on his face was priceless.
‘She was a really cute kid, too. You couldn’t get a cuter baby. Dad would take so many pictures of Meggie, she must have been the most photographed baby in the San Fernando Valley! He must have about 50,000 pictures stashed away.’ (April 2018)
AVA BURROWS Meghan Markle’s step-grandmother ‘Meggie marrying a prince? Who’d have thunk! Compared to other people’s families, perhaps ours is quite “complicated”.
‘I guess it’s like your Downton Abbey, and we are the folks downstairs.’ (April 2018)
VISCOUNT LINLEY ‘I try to make the Queen laugh. I do impressions.’ (March 2003)
PRINCE CHARLES ‘You have to write it down. If I don’t write it down, I’ve had it. So I’ve got these little notes in every single jacket. As long as I write it down, I’ll do it.’ (November 2008)
PRINCE EDWARD ‘The fire at Windsor Castle raged all around this little pantry, creating a vacuum.
‘Afterwards, when the door was opened and the air rushed in, there was the priceless crystal used at the annual Garter Day lunch. It was quite unharmed. Extraordinary.’ (November 1997)