After celebrating her 61st birthday recently, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, took to Instagram to post a short video message thanking fans for their birthday wishes. Observers were concerned after the Duchess was said to be looking “tired and stressed” in the video, with royal author Phil Dampier remarking that while the tone of the message was positive overall, closer examination brought up some worrying signs.
Mr Dampier said: “I know she has been finding the last few months very difficult.”
To outsiders, the Duchess would have plenty of reasons to celebrate this year.
Her youngest daughter, Princess Eugenie, recently announced she was expecting her first child with husband Jack Brooksbank, while her eldest daughter Princess Beatrice recently married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a secret ceremony.
But, Mr Dampier hinted that outside these moments of “tremendous joy”, the Duchess may have struggled to adjust to the new normal surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Dampier explained: “She has spent several months in lockdown at Royal Lodge with Prince Andrew, and obviously he is under great strain from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
“It must have placed them both under a lot of pressure with very little in the way of letting off steam.”
It comes as the Duchess of York issued a heartfelt message to Princess Eugenie following the revelation of her baby news.
The Duchess said she was looking forward to welcoming the newborn into the York family.
The official statement from Buckingham Palace read: “Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank are very pleased to announce that they are expecting a baby in early 2021.
“The Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York, Mr and Mrs George Brooksbank, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are delighted with the news.”
And speaking to the Daily Mail, Sarah revealed her own excitement for the newborn’s arrival.
She said: “I am so excited by the news that Eugenie and Jack are expecting their first child.
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“Thrilled for them both, and in my 60th year, cannot wait to be a grandmother.
“Welcoming a baby into the York family is going to be a moment of profound joy.”
However, Princess Eugenie’s baby, whether a girl or a boy, will grow up without royal titles.
This is in keeping with Eugenie as while both her and Beatrice were born with royal titles by birthright, neither are full time working members of the Royal Family.
Eugenie and Beatrice are free to make their own money and are given much more leeway than most other senior royals.
For example, Princess Eugenie is currently the only member of the Royal Family to have her own Instagram account, which she uses to share life updates with fans.