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Interview With Sarah Ferguson

Aired January 7, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, she's here. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. From royal scandals and divorce to her battles with over eating and over spending. She'll open up about it all, take your calls too. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York for the hour, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
I love being around royalty. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, is our special guest tonight. She's a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers International. The divorced mother of two daughters. One of whom is in our studio. She's lovely.

She's also the author of a new book, brilliantly put together, I think, called "What I Know Now: Simple Lessons Learned the Hard Way." She's on the front cover of the February issue of "Ladies Home Journal."

And, of course, this is the golden jubilee year -- last year was the golden jubilee year in Great Britain. Lots of scandals, lot of things.

But, what -- this is what, a self-help book? Are you telling people, here's what happened to me. Here's what can happen to you?

SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF YORK: You know, the thing is it's not a self-help book. What it is it's a book about sort stories, anecdotes. If people take it as a self-help book, then that's great. But it's just sort of my experiences and my awful mistakes and what I learnt from them. And if it helps them, that's really good news.

KING: The secret is learning from what you did wrong, right?

FERGUSON: Taking what you've done wrong and realizing that it's a been bonus, actually, and it's positive. It's quite a difficult thing to do.

You know the amount of mistakes I've made, Larry. And you just have to look at it and go, well, thank goodness I did it. Because if I hadn't I probably wouldn't be sitting here with a bit more understanding.

KING: Someone said that one of the definitions of insanity is repeating the same failure expecting a different result. You're going to get the same result if you repeat the same project, right?

FERGUSON: Not necessarily. I don't think I really want to be bankrupt again, you know? And...

KING: That's right. So you wouldn't be bankrupt again. But to be bankrupt again would be a little whacko.

FERGUSON: Would be a little whacko, yes. So at least if you're now aware of why you got into that situation and what it was about, then you hopefully won't do it again.

KING: We're going to take a lot of calls tonight. I'll get into other facets of the book. Let's touch some bases.

How are you doing weight wise? You look terrific.

FERGUSON: Thank you very much. I've been with Weight Watchers for six years now. Helped me.

KING: Saw the new commercials. They're terrific.

FERGUSON: Thank you. It really works for me. The thing why it really works is the support. Weight Watchers for me is like I can go there, I can talk about why food was so important to me. My life was little and my weights and food was everything. Now my life is here and food is there, thanks to Weight Watchers.

KING: Is it hard? Do you want to eat something you shouldn't every day?

FERGUSON: No, it's gotten much easier because I understand that I was emotional eating. If I -- the night my mom died, I put on ten pounds. You know, I know understand. You don't need to choose food instead of the emotions.

KING: We understand your dad is ill?

FERGUSON: Larry, he's very, very ill. And I know he loves being on your show and he loves you. He's not well at all. He's in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) hospital. He's got prostate cancer, melanoma, liver cancer, lung cancer. He's very well -- very unwell.

KING: Is he terminal?

FERGUSON: I don't know if he'd like me to say that, but he's not well. But he's a fighter. And you know, he's had -- if he was here now, he'd say, Larry, I've already died twice and they got me alive again. Here I am...

KING: I've beaten it, I'll beat it again.

FERGUSON: There you go.

KING: What do you make of the butler, Paul Burrell? He was just on this show and the whole thing of that queen getting him off. What was your read on that story?

FERGUSON: Well, Larry, I honestly think the best way I can support Her Majesty is by silence now. I think the queen's had one very difficult year, you know? It's been an extraordinary jubilee really. With two deaths and then Her Majesty's done such a wonderful job with the jubilee and the country came out to support Her Majesty. And you know, Her Majesty didn't really need the last two episodes.

KING: You think she was smart to step in and put that trial to an end?

FERGUSON: I think that the best thing I can do is not make a comment about it now.

KING: You have no comment?

FERGUSON: Absolutely no comment on that. Because it's really not my business.

KING: OK, let's discuss something you might have an opinion on. Our guest tomorrow night, James Hewitt. What do you think about the letters?

FERGUSON: Yes, I think it's very interesting that just before I came on this show, he called up and said would I like to have a drink with him. I think that's funny. The answer is no, James, I don't want to have a drink with you. If I did, it would probably end up in the newspaper the next day.

KING: What do you think of that whole thing, the letters?

FERGUSON: I think he should just be quiet and go away. Betrayal, I think is the most horrible, horrible, disloyal thing you can do to anyone.

KING: Did you know of him, Sarah, during the time you were close to Di, did you know about the relationship and everything?

FERGUSON: I knew that he was in the Lifeguards, I think. Was he in the Lifeguards? I don't know. I knew he wrote well and played polo. I did not know about the relationship.

KING: Speaking of relationship, how are you doing? Are you seeing anyone?

FERGUSON: Bit sort of bland. Like being in the desert at the moment. The last year, nobody's been around because I think they're a bit frightened of all the newspaper coverage and the press.

