Sarah Ferguson to release Mills and Boon novel ‘drawing from own life’ experiences

Sarah Ferguson reads The Most Wonderful Gift in the World

The Duchess of York has signed a book deal with British publisher Mills & Boon – which has engrossed readers with tales of love for more than 100 years. The historical book is called “Her Heart For A Compass” and is set for release this summer. Fergie, 61, says she “drew on many parallels from my life” when writing her debut novel.

Fergie has been a pivotal figure in the Royal Family for more than four centuries after marrying Prince Andrew in 1986.

The couple would divorce 10 years later, but remain good friends and live together at Royal Lodge, Windsor.

Fergie was never one for abiding by the rule book and once confessed: “I was hopeless from the start… they could never make me the perfect princess.”

The royal was inspired to write the novel after researching her family history and was struck by her great-great-aunt Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott – as Margaret is her middle name.

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In her research Fergie found the parents of Lady Margaret were “close friends” with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

But, she was unable to discover enough detail about Lady Margaret’s early life and that is when she says “her imagination took over” and the fictional account of her life and love story was born.

Fergie said: “It all started with researching my ancestry. Digging into the history of the Montagu-Douglas Scotts, I first came across Lady Margaret, who intrigued me because she shared one of my given names.

“But although her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch were close friends with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, I was unable to discover much about my namesake’s early life, and so was born the idea which became Her Heart for a Compass.

“With real historical events and facts to hand, my imagination took over. I invented a history for her that incorporated real people and events, including some of my other ancestors.

“I created a friendship between my heroine and Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s sixth child, and I drew on many parallels from my life for Lady Margaret’s journey.”

Publishers Mills & Boon describe the book as an “immersive historical saga” from the Victorian era, which “sweeps the reader from the drawing rooms of Victoria’s court and the grand country houses of Scotland and Ireland, to the slums of London and the mercantile bustle of 1870s New York”.

They add: “Rich in historical detail and grounded in extensive research, the novel offers a compelling look at Victorian England in the wake of Prince Albert’s death.

“And the fascinating journey of a woman, born into the higher echelons of society, who desires to break the mold, follow her internal compass (her heart) and discover her raison d’être – and falling in love along the way.”

Fergie is an accomplished writer and has put pen to paper on numerous children’s books, including the Little Red and Budgie the Little Helicopter series.

She was also an executive producer of the 2009 historical film The Young Victoria – which went on to receive three Academy Award Nominations and two BAFTAs.

Fergie added: “I have long held a passion for historical research and telling the stories of strong women in history through film and television.


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“I am proud to bring my personal brand of historical fiction to the publishing world.”

Lisa Milton, executive publisher for Mills & Boon, described Fergie’s novel as a “brilliant sweeping story”.

She added: “Mills & Boon are honoured to publish the Duchess of York’s debut novel as we move into our next century of publishing brilliant books by women for women.”

Her Heart For A Compass will be released on August 3.

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