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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Interview with Sarah Ferguson

Aired June 12, 2011 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Fairy tales don't always end happily ever after. Just ask Sarah Ferguson. The duchess of York had it all -- the handsome prince, the perfect wedding, the glamorous life in the royal family and two beautiful daughters.

Then, it all came crashing down -- a nightmare of scandal, divorce and yet more scandal. All of it playing out for all of the world to see.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF YORK: I feel so totally ashamed, and I feel as though I'm so out of control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I've known the duchess for more than 20 years. Tonight, you're going to meet the real Sarah Ferguson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FERGUSON: It still is a fairy tale, because it just has a very modern, different ending.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: My primetime exclusive with the duchess of York.

This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: Sarah Ferguson tells a story in the new book, "Finding Sarah," which comes out June the 28th, and a series of the same name premiering this Sunday at 9:00 eastern on the OWN Network.

Sarah, the duchess of York, joins me now.

I don't know whether to call you Sarah or the duchess of York. To me, as a former British newspaper editor, you are Fergie.

FERGUSON: At last, someone remembers good ole Fergie. You know, on my wedding day, I think there were more people walking their dogs, calling their dogs Fergie. I remember walking through the park and everyone going Fergie! Now, what have I done?

MORGAN: I love Fergie, it's a great name.

FERGUSON: Well, the Black Eyed Peas when she said she tried to copyright Fergie. I rang her up and I said, you know, you're trying to copyright Fergie. You've got an album called the duchess. Excuse me, give me something.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Did you really do it?

FERGUSON: I did. I did. And she said, "Oh, hello." I said, "I tell you what, you know what? Come and sing for my charity." And she did.

MORGAN: Did she really?

FERGUSON: She came to Wall Street and she sang for the Sarah Ferguson Foundation.

MORGAN: That is amazing.

FERGUSON: Amazing. And we raised lots money -- we raised a lot of money for building schools. And she said, "Well, my mum was a teacher" or is a teacher. And so, she loved doing it. She's very kind.

MORGAN: But I've known you over 20 years, in good times and bad -- both probably in equal measure. We've had some great nights out together. I know you, I think, pretty well. We've always got on well.

FERGUSON: You're very kind with your text as well. You said some great text.

MORGAN: Yes, because you're being -- you know, you've been through the mincer. But I've always felt that you've always had a good heart. You've always meant well. And also, the bruising experience of being married into the royal family should never be underestimated.

And I wanted to start with this interview by taking you back to just before you get into that maelstrom. What you were like then. The book is fascinating, called "Finding Sarah."

What was Sarah like before the royal experience began?

FERGUSON: Well, I actually was thinking before I came on this show that actually Sarah is the same sitting here as she was then, she just made a few road changes and changed course a few times. And I think Sarah, before she got married, was head girl but I think that was probably because I chatted everyone up.

I was great fun -- and Dr. Phil says I'm a people pleaser and addict to that. And looking back probably at the times of school, I just had fun. I was -- mum always used to say to me, can't you take anything seriously? Even my confirmation.

I just enjoyed life to the full. I really -- I really believed in everything. I wanted to be an Olympic show jumper. And then I went and found my wonderful prince.

And sure enough, you know, when he came into my life, he came into my life when I was 12 years old at the jubilee and a bonfire at Windsor Park.

MORGAN: That's when you first met him?

FERGUSON: Yes. And there's a picture of him and I together then.

MORGAN: And do you remember that moment?

FERGUSON: Yes, very well. And I said I'm going to marry him. I was 12.

MORGAN: So, you have this wonderful dream, the great fairy tale of marrying the handsome, British royal prince.

FERGUSON: Yes, a great man.

MORGAN: He's a very good man and he stood by you, I think, through thick and thin, pretty remarkably over the years. When you first started actually dating him, did you have any comprehension of what you were getting yourself into?

FERGUSON: Well, Piers, I think the word "dating" is kind of interesting because when you go -- when you date a prince back in those long years ago, 26 years ago, it's not -- you can't actually go on a date. You can now, it's much easier. But before it wasn't like that.

We had about three dinners one weekend, engaged and married. You know, we --

MORGAN: As fast as that?

FERGUSON: As fast as that. We were -- we knew instantly that it was just like -- it really was the lightning rod. And he's such a great, fantastic man.

He really is the epitome of an English gentleman -- very gentle, very strong and believes steadfastly in that love. As you've seen, he supported me through thick and thin.

MORGAN: You had this amazing wedding. The whole country, the whole world watched.

FERGUSON: Yes.

MORGAN: It followed Diana and Charles's wedding. It was a huge royal fervor sweeping the globe, and you were the next couple, if you like, on the balcony. And it was a fabulous day.