KING: So you mean no one asks you out on dates?

FERGUSON: Could this be a blind date? Could you like arrange for all the dates now from this show?

KING: Are you looking for a man tonight?

FERGUSON: Yes, that's good, Larry. Put it out there.

KING: You haven't been on a date in how long?

FERGUSON: I don't know. Years.

KING: Come on.

FERGUSON: It's true. It's really true. Been working hard. Hands toiled, blistered.

KING: Do you still date your ex-husband?

FERGUSON: No, no, we don't.

KING: Your friends, though?

FERGUSON: Very, very good friends. Certainly (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a real testament to the friendship we have.

KING: Don't you miss romantic -- you're a romantic person. Don't you miss that?

FERGUSON: Yes, but I thought I better get my life in order first. Maybe if I start loving myself a bit better, then maybe I'll attract in the right person that's going to be steadfast through all that he's going to have to take on.

KING: I bet it's difficult for someone to -- a commoner to ask you out. They know it's going to be in the press, they know they're probably going to be followed, there's going to be stories? Who needs it?

FERGUSON: I know. Exactly. Why would anyone want to do that? But destiny has to play its hand. Cupid's arrow has to be somewhere, Larry. And that's what I hope, you know. One day.

KING: Has to be someone strong within himself.

FERGUSON: Yes, full of his own strength of his own self, yes.

KING: I would imagine -- I don't want to guess. But you would like to marry again?

FERGUSON: I think I would, yes. I'd certainly like to have a partner. I don't know about marriage but certainly a partner. I'd love to be able to travel and at the end of the long days have someone to go to dinner with.

KING: What was the impact of Diana on your life?

FERGUSON: Throughout it or after her death?

KING: Both.

FERGUSON: The thing about Diana is that she was -- she was one of the funniest, wittiest people I've ever met in my life. She always found the humorous side of everything. She was amazing like that. She was a great mother. She was a fantastic friend.

But you knew what you were dealing with, she was like a thoroughbred, you know? You took all sides of Diana and you just loved her in every way.

KING: Meaning she was loyal?

FERGUSON: Yes, I think she was very loyal. I just miss the humor, you know? And I miss the...

KING: She was really that funny?

FERGUSON: Yes, she was really that funny. She was one of the quickest wits I've ever known. She was just a tonic, a real tonic.

KING: Really?

FERGUSON: With someone as creative as that, you do know that you have to be always wary, you know? Because she always -- she always knew where she was going and what she was going to do. So you just -- you always knew that she was just on her own, really. She was on a level on her own.

KING: Where were you that terrible night?

FERGUSON: I was sitting in Italy. And somebody rang me from -- David Tang rang me from Hong Kong and said, you know, Diana's had a crash and she's in hospital. And she's dead.

And I said, I said, no, I didn't believe it. So I rang her mobile and said, Dutch, I'm here. It can't be true.

KING: You got her voice mail?


KING: What's her legacy? What's the impact after?

FERGUSON: I think at the time of her death, the country mourned and it gave the country such an excuse to really cry, you know? Everybody really came out and mourned her.

And I think no one will ever forget the work that she did for HIV/AIDS. And the stigma. She always said that she did HIV/AIDS because she knew what it was like to walk in a room and feel different. And I always think about that when I talk about HIV/AIDS now. When we're trying to get teenagers to have an education on it. I always remember that comment she made.

KING: So you missed her very much.

FERGUSON: Absolutely.

KING: Do you get to see her sons?

FERGUSON: The girls do. Which is great.

KING: Your daughters see Harry and...

FERGUSON: William and Harry, yes. And it's great. They're really good, because William and Harry can give my girls very good advice on, you know, what's going to happen, boys and that.

KING: Have they gotten their mother's sense of mother.

FERGUSON: My girls?

KING: The boys.

FERGUSON: Oh, William and Harry? Yes, I think they have. Absolutely. Certainly William has got her wonderful presence.

KING: Her new book is "What I Know Now: Simple Lessons Learned the Hard Way." She's seen it all. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. She'll be taking your calls in a little while. The book is available everywhere. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. And we'll both be right back.


KING: We show a picture of her wedding and she goes oh, blimey. That was a happy day.

FERGUSON: I know. But I thought, that was then, this is now.

KING: That was then, this is now. We all -- all we are is a collection of what we've been through, right?

FERGUSON: Indeed that is so.

KING: We don't know the next minute.

FERGUSON: What a philosophical statement.

KING: OK. From your book, a story about meeting the tabloid editor who composed the headline "The Duchess of Pork." How did you handle that?

FERGUSON: I was invited to the newspaper for lunch. They have these sort of lunches with bankers and other people. So off I went off thinking why not? It was a couple of years ago.

Then he said, the editor said, let's go talk to the boys and girls that work and make it run. So as I was coming around, I saw this rather rotund, hardy chap with a bald head...

KING: This one of the British tabloids?

