Celebrity birthdays: Sarah, Duchess of York turns 55

by hellomagazine.com Happy birthday, Sarah, Duchess of York! As the charity patron, spokeswoman, and TV personality celebrates turning 55, HELLO! Online takes a look at what the stars have in store for Sarah, and for you...

The future is waiting for you. It knows you are coming. It has even put the kettle on and fetched out the best china. By the time you get there, there may even be some scones. As the tea is poured and the dainty refreshments are served on the elegant linen tablecloth of tomorrow, who will be sitting in the next chair? Someone you think you know all too well from a thousand yesterdays. Yet there are aspects of your past that you do not fully understand. You may soon make some precious discoveries in a saucer full of secrets.

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Sarah Ferguson grew up in Hampshire with her father, Major Ronald Ferguson and mother, Susan Wright.

In 1985 she was invited to a house party at Windsor Castle to celebrate Royal Ascot, and although she already knew Prince Andrew from childhood, it was here that a romance developed out of their friendship.

The couple were married on July 23, 1986, at Westminster Abbey, with a billion people tuning in to watch the televised nuptials.

Sarah and Andrew have two children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, born in 1988 and 1990 respectively.

Andrew was often away due to his work with the Navy and Sarah turned to writing, publishing a series of children's books about Budgie The Helicopter.

In 1992, she separated from the Duke. Although Sarah and Andrew divorced in 1996, they continued to share a house together near Ascot for many years and Sarah has described her ex-husband as her "bestest friend".

As well as her successful writing career, she is the US spokesman for Weight Watchers and has done TV presenting for CNN. The title of one of her many books: Reinventing Yourself With The Duchess Of York summed up her philosophy of getting on with the show.

Now a millionairess in her own right, she is able to devote more time than ever to her charity work, including Children in Crisis which she founded in 1993, and working as a patron for the Teenage Cancer Trust among many other kids' charities.

Her relationship with the British monarchy has steadily improved, much to her delight. "The Queen is one of the finest ladies I've ever met in my life," she said in 2007.

"I'm so honoured to be able to say we are friends. I love her. She's given up her whole life to her country. She's a great lady and a wonderful grandmother." 

Her relationship with her daughters has developed since her divorce to one of close friendship and companionship. On her 18th birthday, Beatrice said Sarah was the one who inspired her most. "She leads by example and her behaviour is one that I'd really like to follow", she said.