FERGUSON: It was a good kiss.

MORGAN: Yes, it was a fantastic kiss.

FERGUSON: Yes. It's --

MORGAN: Better than Diana and Charles, actually -- a bit more lingering.

FERGUSON: Well, I haven't really studied theirs, but I was quite into mine.

MORGAN: Theirs is a quiet peck. Yours was quite passionate, I thought.

FERGUSON: Yes. Well, we married for total love. And when I went up that aisle, I had -- I married my man. I also married a sailor. And I got a prince.

But my man was the most important thing for me, Piers, because nothing was more important than him.

MORGAN: When you were on the balcony -- I mean, very few people outside of the royal family have ever experienced that moment where you look out and there's a million people and you know there's probably a billion watching around the world on television. What was that moment like?

FERGUSON: Let me go back in time. You are taken with such a wave of energy, that it is just mesmeric, it is just extraordinary.

And you're so in love -- anyway, it's your wedding day. Like every bride's wedding day, it's a special day. And you've got a beautiful dress on. But you're standing there with the man you love.

And then there are people out there who are wishing you so well. And it's just extraordinary. It's just unfathomable. You can't explain it.

And then when we got into the carriage to leave and my father did the most wonderful thing, he walked out of the palace and stood alone holding his son's little hand on the pavement. And as the carriage went round, he just waved and said goodbye -- you know, it was just so moving.

MORGAN: Do you think he knew what he was saying goodbye to? Do you think he knew what you were going to be immersed in?

FERGUSON: He had a much better idea than I did, I think. He has been -- was in it all his life, you know, working with the Prince of Wales for 38 years. And he sort of knew. I think if anyone had said to me, do you understand for the rest of your life this is what you're expected to do -- I would have still said yes, because I loved my man. And I'm red-headed and passionate and feisty. MORGAN: Do you ever -- I mean, putting Prince Andrew to one side, do you ever wonder what your life would have been like if you just met an ordinary guy who wasn't a royal or wasn't famous, and could have had just a very nice anonymous life?

FERGUSON: You know, Dr. Phil said, Sarah, why don't you go and live in Australia with your sister and go quiet? I said, oh, no, I don't think I can manage that.

(LAUGHTER)

FERGUSON: I don't think I'm that sort of person. I think I'm just I'm always wanting to do more. I want to use my life.

I want to -- especially now that I've changed this course of health and wellness and getting creative and really using it the right way. It's pretty exciting.

So, I don't think I would have ever gone to live in Gloucester with (INAUDIBLE), no.

MORGAN: How long was the fairy tale a fairy tale? After you got married?

FERGUSON: Well, it still is a fairy tale, because it just has a very modern, different ending, you know? I'm -- Andrew and I honor and respect each other. And he's very kind. When I arrive in England, he gives me a room to stay in.

And the two girls are a fantastic example of co-parenting. Andrew and I believe very strongly in that.

MORGAN: Your daughters are fantastic.

FERGUSON: Yes.

MORGAN: We had dinner, all of us the other day in New York. And I thought they were just so elegant, charming, polite, beautifully brought up. I saw parts of both you and Prince Andrew in them. But a real credit to both of you --

FERGUSON: Thank you.

MORGAN: -- in terms of parenting. And I loved the thing at the recent royal wedding where your daughter wears this hat that everyone -- as they always do, they did with you and others, they pile in, they love it, they hate it and so on. And she responded in pure Ferguson style, I think.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: I'm going to auction this on eBay.

FERGUSON: Do you know what I love about Beatrice, red-headed, 8-8-88, at 18 minutes past 8:00. I remember turning (INAUDIBLE), no, she has come at 18 minutes past 8:00. But what I love about Beatrice is that she knows, she just does it, she knows. She's very switched on. And, you know, she just said, "Mom, I'm going to eBay the hat, what do you think?" I said, "Great." You know, $130,000 later, UNICEF and Children in Crisis.

MORGAN: It was amazing.

FERGUSON: And it was literally trying to fight a disaster.

MORGAN: Do you think they've learned from what they saw you go through, how to play negative media perhaps a little better than you were able to because they saw the way to do it well and the way maybe not to do it so well?

FERGUSON: Well, Piers, you know what's so great is they have got a great role model of mistakes to follow. So, as mom goes along, they go, right, well, we'll do it slightly different.

So, if I've done them a favor, then I'm really glad because I've done exactly what mothers should do, is they can learn by my mistakes.

I must admit that Eugenie is very strong. And you've met Eugenie. You know, she's very creative. But we mustn't forget that she's got 12-inch metal rods down her back with scoliosis.

MORGAN: Yes.