FERGUSON: Yes. I'm sorry. And I saw him sitting in the corner sort of laughing and he was waving away.

So I went over to him. I said, well you look happy. What are you laughing at? And he said, Well you know what, Fergie? I've known you for 15 years. Like history, like meeting a member of the family.

I went, oh, this is good. So tell me, I know you know me. You write so many stories about me. He goes, I'm the headline king. I was the one who wrote that one that one, you know, the one which rhymes with York. What is it? Oh, yeas. That's it, pork.

And I went, oh, my gosh. It was rather like Dorothy finding the -- opening the curtains of Oz.

KING: What did you say to him?

FERGUSON: Suddenly there was the man who was the cause of demise really for so many years.

KING: What did you say to him?

FERGUSON: I just turned around and said, you know what? When you did it, what were you thinking? I was just thinking what was funny that rhymed.

And I went, Gosh, here I was thinking that it was all personal and he looked at my body and that he said I was fat. He didn't. He was just a nice hearty man who was making up lies.

KING: But effective lies.

FERGUSON: I know but I said thank you. I said, Because of you I went to Weight Watchers. And because of Weight Watchers I'm now here today. Thank you for teaching me something so huge. It was great.

KING: Life's lessons learned right? Also rejecting rejection. The story of a leading fashion magazine pushing you into doing a cover, then the magazine editor nixed it and put Fergie on the cover because she looked a bit -- didn't put you on because you looked weighty.

FERGUSON: Amazing. Very quickly, it is in the book. This leading glossy magazine asked me to go on the front cover. I said, Look, at the moment, I'm eight pounds heavier because of Mom's death. Could we wait a bit? No, no, you'll be fine. I'll get the best photographer, the best stylist, the best, everything.

So they brought in all the top guns, tried to fit me into a Vera Wang size 10 dress when clearly I was a 14. It was like pushing everything. It was like the elephant man with his sack over his head.

So I said to them, you know, honestly maybe we'll do it another day. No, fine. We're putting you on the front cover. Anyway, when the photographs came back, yes, they rang me up and said, you know what, Fergie, darling? We've decided to put Madonna on the front.

And I went, well, I was going to say I told you so. She said, we thought you looked weighty. And I just went -- it was like...

KING: What lesson did you learn from that?

FERGUSON: What I learned from that is say no when it wasn't right. You knew it wasn't right, Sarah. Don't go ahead just to please other people. Say no. And don't by always trying to fit into every role. Don't be in fashion.

KING: No is the hardest thing to say.

FERGUSON: Isn't it? And learn to say, just because you felt that you wanted to be on the front cover, is that not your ego? Shouldn't you just check yourself?

KING: You write that you don't often admit it, but you're starting to feel your age. Do you admit to it -- do you announce your age? Do you tell people?

FERGUSON: Forty-three and proud of it, Larry.

KING: That's young. Forty-three is young. I've got ties older than you. My wife is 43. Everybody is 43 at my age.

FERGUSON: I just think it's very interesting when your body gets older and your heart gets younger. I'm more of a child now than I've ever been. So I'm probably a teenager, you know? And I just think sometimes I ask my body to keep up with a teenager, it is kind of difficult sometimes.

KING: You don't feel your age, do you? What are you really inside?

FERGUSON: Inside, really?

KING: Yes.

FERGUSON: Fifteen.

KING: That's what I was going to guess, maybe 16. What's with the TV show? You got your start here. You hosted this show once. Tiger Woods.

FERGUSON: As only I could say this because you might say it about yourself. But, Larry, you really have sort of been the mental, you set me on the road to television life. You advised me all from the beginning. I talked to you about radio and what you did at the beginning. So thanks to you.

I hope to have a TV show. I hope it's coming out. We've done the pilot. We're selling to affiliations -- isn't that the word, affiliates. Let's see what happens.

KING: What's the concept?

FERGUSON: It is taking -- empowering people to make changes in their lives. It's really taking a look and inspirational and saying to people, you can do it, too. It is funny. It's young, it's light and inspirational. It is variety with heart.

KING: It's daytime, right?

FERGUSON: It's daytime.

KING: You once told me that you liked -- you were more accepted here than back home. FERGUSON: Yes.

KING: And you were treated better here than back home?

FERGUSON: I think a lot of people see me talking so much as airing my laundry in public. Certainly in Britain a lot of the establishment people feel that is it really truly necessary for you to keep talking about subjects which are close to your heart. People aren't interested to know.

Where as in the United States of America, people tend to talk more openly about their emotions. I think that's important. Especially after September 11, more family and community and talking.

KING: By the way, we've discussed it before, but your offices were in the Twin Towers, were they not?

FERGUSON: They were indeed.

KING: For your charity. You had just finished what, "Good Morning America."

FERGUSON: Yes. We were just leaving the studios and I saw the airplane go straight into the 101st floor, Cantor Fitzgerald. And we just stood stock still. We didn't really know what to do. We couldn't believe it was possible. I looked up and thought the air traffic control couldn't have made that mistake, you know?

