A look back on Sarah Ferguson, a member of the British royal family, and how she traced her Irish ancestry in a 1996 autobiography.

Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, the Duchess of York in the UK, is perhaps one of the best-known figures in the UK royal family. But did you know the British woman is immensely proud of her strong Irish roots?

At her daughter Princess Eugenie’s wedding in 2018, Fergie donned a stunning Kelly green ensemble. At the time, Fergie said: "I wore green for Ireland, and the handbag was the bag my mum had in 1986 at my wedding.” 

The UK Express reported that Ferguson detailed her Irish roots in her 1996 autobiography, “My Story.”

Tracing her ancestry, Ferguson wrote: “Though heavily Irish on both sides, my family tree claimed its quota of blue blood, with four dukes and at least three mistresses of Charles II.

“My father, Major Ronald Ferguson, hailed from a long line of distinguished gentleman soldiers.

“My mother, the former Susan Wright, came from an established family in Ireland.”

Powerscourt Estate today (Ireland's Content Pool)

Powerscourt Estate today (Ireland's Content Pool)

Wright was born in England but was granddaughter to the Irish peer Mervyn Wingfield, 8th Viscount Powerscourt.

“They once owned a grand estate near Dublin called Powerscourt, which boasted the tallest waterfall in the British Isles.”

“By the time I came around we were country gentry with a bit of old money, but assuredly not landed aristocracy.

“You wouldn’t put me in the same category as a certain fourth cousin of mine, Lady Diana Spencer, who came out of a big ancestral home with a title in her own right.”

Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana at Buckingham Palace in 1991 (Getty Images)

Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana at Buckingham Palace in 1991 (Getty Images)

A decade after she published her book, Fergie told The Irish Examiner: “I was just separated and I had the two girls with me and I was feeling very insecure and really lost.

"I was watching television and I saw a man riding a grey horse in a green coat for Ireland, and I thought to myself, when I was little I used to show jump, and mum was from Ireland.

“So, I thought, I will retrace my roots and get back on the horse again.

“I became the ‘Duchess of Cork’ and started showjumping again.

“Through trusting a horse and trusting the embrace of the Irish people I got my confidence back”

How do you plan on celebrating Family Heritage Month?

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