FERGUSON: And so, she's now very strongly going to get out and help young people who having to go through that operation. So, together, they seem to have their feet on the ground, strong and confident, knowing what they want to do.

MORGAN: They also had to be through very similar stuff in terms of lots of sniping about their physical appearance when they were a bit younger. Very, very hard for young teenage girls to be ridiculed for how they look in a bikini as they were and so on. Now, they have developed into these fabulous swans. I mean, you must be very proud of the way that they didn't wilt under all that negativity.

FERGUSON: Well, Piers, I think that actually it's to do with good parenting and good guidance and I think that solidarity of me always be there for them and being steadfast and never that feeling of abandonment. And I think that's what I learned from my mom. I'm very grateful to her, but because she went to live in Argentina, I knew what I wanted to do as a mother to my children.

MORGAN: Well, the interesting thing with both you and Diana, you both had this thing with your mothers leaving --

FERGUSON: Yes, yes, that's right.

MORGAN: -- when you were both very young. I always think, especially for a girl, incredibly difficult when their mother just disappears and leaves you behind. That sense of abandonment. It must -- I think I spoke to Diana about this myself, and she shared that sense that you had that it is a sense of abandonment -- you wonder why your mother has done that.

FERGUSON: I think Frances was a very good mother to Diana and mum was a great mum to me. We just -- it was a different era. You can't imagine that now. But in those times, it was really -- I mean, we're talking many years ago. And they really didn't know any better, they just sort of -- that's what they did.

And so, I don't judge my mum in any way, shape or form. And -- but looking back, I know what I don't want to do. Maybe that's exactly the example you're just talking about. They know what my mum did and I'm not going to do what my mum did maybe, falling into the mistakes they were doing.

MORGAN: Clarify for me, there was a bit of furor in the last few days about what you said about your mother in terms of kind of -- you sort of implied it was a form of mental abuse, and your sister came out and said, well, I don't remember it being like that. She didn't deny what happened as far as -- it was your memory, not hers.

FERGUSON: Yes.

MORGAN: Clarify for me.

FERGUSON: What it is, is that dad used to say, oh, you (INAUDIBLE) go upstairs you teenager. But he didn't mean it, he didn't know that he was being offensive because he thought he was being funny, but he's the most wonderful man, you know? I wouldn't have a word said against him.

And my mother, she always said that she was going in the pram up to the (INAUDIBLE) to the sweet shop. Oh, Sarah comes from the postman because I had very tight red curls, big blue eyes and I didn't look anything like mum, and said that it was a joke. She didn't mean it. That's what I said to Dr. Phil.

And then also about, oh, yes, she's got red hair and a temper. And I'm going to beat the devil out of her.

No, that is not exactly -- that is just mum and dad in the way they brought us up.

MORGAN: It was banter.

FERGUSON: It was banter. And the thing is, I said to Dr. Phil that's what happened. And he went, well, that's not all right. And I went, why isn't it all right? You hear me say. Oh, isn't it?

MORGAN: I think it's more of a -- it's a cultural thing.

FERGUSON: Yes.

MORGAN: I think a Brit would listen to that and laugh. Americans take these things quite personally. They would think you can't speak to your daughter that way.

FERGUSON: But, Piers, that's exactly why my sister goes (INAUDIBLE) she says, oh, no, I remember that -- because it wasn't really anything at all. But in America, it's really seriously -- it's probably been, you know, big problem for me.

MORGAN: I want to take a break and come back and talk to you about the tabloid press, the good and bad, how they built you into the biggest star in the world and then began to chip away at you.

FERGUSON: I'm ready.

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FERGUSON: He wasn't there and I didn't know what to do. In 1998 when Beatrice was born, I said, OK, well, Beatrice is fine, she's eight weeks old and she's got a nanny and she's perfectly healthy and she's, you know -- she's on bottles now. I want to see my husband.

And I went to Australia to find him. That's when the press turned on me. That's when they said I was a bad mother. Bad Fergie sold papers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: An actual moment there from your series "Finding Sarah." And I remember all that. I'm from the British newspaper, became an editor of two of the big papers.

FERGUSON: That was one of your --

MORGAN: No, it wasn't. I wasn't an editor then. I wasn't involved in reporting on that part, but I remember it clearly because it was the moment you could feel the mood towards you suddenly turn.

FERGUSON: You're actually right.

MORGAN: You were portrayed as a bad mother. And yet, you know, when you actually studied the facts, that you saw Andrew for 40 days in the first year of your marriage, it's ridiculous, because of his naval career, any woman would understand why you were desperate to be with your husband. And it wasn't like you were abandoning these children, you were always coming back in a week or so.

But that experience, when it turned, what was that like for you?