KING: And they found you a little raggedy....

FERGUSON: Little Red. CNN in fact was the organization that filmed it.

KING: There it is.

FERGUSON: I was watching and saw CNN film Little Red. I went, That's Little Red. I can't believe she survived.

And the fact that -- what I think's so amazing is that that doll pays for P.J. who was rescued from the Oklahoma bombing eight years ago. He was rescued by a fireman and carried out. There was that little doll that paid for P.J. eight years later.

KING: We're going to take a break. When we come back, we'll start to include your phone calls. We know many, many people want to talk to Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. The book is "What I Know Now: Simple Lessons Learned the Hard Way." She's also on the front cover -- looking slim by the way, they didn't have to force her into a Vera Wang dress -- of "Ladies' Home Journal." We'll be right back with your calls. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to take this opportunity to present to Sarah one of the dolls that were found at the World Trade Center in the rubble. This was given to me by one of the rescue workers. And we wanted to give it back to the rightful owner (UNINTELLIGIBLE).



KING: We're back with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. The author of "What I Know Now."

Let's go to your calls. Los Angeles, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Sarah and Larry. How is Eugenie doing after her back surgery, Sarah? And by the way, you look very, very good.

FERGUSON: Firstly, thank you very much for that lovely compliment. Weight Watchers has taught me I have to accept compliments now. Secondly, Eugenie is here with me in the studio and she's doing well.

KING: She's 12 and had back surgery?

FERGUSON: She's grown almost an inch and a half. You know, she is so tall, I forget she's 12.

KING: What was the matter with her back?

FERGUSON: Three curvatures of the spine.

KING: That's young.

FERGUSON: She had to -- when she opened her up, one operation is seven hours, because they found more curvatures. And they had to put these metal rods down her back. She's a brave, very brave little girl. A real example to many other children going through it. She turned to me and said, mommy thank you so much. Will you thank all the doctors. You're only just out of the operation, but she still managed...

KING: She's also adorable.

FERGUSON: Thank you.

KING: Phoenix, Arizona for Sarah Ferguson. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, this is Susan.


CALLER: I would like to tell both of you to have a wonderful new year.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: And I also wanted to let Fergie know something that would make her laugh. I went on Weight Watchers with my husband who is a true cook. We've emptied all of the cupboards and put them in the kitchen and put all the points on every single item so we can understand exactly what we're eating. And it wasn't that we're just buying all new food, we're trying to adapt to what needs to be done to eat properly. Of course, we do, of course, try to buy healthy things.

KING: Do you have a question?

CALLER: Yes. I wanted to know how she adapted to this point system? is it a memory thing or is it...

KING: Do you keep your points with you? That's 11 points I shouldn't eat.

FERGUSON: Well, after seven years or six years, I think I know the points quite well. And the most important point is the fact that I have my egg mayonnaise sandwich and know that I'm allowed to eat it. As you know, with weight watchers you can eat everything you like, you just count your points.

KING: Did you know all the points. You know, I tell you tomato.

FERGUSON: Tomato, no points.

KING: No points. A free gift.

FERGUSON: Krispy Kreme doughnut, five points. At least you can eat them.

KING: How many a day?

FERGUSON: In my case I have 24 points a day.

KING: So you have a Krispy Kreme doughnut you get 19 points there. And a tomatoes not points. So you could technically eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut and 422 tomatoes

FERGUSON: You're a mathematician, Larry.

KING: I know. Pleasington, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Fergie. I had the pleasure of meeting you a couple of years ago in my hometown. You came and I had two vaces that you autographed, and you looked wonderful. My question is if you have a serious relationship or get married again, will you have more children?

FERGUSON: That's a good one, isn't it? Putting me right on the spot. The thing is that I'll ask the girls first. If the girls say I can have another one, then I can slip it in before I get too old, then probably I will. But I've got to find the partner first. Fall poor love.

KING: You feel sorry for him already?

FERGUSON: I nearly -- when I went to Sierra Leone, I did think of adopting.

KING: What was that like? FERGUSON: The most grueling thing I've been through for a long time. Being the 157th poorest country in the world, these children, most of them amputees, you know. They've had their arms cut off and limbs cut off by their neighbors next door who are age 14, 15-year- old.

KING: Ontario, Canada.

CALLER: Hello. I'd like to ask you about your daughters. What careers are they interested in and what type of education they would like to pursue?

FERGUSON: Well, the great thing is that my daughters I believe are free spirits. And whatever they decide to do, I'll support them. I really believe in them. I believe that Andrew and I have brought them up to be strong and secure in themselves. So whatever they choose to do, I'll support them. Of course, all I can do is be there with lots of love. But I don't own them, you know, all I can do is guide them. That's the best really advice you can give.

KING: Well said. Virginia Beach, Virginia.

