The Duchess of York said that Princess Diana would be really happy with how her little boys grew into amazing men, and how their wives "each has got her own voice."
Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson and Princess Diana go back a long way. They knew each other since they were teens and the Duchess revealed to PEOPLE in an exclusive interview that her childhood friend would be absolutely proud of the men her sons have turned into, had she been alive.
"She would be very proud of her sons and their wives," the Duchess of York, 61, said. "And she would be just like me, obsessed with her grandchildren. Because that's what she loved." The Princess of Wales was close to Ferguson's daughters Princess Eugenie, 31, and Princess Beatrice, 32, and as Ferguson says, Diana "adored my girls. She adored the boys. This would be her haven. Her heaven." Ferguson was married to Prince Andrew, Prince Charles' brother.
"If she were sitting with me right now, I know she would say, 'I am so proud of both of my boys and the wonderful wives they have chosen,'" she says of Diana's sons Prince William, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, and their wives Kate Middleton, 39, and Meghan Markle, 39. "Because each has got her own voice."
It's probably not hard for Ferguson to know how Diana would have felt about her sons and their wives, given how she's known her a long time. "We were best friends from when she was 14 and I was 15," says the Duchess, who affectionately called Diana "Duch."
"She taught me so much of public life," says Ferguson, whose debut novel, Her Heart for a Compass, will be published on August 3. "She was so brave. We used to have the most incredible time together."
Town & Country Mag credits the Duchess for bringing out Diana's fun side, but it apparently didn't last too long, because there was a certain sense of rivalry between the two women.
In a 2007 interview with Harper's Bazaar, the Duchess opened up about the "row" she had with Diana.
"I really miss Diana. I loved her so much," she said. "Diana was one of the quickest wits I knew; nobody made me laugh like her. But because we were like siblings—actually, we were fourth cousins and our mothers, who went to school together, were also best friends—we rowed. And the saddest thing, at the end, we hadn't spoken for a year, though I never knew the reason, except that once Diana got something in her head....I tried, wrote letters, thinking whatever happened didn't matter, let's sort it out." However, she knew that her dear friend Duch would come around eventually. Sadly, it was too late by the time that happened. "In fact, the day before she died she rang a friend of mine and said, 'Where's that Red? I want to talk to her,'" Ferguson recalled.
However, in her most recent interview, Ferguson said, "We promised each other we would always be together — there was never any daylight between us. But everybody wanted that, because we were so strong together. People want to break something so strong."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Jeff Spicer (R) Newsmakers