FERGUSON: Well, I think that I believed the good press for the two years before then -- so, I was believing my own press, which is the most dangerous thing you can do, isn't it, because now I know. So, I believed that I was doing well and everybody loved me and, of course, playing right into the people pleaser.

And when it turned, so it turned on me and I turned on myself so badly that I went into self destruct, because -- oh, my gosh, the press are writing this. And I remember very clearly coming to your lovely lunch we went to, and I went in and I saw a man with a -- a jovial man with a bald head behind one of the computers.

And I went up to him and he was laughing. He said, "Oh, hi, Fergie, lovely to see you. How are you?" And I went, "Oh, very well. You know, what do you do?" He said, "Well, I write the headlines and I was the one that wrote 'duchess of pork.'" And I left him and he had no idea and he -- for him, it was very good.

MORGAN: For you, it was one of the worst headlines you ever --

FERGUSON: Worst headlines. Yes.

MORGAN: I mean, I remember you saying it hit you so hard.

FERGUSON: Yes.

MORGAN: Duchess of pork was so direct, so offensive. It played right into your insecurity about your weight. It was -- I mean, you know, I'm not going to defend it. I think it was a vicious headline.

FERGUSON: Well, I thought it was actually very funny now.

MORGAN: It's funny to everybody else, and I've written headlines like that over the years, where you do it without any sense of the consequence for the human being, because in a way, the royals at the time, if you weren't in the newspapers in Britain, they seemed like caricatures, like soap opera stars. It was like writing about television characters.

FERGUSON: Oh, I didn't realize that, you see? And that's been always my problem. I took it personally. And I got very hurt.

And the more I got hurt, the more I lost my confidence. And Andrew was away. And when I say he's away, there was no e-mails, no telephones. He literally --

MORGAN: No texting. There's no e-mails. No Internet. There's no -- there's nothing. None of this contact you have these days.

FERGUSON: And you had to get a letter to Millbank, to the post office in time, which is a long drive in everyday in order to get the helicopter to take it out to the ship. And so, if you got there and didn't get a letter back, you know? That's why I wrote regularly because I imagined what it must be like for naval officer or the sailors on the boat never getting letters.

So, I remember all those days and the letters are beautiful, and I think they're a great testament to our love.

MORGAN: You felt cripplingly lonely, I imagine.

FERGUSON: I turned to food again like I did when I was 12 and mum left. I felt very, very strongly alone in Buckingham Palace, which is kind of extraordinary to say that. But I didn't know where to turn and I turned down many of the wrong roads.

And I think that -- I think it's very interesting, because when your press goes up, it's great. When it goes down and you believe it, it's really very destructive.

MORGAN: What was the moment when you think the marriage basically ended? When there was a point of no return, did you think?

FERGUSON: The thing about Andrew is that really our love is so strong. It's a really extraordinary love. We just seemed to grow together, even now. So I don't really see it as -- I mean, I know we're divorced, but we're divorced to each other.

MORGAN: You've never remarried, either of you.

FERGUSON: No.

MORGAN: I've always harbored this quaint thought and wonder, you two still live in his house. I mean, is it completely unthinkable that one day the two of you could actually get back together?

FERGUSON: Well, I think that -- as I said, we're a very modern fairy tale. I don't know whether that we'd ever get back together in a marriage, because I don't think that probably anyone would want me hanging around. But I think --

MORGAN: Well, the other members of the royal family, most of them may have that view, although we'll come to the ones you've been very defensive of and supportive. But he's always stood by you.

FERGUSON: Always.

MORGAN: Ad he's his own man, I think, Andrew.

FERGUSON: Yes. Well, the great thing is about Andrew is he does a fantastic job, as you know, U.K. T.I., U.K. trade and investment. And he also stands very firmly for what he believes is right and he stands in great strength with that and he's fight so hard for his country.

And what no one realizes is he does all this for his country and he doesn't have to, and he does it and he does it with great pride.

MORGAN: What are your biggest regrets, as the marriage fell apart and the press dived in, and all these exposes about you and your life, what for you personally were the things you most regret now doing in that period?

FERGUSON: Every minute of my day, I have to work on regret now, Piers, every day, because I regret divorcing and I regret that I wasn't more aware.

Oprah said to me a wonderful line. She said, Sarah, true forgiveness comes when you can't change the past, when you give up hope that you can change the past. And that's what I've got to learn. I've got to stop trying to go back to that bride and do it again with the awareness that I have now, because I can't.

MORGAN: Do you feel ashamed of your behavior in that period?

FERGUSON: I think -- MORGAN: Or do you feel it was kind of a consequence of all the attacks on you?