CALLER: Hi, Sarah. I was wondering if you've ever had time to go to Althorp and visit Diana's resting place?

FERGUSON: No, I've never been.

KING: Why not?

FERGUSON: Well, because I just believe that I speak to her a lot all the time, really.

KING: You what?

FERGUSON: I don't really believe that I have to go to her resting place.

KING: You believe you speak to her?

FERGUSON: Not speak to her. She doesn't speak to me. If I want to say a prayer and think of her I can. But I don't have to go to her resting place to remember her.

KING: I would think someone as close as you two were, would want to go to where she rests.

FERGUSON: It's too public. Even if I went private, it would be too public. I have my wonderful memories in my heart and I'm happen we that.

KING: You're very, very aware that the press is around you, right?

FERGUSON: I am -- I never forget that the minute I walk out of that door, I must be aware of the ramifications of my actions. KING: We're going to take a break. When we come back, more calls for Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. She's the author of "What I Know Now, Simple Lessons Learned The Hard Way." Tomorrow night Diana's ex-lover James Hewitt who she will not meet for a drink tonight. We'll be right back with Sarah and more of your calls after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, spokeswoman for Weight Watchers International, divorced mother of two daughters and the new book is "What I Know Now: Simple Lessons Learned the Hard Way" She's also on the front cover of the February issue of "Ladies Home Journal."

Before we take our next call -- we'll be taking more calls in this half hour as well -- do you think Charles and Camilla will marry?

FERGUSON: I haven't thought about it.

KING: Think about it.

FERGUSON: Think about it right now?

KING: Right now.

FERGUSON: Do I think so? I think that they deserve happiness and I think that he deserves full support. And if that makes him happy, then that's great for him.

KING: You like him?

FERGUSON: I -- very, very much. I've always really admired him. I think he's a fine man. A really fine man. And I think he stands for so many -- with such integrity for what he believes. I really admire him. Always have.

KING: Underappreciated, right?


KING: Even though he hurt your friend, did he not?

FERGUSON: Well, that's their business, whatever they got up, it's not my business. But what I love about him so much is that he's so fine. He really is a gentleman.

KING: Good father, too?

FERGUSON: He's a good father. I just wish he could voice -- I wish he could sit here and talk to you.

KING: I wish he would.

FERGUSON: I wish he would.

KING: Wichita, Kansas, hello. CALLER: Hi, ma'am. How do you feel about the media and all the negative press about the royal family when there's so much good that the royals do which they could be focusing on instead?

KING: Why are the royals generally the subject of derision?

FERGUSON: I think they sell newspapers, you know? And I think it is a very commercial world. I think -- I think, you know, with so many different kinds of communications out there, I think it really is down to that. And I think people in Britain like to read the negative because they get -- some people get very jealous of people that are successful.

KING: They also like the royals, don't they?

FEGRUSON: They love the royals, but then why do they pull them down to such a degree?

KING: Will they ever give it up?

FERGUSON: No. It's too good a war, you know? It sells too many newspapers and makes people a lot of money.

KING: What was it like to be a royal? What was it like to be -- come on, Duchess, come on. King is just a name. You were a duchess. You had it all.


KING: No, what was it like?

FERGUSON: Did I know that I had it all?

KING: Was it boring a lot?

FERGUSON: Let's just say that I had every girl's dream, I had every girl's fairy tale. And did I blow the dream for them? I hope not. But did I try to? Yes. And I'm very sorry about that.

KING: Was the dream equal to the dream? Was the reality equal to the dream?

FERGUSON: I think that I wasn't wise enough to be able to understand what I was in and if I hadn't done...

KING: You'd be a better duchess now?

FERGUSON: I think so, yes. Because I'd be a lot -- yes, I would, definitely. Because I've made so many mistakes that I should be a little wiser.

But I think you have to understand what you're doing. And when you become a princess, you have to know the rules of being a princess. And I don't think I saw them as rules.

KING: You were yourself. FERGUSON: Yes. And you can't do that. You have to keep to the -- you have to be out there in public.

KING: But you were unhappy doing that?

FERGUSON: You have to be responsible for your actions. Perhaps I -- I just carried on. I was in love with my man and off I went, you know? And perhaps I should have thought.

KING: Chicago, hello.

CALLER: Oh, hello. This is such an honor to speak with you. I have a question about your celebrity.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: We hear so many stories about what Jackie Kennedy Onassis had to go through to insulate her children. Do you have to -- is that a problem for you?

FERGUSON: The great thing is that as you'll see with Beatrice and Eugene when they grow up, that they have their own minds and certainly their own opinions, which they tell me on a regular basis. And so therefore they are going to jump against boundaries and make their own mistakes and make their own boundaries.

I don't think we have a right to protect our children. I think we have a right to guide them but we don't have a right to put them in cotton wool balls. So, no I don't think that's going to be a problem.

Obviously they are very aware that they have to be careful. And when they're out in public, somebody's going to be watching them. So it is difficult for them.

KING: Does it bug you every day?

FERGUSON: Well, you know, the funny thing is when they do make mistakes, I turn to them and say, you know, guys, there's one person you can't argue with because I've made more mistakes than you have. And it's quite funny. So when every time I say about the press they go, Oh, yeah, mom, you know don't you? So, it's kind of good.

KING: Do you have a -- like, do you tell them a biggest mistake? If you had one day back to do something you do -- did that you would not do, what would it be?

FERGUSON: I would say that it was the day that I knew something was wrong and I chose to ignore it.

KING: In other words, what I'm doing today or tonight or whatever, this is wrong.

FERGUSON: Yes, this is wrong. And this very moment, at this very moment, I knew and I didn't listen. And had I listened, maybe things would have been different.

KING: Boy, that's great advice.

Oklahoma City, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello. It's an honor to speak with you, Sarah. How are you?

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: The question I have is, What's the biggest myth or misconception that the public has about the royal family?

KING: Good question.

FERGUSON: I think a lot of the newspapers have portrayed the family, that they're meant to be one way and they're not doing it right. And so they're permanently under scrutiny that they haven't done it right.

Actually what they're doing is they're doing an extremely hard working job. They're getting out there...

KING: What's their job?

FERGUSON: They're representing the country. They're looking out...

KING: They're a PR agency.

FERGUSON: No. Her Majesty, the queen has done the most extraordinary job and has done for so many years.

KING: Which is?

FERGUSON: Is out there with her people and upholding the values of integrity and upholding the values of hard work and giving up her whole life for here country and for really believing the tradition of history.

KING: It's not easy being queen.

FERGUSON: And I think her Majesty's an amazing lady and needs all the support she can get.

KING: So the biggest misconception is what?

FERGUSON: The biggest misconception, from my point of view, although I'd hate to be a spokesperson, is that they are regular human beings that get up out of bed and clean their teeth like we all do.

KING: We think they don't.

FERGUSON: And let them just -- let them do the job without always trying to put trip wires up. So that misconception would be that people have forgotten they are human beings after all.

KING: And do they -- let's say dinner at the palace, dinner, right? You're sitting there, maybe 14 of you. All royals. What do you talk about? I mean, do you talk about everyday things?

FERGUSON: Probably more everyday things than anyone else.

KING: Today would somebody be talking about Iraq? At that table? Would someone be talking about inflation or depression?

FERGUSON: I would be joining the ranks of people that spill the beans if I discuss what's discussed at that table.

KING: No, but do they talk about everyday things?

FERGUSON: If they're regular human beings, they're going to talk about regular human being things. And I would say the news is a regular thing to discuss.

KING: That's what I mean. They don't just sit there and say, The country estate opens March 11, doesn't it? That's what I mean.


KING: Drive me up a wall.

FERGUSON: I think -- cheese and biscuits (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more of Sarah Ferguson and more of your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.



MATT LEBLANC, ACTOR: Check this out.



OK, so say hi to my friend and tell him you like my hat.

FERGUSON: OK. So what's his name?[ laughter ] chandler.

LEBLANC: Chandler.

FERGUSON: Hi, Chandler.

MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR: That's -- was --


LEBLANC: It's Fergie, baby!


KING: That was Fergie on "Friends." What was that like? Fun?

FERGUSON: I loved it. I mean, I wish I could do it again, you know? It was such fun.

KING: We'll go right back to the calls, but first, you mentioned Sierra Leone, right?

FERGUSON: Yes. It's very important to me.

KING: Let's watch this clip.


FERGUSON: Before I left the U.K. I was talking to my girls about what I was going to do in Sierra Leone this week, and both girls said, Mommy, we are going to share you with children that perhaps have lost their own mommies. And when they said that to me, it was very moving. Because how unselfish they were to be able to share their mommy. And that's really nice of them. And I hope that we can help these young women now, that they can one day tell that to their children.

Hello. How are you?


KING: What was that like for you?

FERGUSON: It was very frightening because the civil war really had only stopped for six months before. So everywhere you went, you knew that at any time a rebel could come out with a machete and aim it at you. It was very grueling to know that these children had nothing. They needed support and education.

And the women you just saw in that clip, most of them had been brutally raped for many, many years. And all those children were illegitimate children. Most of the mothers between 13 and 15, you know? There's lots to be done.

KING: Are they getting enough help?

FERGUSON: I think the world needs to wake up that there are these places, that they do exist. And that HIV/AIDS is the next huge, great killer from that...

KING: You were saying something during the break about how we promised to do certain things that weren't done?

FERGUSON: I think in Afghanistan, it's very important. I don't know my facts well enough, Larry, from a political standpoint, but I think it's very important that all over the world they made promises after September 11 to support the people of Afghanistan and the women and the children. Now keep to the promises, especially all the aid organizations.