FERGUSON: I think looking back -- of course, with having worked with Dr. Phil and Suze Orman and Martha Beck and Oprah, looking back -- goodness, with the awareness I have now, yes, I feel so totally ashamed. And I feel as though I was so out of control I didn't see and look at the ramifications of my actions. Why didn't I? You know, why didn't I just -- I was on the wrong course to self destruct.

MORGAN: I mean, one of the lowest moments I felt for you, just looking at it from the outside, was when the toe-sucking pictures appeared all over the front page of "The Daily Mirror." It was such an intrusive picture. And yet, it told its own story.

When you saw that front page, what went through your mind?

FERGUSON: Well, I remember seeing it and just going, "Oh, no, Sarah." And that's when Carolyn, my best friend in the world -- do you remember Carolyn?

MORGAN: Yes.

FERGUSON: She said to me, "Now you need help, Sarah." And I remember ringing her saying, "Carolyn, this is what's happened." And she said, "You know what, you need help. This is crazy. What is happening here?"

And, of course, you know, I went through that. And I think it's an extraordinary tale, and it's one which has -- which every day I work at and every day I try and see how and why I did those things.

MORGAN: Hold that thought. In a moment, we're going to come back and I'm going to talk to you about the moment you hit rock bottom and how you then began to get back on top.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FERGUSON: Fell in love, got married into public life, became a princess, went out there, did all her duties, giving exactly what the public wanted, and then, it got to a point where I sabotaged myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I mean, rock bottom for you really came last year with this big scandal that blew up in Britain in the papers investigated you and caught you on film apparently asking for 500,000 pounds in return to access to Prince Andrew and the royals.

I mean, knowing you as I do and knowing the effort you'd made to get back on your feet and get money back and you had all these financial troubles, you were nearly there, and then this came out. And even someone like me, who's a friend of yours -- I think you'd agree with that -- found it hard to read that. FERGUSON: Yes. I think many people found it hard. I can't read it because it's not -- it's not the case. For 15 -- for 15 years, I knew this lady who came into my life and she was a good friend of mine and suddenly, she said, "Oh, my father's son is coming to America and would like to invest in your company, and he would like to also support your charity work. Do you want to meet him?" I said, "Oh, yes, that would be fantastic."

So when I met him, I knew there was something else because his eyes didn't meet me and his knees were wobbling. And I said, "Is something wrong with you?" "Never." And, of course, he was the journalist.

MORGAN: I didn't really recognize you in those tapes.

FERGUSON: No, I didn't recognize myself. But I think, you know, there was a huge mistake, Piers, and I can't even look at it because I just can't. Because I obviously was exhausted, had drank too much and I just think it was such -- I was broken to my knees.

But the thing, the key about all of this is what they did was, of course, as you know, editing and everything else, but the real truth is I would not in any way, shape or form sell access to Andrew. That's not what I'm about, as you know? So, the way they wrote it and the world saw it, I still can't live with because it's not true --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: How did Andrew react when he saw that?

FERGUSON: Well, like he always reacts when anything is written or anything is said about me or the girls, complete solidarity to his family. He's extraordinary. And he didn't -- he knows me. He knows I wouldn't do that.

It's just the way they worded it was so harsh that I -- and the editing process and what they took out and put in. It was really just diabolical.

MORGAN: Of all the royal family --

FERGUSON: I agree with you, if I was a friend, I would find it difficult.

MORGAN: I wouldn't say I felt let down by what you did. I felt disappointed for you that it was all going to blow up again. You were going to get booted around for another year or so, that the royals who didn't want you around anyway, their position would be hardened, make it harder for you.

I thought there might be a royal wedding coming and I thought, well, I bet they don't invite you at that. And all of this would chip away at your self confidence again, which is pretty well what happened.

FERGUSON: It did, yeah.

MORGAN: Of all the royals over the years, who have been the most supportive to you?

FERGUSON: Well, I think like anybody who divorces a family member, it's -- you know, you mustn't ever expect to be invited. It's not done. You're like any other couple or family, you're on the other side. But out of all of them, it's wonderful that her majesty, the queen, is such a incredible grandmother to the girls.

Therefore, I always love and I always write letters. I always lover her very much. I think she's a great lady. And I think the prince of Wales is an extraordinary father to his sons. He does such a great job, which more people should look at. And he's an exemplary father.

And I just -- I always -- no matter what anyone says, I have a great huge love for the family and I will continue to do that. And that's fine with me that I'm not around, because I shouldn't be.

MORGAN: You didn't get invited to the royal wedding. I wasn't massively surprised. It was a bit too soon after the money scandal. How did you feel that day watching it all?

FERGUSON: Well, Piers, I was in Thailand at a place called Kamilayah (ph). And I was embraced by the jungle. And it didn't have a television and a radio deliberately, because I was so sad, you know. I was so happy for William and Katherine. They looked beautiful. And it was such -- I love the love story. I'm taken in it. I love watching tele seeing them. It's such a beautiful story.