KING: Let's go back to the calls. Scarborough, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi. CALLER: Hello, Fergie. I just have a question for the Duchess of York this evening, Mr. King.

KING: Go right ahead.

CALLER: What I'm wondering is could the Duchess please inform me what was her best diet approach on the Weight Watchers system, whether it's the point system or -- how did she go about taking the weight off?

KING: How did you first approach it? What did it for you?

FERGUSON: What did it for me was when I realized that every time I looked in the mirror, I wasn't happy about myself. And Weight Watchers said, Well, you know what you got to do, you have to take one step at a time. And if you meet the 10 percent difference, you've done well. Don't always put high goals. Go to the end of the week. If you've done well, give yourself a pat on the back, go to the next week. So take it step by step. Basically ministeps, you know?

And here I am six years later. I'm maintaining a good weight. But you know, always take slow steps and you'll get there.

KING: Is every day a battle?

FERGUSON: It's not a battle, I'm just aware. And I think I'm aware -- and that's the answer.

KING: Salina, Kansas, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, ma'am.

First of all, I admire you very, very much and it's an honor to be speaking with you. My question is this, How is the rest of the royal family reacting to your talk show?

KING: Do they like the idea? Have they spoken to you? Have you heard any...

FERGUSON: I think they thought I was doing a celebrity talk show and that I was going to ask them to be on it. But when I explained to them that it was really just going to be about inspiring people to make a difference in their lives. And a lot of Weight Watchers members hopefully will be on it, too. I think they realized that it's OK and I wasn't going to betray them or let them down.

KING: Are you always a duchess? Once a duchess always a duchess or when divorced do you lose that?

FERGUSON: No. I'm still a duchess now. But, you know, I'm just Sarah, really. Kenneth Nithroes (ph), a great historian, once said to be truly royal is to be royal in your heart. It's not a title. It's by heart. And so...

KING: But you get some of them -- do you get, like, protection?


KING: To Houston, Texas, hello?

Houston, are you there? Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, hello?

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Hello, Sarah?


CALLER: I am so glad that you came to America. I just want you to know that. I admire you very much. I used to see you on the Debra Duncan Show when you would come in with your china and your -- about Weight Watchers. And I was just wanting to know would you ever consider becoming American citizen?

FERGUSON: Well, thank you for all your lovely compliments. And the American people have certainly given my children their mother back. So I'm always so grateful to the American people, as you know, for what you've done for me.

I will remain a British citizen. And also I think because my girls will always be British citizens.

KING: But you always like coming here?

FERGUSON: I love it. I love it. This is my second home. But I don't think I'd become a U.S. citizen.

KING: Montgomery, Alabama, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Sarah. You have a beautiful eyes. I have the "Budgies" children's books and I'd like to know if you're going to write any more of the "Budgies" or any other children's books?

FERGUSON: Well, I've just been in Alabama. We love Alabama.

The great thing is that "Little Red" is now coming up in children's books this year, actually. I've got two more coming out. And it's going to be the adventures of "Little Red," which is the doll that you saw earlier on on this show. And "Little Blue" and her dog, Gino. And it's going to be adventures through the woods and what they get up to. So it's kind of exciting.

KING: Are you like an industry now? Books. Children's books.


KING: Talk shows. Weight Watchers. When do you have time for men?

FERGUSON: Always time, always time.

KING: New York City, hello.

CALLER: Hi. How are you tonight?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: Great. Sarah, just like to tell you that, first of all, you look beautiful and you have a beautiful spirit as well. I've lost 41 pounds on Weight Watchers. I have about 60 more to go. I'd like to know do you feel like a thin person yet? Or do you still feel like a fat person? And do you still have daily struggles? What can you tell some of us who are going long term on this?

KING: Excellent question. Is there a fat person still in there?

FERGUSON: There is a fat person still in here. And I have to work daily with Weight Watchers to make sure that I understand why I keep thinking I am a fat person. Really, it's down to self-esteem. You have done so well. I mean...

KING: Forty pounds.

FERGUSON: Forty pounds is great. And it's not far. Sixty pounds is not far to go. You can do it. So, you have to just accept how well you've done.

KING: Did you ever fall into what Di fell into, bulimia?

FERGUSON: No. I have never -- I've always actually wanted to try and get it, can you believe it? Because it would be easier than carrying around this huge bottom. But I never did it. But I suppose because I saw what she....

KING: Went through.

FERGUSON: ...went through.

But you know, the great thing is luckily, I have the support from the Weight Watchers, because it's the friendship and the group care that gets you through.

KING: We'll be back with more moments with Sarah Ferguson and some more of your phone calls right after these words.


FERGUSON: On behalf of children in crisis, we're really thrilled to be building -- helping to get this school under way. It's so important. The school will make a huge difference. Seven out of 10 people in Sierra Leone can't read or write. Within a couple of months, these children will be enjoying the benefits of a real education.



KING: We're back. The book is "What I Know Now." and the author is Sarah Ferguson.