I remember the love story that Andrew and I had, had or have, you know. So I know how it is. So I was very sad on the day because it brought back all those memories of me walking up the aisle. But, however, as someone said when I was sitting in a wonderful wellness bar in Thailand, well, if you were there, you wouldn't be here. So it's pretty good here, isn't' it?

MORGAN: Your girls were great that day. And they wore these very controversial hats, they elaborate fascinators from Philip Tracy. I was commentating at the time, and I thought they were great. But then, of course, I know nothing about fashion.

So immediately everyone was firing in they're this, they're that and so on. And they reacted in a very smart way.

FERGUSON: Well, I mean, it was so difficult for them to be called the ugly sisters. How can you do that to two young people? They're 21, 22, nearly 23.

MORGAN: They're not remotely ugly either, are they? They're beautiful girls.

FERGUSON: Well, thank you. I think they're pretty OK. Every mother says that their child are great, but mine are great. So I'll have that.

But the thing is that, yes, for Beatrice to turn it around and say try and fight a disaster, 130,000 dollars to charity is amazing. UNICEF and children crisis, fantastic. MORGAN: That charity is very dear to your heart, isn't it?

FERGUSON: Yes, very dear. We started it in '93 and we really believe that children should have the right to be educated, right to dream. We're now up to about 43 schools, Syria, Liberia, Afghanistan.

MORGAN: I want to talk to you about Diana, who was one of your closest friends for a very long time. But right at the end, not so close. I want to talk to you about that relationship.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back with my special guest, Sarah Ferguson. Let's talk Diana. You and Diana knew each other since you were 14 years old, and you were incredibly close. Then, of course, you both married these handsome princes and shared this crazy life of princess and duchess. What was she like, Diana?

FERGUSON: Well, before she got married, I called her Dutch, because she was born for it, you know, born to be a princess. We all called her Dutch, and I loved that. And there's no funnier lady -- I don't think I know anybody with her wit. Do you remember her wit?

MORGAN: She was hilarious.

FERGUSON: She was hilarious. And she just was always right there. On the quiet days and weekends that we were together, we'd laugh and have the best time ever.

MORGAN: She was very supportive of you for a long time. I remember there was a big story about you got a Concorde flight when you were in money trouble. And it was all over the front page of the papers. I saw Diana that morning and she came over and she said, you leave Fergie alone.

I said it wasn't me. I haven't done it. She said you might do. She's allowed to get a flight. She was really on my case about it. It was quite funny. I saw then that she was protective of you. She knew what you were going through, because she's part of the same system.

FERGUSON: The thing about Dutch is that I miss her so much, you know, to this day, because she was just -- she was really -- we were sisters and she was my best friend. And I absolutely adored her. And she did fight for me.

In fact, it was Diana who arranged for me to come to Windsor Castle for racing that day. After lunch, I went Prince Andrew is quite good looking. And she went duh, Fergs, that's why you're here. We had a tremendous time. I thought what a great lady. What she did for HIV/AIDS.

Actually I remember her saying I just want to support them because I know what it's like to be ostracized or to walk into a room and no one talks to you because they think you're untouchable. And in a way, she understood that feeling. MORGAN: She was remarkable. She told me once that she used to go out three or four times a week into the streets of London, often in disguise, and just hang out late at night with the homeless and take them clothes and food and stuff like that, but regularly do this and no one ever knew.

FERGUSON: No one knew a lot about her work that she did quietly, you know.

MORGAN: Right at the end of her life, she fell out with a lot of people, and you were one of them. You didn't speak to her for the last year or so. What was that about?

FERGUSON: Well, we don't really know. I'd love to ask her, but she's not here.

MORGAN: It saddened you.

FERGUSON: Yeah, desperately, desperately. But I think it was maybe she wanted a new course in her own life, you know. She was -- I don't know, I can't remember exactly when it started that she was going, doing different things.

But the thing is, like I said before, is that my heart is still with her. So it really doesn't matter. I often say to people when they say sorry I haven't got in touch, I say it doesn't matter, my heart is never go to change. And I'm very loyal to that.

MORGAN: Where were you when you heard that she died?

FERGUSON: I was in Italy. She'd had the crash, but she hadn't died. So I made a telephone call to her mobile saying hi, it's me, I'm coming over, I'll be there in a minute. I'm coming to see you. And then -- I never heard, of course. And then she died. So I remember reaching out.

And I heard from a great friend of both of ours that she -- before she died, you know, not on that day, but the weeks before, she said I must get in touch with Old Red, I wonder what she's up to. So I sort of feel --

MORGAN: You would have made up pretty soon.