We go to Burlington, Ontario. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Sarah. Why do you think the press doesn't put the same focus on Sophie as they do on you?

KING: Fair question.

FERGUSON: Yes. I think that at the time when I was married, it was -- you know, it was really the press was at their prime. Prime having a go. And I think they've quite calmed down a bit after Diana's death. I think they might have learned one or two lessons. So I don't think they are quite as bad, although they are very bad. But I think they might have learned one or two things. So I think that's probably why they still do it. Probably I'm very antagonistic, you know, because I do have my own opinions and do speak my mind. Maybe Sophie's very good and sits there and doesn't say much.

KING: Your prime minister are our staunchest ally with the impending threat against Iraq. What do you make of that?

FERGUSON: I think there's an awful lot of troops going in, isn't there, from the United States? And I think Tony Blair and President Bush have been very supportive of each other all the way through. For the last few years. I think that's quite right. And I think -- I love the solidarity between the two countries. I'm proud of it.

KING: You like Mr. Blair?

FERGUSON: Very much. And I also really, really believe in President Bush.

KING: Vancouver, British Columbia. Hello.

FERGUSON: Hi, Larry. Hi, Sarah. I'd like to know how close you were to the queen mum and do you have any stories to share about her? Thank you.

FERGUSON: I'll never forget one story which I know her Majesty wouldn't mind me saying. It was Christmas about three years ago, and she came and saw me in the little house that I was staying in. And she turned to me and she said on the way out, "Well, that was lovely, dear. Now, off you go and talk to all those lovely ladies that do Weight Watchers." And I thought, how clever of her. How clever of her at that age, 99, she was. To A, know that I work for Weight Watchers and, B, what it was about, all those lovely ladies. It was always that, always lovely ladies.

KING: When did you some of the things you did, did the royals get angry and express that anger to you?

FERGUSON: I think that you -- you certainly knew you'd done it wrong in yourself, and that was the greatest judgment.

KING: You didn't need to hear it from them.

FERGUSON: You didn't need to hear it because you knew it.

KING: Golden, Colorado.

CALLER: Good evening, your grace. How are you tonight?

KING: Hi. You talking to me? You calling me your grace? I welcome you into my kingdom.

CALLER: Well, I just wanted the...

KING: Whole crew broke up. I heard that.

CALLER: I wanted to ask the Duchess of York if she would comment on one of her fellow countrymen's success in America, Ozzy Osbourne.

KING: Ozzy Osbourne, what do you make of his fantastic success?

FERGUSON: Well, I congratulate anybody that has a success like that. I mean, he's done a few home runs. And I think he's -- he's amazing what he's succeeded in doing, you know? He really has. He's been through it.

KING: Also a talented musician.

FERGUSON: Very talented. And now he's standing up there and a huge success. Good for him.

KING: Manchester, Kentucky. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello, Larry.


CALLER: You have a lovely lady there tonight. I'd just like to say I think she has lots of wisdom. Seems to be bringing up her children quite well. How did she learn that?

KING: Where did you learn that from? Life, huh?

FERGUSON: What I call it is breaking patterns. Is looking at what your mom might have said to you, like she used to say to me "Sarah, stop looking in the mirror, you're so vain." Actually why? She was taught that by her mother. So, I didn't do that to my children because I remember what it was felt like.

KING: You don't repeat your mother's errors? FERGUSON: I learned that from Mother Hale, actually.

KING: One more call. Ottawa, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Hello. And happy New Year, Sarah and Larry.

KING: Thank you. Same to you.

CALLER: Thank you. My prayers are with you and your family, Duchess Sarah, about your father with his illness. My mother also is living with cancer. And I'm so sorry, my condolences about your mother. I wondered if you had any hopes or resolutions for the new year 2003. Since most people say they want to stop smoking or lose weight. You look fantastic. So you possibly couldn't say you want to lose weight.

FERGUSON: Well, wow. Thank you for all the compliments and the support and everything that you said. I believe that every day should be a resolution. Don't wait for new year. Don't wait for Thanksgiving. Do it today. And I still believe that you -- that there's a long journey ahead. I still believe I make endless mistakes every day. I guess my resolution to be aware of the mistakes.

KING: Do you resolve to meet a man this year?

FERGUSON: That's a good idea. I could put that on my list.

KING: Put that down.

FERGUSON: Yes, one man.

KING: Meet one man. Someone out there.

FERGUSON: One man to go.

KING: Yearning in the wilderness, looking.


KING: Sarah, I thank you so much. Always great to see you. Good luck with the talk show.

FERGUSON: Thank you.

KING: Sarah's book is "What I Know Now, Simple Lessons Learned the Hard Way." The Duchess of York is a spokesperson for Weight Watchers International. And I'll be back to tell you about tomorrow night who she doesn't like. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night, James Hewitt. Diana's former lover who has all those letters. He'll be with us tomorrow night.


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