FERGUSON: Oh, yes. I think any siblings, sometimes you do that.

MORGAN: How would she have felt on the royal wedding day, do you think, watching her boy, William going down the aisle?

FERGUSON: Honestly, total pride, total pride. You know, she would -- everybody did. We all did, didn't we? Us Brits, didn't you think the little William now looking so married and Harry smiling. It just was an amazing day, because I've looked at it afterwards, by the way.

MORGAN: It was an amazing day. I was commentating. I felt very privileged to be there.

Be honest here, knowing her well, what do you think she would have made of Kate?

FERGUSON: I think they -- I don't know except they would have been the best friends. I know she would have been so delighted, because she would have got her daughter.

MORGAN: You don't think she would have been a little jealous of all the attention.

FERGUSON: Not at all, not at all. She always wanted to have a little girl and to share clothes and things. She would have had her daughter-in-law. It would have been wonderful.

MORGAN: Pretty impressive Kate, isn't she?

FERGUSON: I take my hat off to her. She's so serene. She glides like a swan. I'm a great fan.

MORGAN: Do you worry about her? Do you worry about the pressure that you know she's going to be facing?

FERGUSON: I think she's able to cope with it. She's got a very good family. I love the look of her mom and dad. I don't know any of them, never met them. But they all look so together and solid.

And I think that she -- the way her mum and dad are always there and Pippa, it just looks lovely. I think it's homey. And I think she looks absolutely incredible.

And also she knows exactly. She's -- nine years they have been dating. She knows what she's doing. So she's -- I think she's doing well.

MORGAN: I think he's chosen a good girl.

FERGUSON: And I think that she so loves him. I think so, don't you think?

MORGAN: Totally.

FERGUSON: Except my -- Andrew and I kiss on the balcony --

MORGAN: Was better.

FERGUSON: Well, I think so.

MORGAN: Well, they did two. Let's just hold it there for a moment. When we come back, I want to talk to you about this extraordinary near death experience. You were 20 minutes away from dying on 9/11 in one of the towers. I want to talk to you about that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

MORGAN: So one of the little known things I think about you is this extraordinary story on 9/11. You had an office in Cantor Fitzgerald's office block, Howard Lutnick, the boss of a company, a friend of yours, allowed you some office space. And you were 20 minutes late for work. You were going to go in that day and you just weren't quite on time as you would have been.

FERGUSON: I was sitting at the "Good Morning America" studios actually. I remember went there this week and they remembered. Do you remember, we were watching. I was rushing saying, come on, come on, I've got to go to the office. The office was on the 101st floor, in the window. And little red, my doll, that stands like that, was in the window looking down Manhattan.

I remember leaving the GMA studios and heading down. And then we stopped. As we left the studios, we saw the airplanes going into the 101st floor.

MORGAN: When you realized that -- what was happening to the people in there and you realized how close you came to being one of them, what was going through your mind?

FERGUSON: I think my friend who helped me with the charity, Johnny -- I think Johnny has never really got over it, because he just couldn't believe it, because that was his world, you know. He was living here all the time. I just wanted to help Howard and Allison Lutnick, because they are such great people. Howard lost, what, 700 people.

MORGAN: He's a remarkable man. He lost his brother, lost most of his employees.

MORGAN: And carried on paying their insurance for -- I think still does. He's an extraordinary human being. I love Howard. And Howard wanted to reach out and put Little Red and I there, because Little Red was the logo of Chances for Children. It was my way of thanking the American people for really giving me back my life.

MORGAN: They really have been extraordinarily supportive to you, the Americans, more, I would argue, than you've experienced in Britain. Because that tends to be on and off depending on the latest headline. But here, they really took you to their hearts.

FERGUSON: That's why it's been so difficult from last year, the dreadful scandal, because I felt that I had let them down, as well. Not only betrayed myself, but betrayed the American and betrayed the British people. I felt really bad.

And I think the Americans have been so good to me. And I can't thank them enough. It's just when you walk down the street, they open -- their embrace of goodness. Don't you find, they always are so welcoming. They always -- somebody asked me yesterday, do you think William and Katherine are going to have a good visit here? I said of course, because the minute they arrive here, the Americans will do their usual thing of opening their hospitality to everybody.

MORGAN: I actually think the Americans are as big, if not bigger fans of our royal family than the British are now.

FERGUSON: I think so. I think so. MORGAN: They love them.

FERGUSON: I think that when you go around -- around the wedding time, when I eventually got back to England from Thailand, I actually couldn't get over how many Americans were there, and just like -- just like fascinated by it all.

MORGAN: It will be crazy. When William and Kate go to Hollywood, it's going to be pretty crazy, isn't it?

FERGUSON: I think it's going to be amazing.

MORGAN: I'd love to see the faces in all those big Hollywood stars, who think they're really, really famous, when William and Kate arrive in town. And they realize, you know what, these are the really big ones. You know?

There's nothing like a British royal, I think, it terms of celebrity power.

FERGUSON: I think that -- and also, coming out there, we've got -- we had William and Katherine's wedding. Then there's going to be the -- this weekend, Prince Philip's 90.

MORGAN: I know.

FERGUSON: And what an extraordinary --

MORGAN: Ninety years of hilarious gaffes.

FERGUSON: I have nothing to say about that.

MORGAN: He's a national treasure, really.

FERGUSON: He is. He is.

MORGAN: I mean, a real trooper.

FERGUSON: What he's done is that he stays and remains consistent and been steadfast to the country and to the monarchy. And that's a love story. You know? When you see them together, you see the twinkle in their eyes. I think that's incredible.

MORGAN: I think he's a great unsung hero, Philip, actually.

FERGUSON: I always remember when he said to me, Sarah, just remember, when you get up in the morning that every single thing you do will be on the front page of every newspaper. So just remember that. So don't do it.

Did I take his advice?

MORGAN: You didn't remember it very often, did you?

FERGUSON: No, I didn't.

MORGAN: Let's not dwell on the past. Let's come back in a moment and talk about the future.

FERGUSON: Right, Piers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FERGUSON: After 25 years in public life, I've lost who I really am, and this torments me. I hope that I'm going to start to live, to see if I really will find Sarah. I've got to do this. Otherwise I will die.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Another very dramatic scene there from "Finding Sarah." It's obviously been a hugely emotional experience make thing series. Oprah, an extraordinary woman, isn't she? She recognized the potential of this, not just from the TV point of view, but for you to go through this cathartic self-awareness program, is what it really was.

FERGUSON: Well, when I -- the day after the scandal broke on May 24th, I thought the only person I can go and talk to was Oprah. But I didn't know her at all well. I think I had done her show once.

I went to Oprah, did the show. And Oprah said that she saw something in me, in between this ghost of destruction, there was this hint of a glimmer. I said to Oprah, what do I do? She said don't do "Dancing With the Stars" was the first thing. Then she said I can help you.

And off I went to Martha Beck (ph) in Arizona. And in working -- this is off camera. And in working, I was talking all the time, helping -- you know we helped. She was so helpful to me. She's like the most extraordinary, iconic lady.

MORGAN: Did you find Sarah, do you think?

FERGUSON: Well, I think that -- can I just say that Oprah said to me when I was working with Martha, I don't want to ask you, because you're my friend, but what about making a documentary series, after I'd ask her should I do a cooking program in Australia? I went to -- so anyway, have I found Sarah?

No, I think Sarah is a work in progress. I think this is going to go on off camera for many years to come. But what I do know, Piers, and I'm so excited about it, is that I've changed the course of destruction to positivity now. I'm creative. I'm passionate. And I now feel that I'm liberated in my head.

Because what I was doing wrong, Piers, was I was listening to the creative thoughts, and then acting out on them. You know, whatever it might be, self-hatred or whatever I had chosen to be the thought of the day that had ruined my day. And Dr. Phil, Suze, Martha and the team of people I went to see, back on course, back on course. Opened my eyes.

MORGAN: For you personally, would you like to get married again? Would you like to find a new Mr. Right in your life?

FERGUSON: I always say when you've had the best, forget the rest, you know. Andrew is the best. I don't think I will do -- I don't think I will get married again. But I think it's time to get a boyfriend. Can we use this as a dateline? We can do CNN dateline?

MORGAN: Yes. If you don't mind me saying, pretty hot.

FERGUSON: Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: Good time to put yourself back on the market, Duchess.

FERGUSON: Yeah, come on, then. Don't think this show has ever been used for that before.

MORGAN: There's always a first time.

FERGUSON: Jack Welch yesterday, dating today. But the thing is that, yeah, I don't think any man would come near me, though. Because as I've always said, they've got to put up with a lot of press and attention.

MORGAN: I think they should. I've known you a long time, and you're what we call a good egg, I think, is what we would say in Britain. You've always had a great heart. You're a very warm, generous person.

And anyone who doesn't really understand the unique pressures of being a member of the royal family and coming into what you did doesn't really understand what you went through. And I do and I think you are coming out the other end. I wish you all the very best.

FERGUSON: Thank you, Piers. Thank you very much.

MORGAN: Nice to see you again.

FERGUSON: Thank you.

MORGAN: That's it for us tonight. Now here's Anderson Cooper with "AC 360."