As Sarah Ferguson continues to regale the public with stories of the late-Queen’s grieving corgis while promoting her new novel, CRAIG BROWN says it all sounds a bit barking
After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke and Duchess of York took charge of her two surviving corgis, Muick and Sandy.
Did it dawn on them that, at a time when their public image was in the doldrums, their association with the unblemished Muick and Sandy could well pay dividends?
Recently, the Duchess has appeared on any number of TV and radio programmes, promoting her second romantic novel for Mills & Boon, which is called — inaccurately, as it turns out — A Most Intriguing Lady.
Time and again, she pushes the Queen’s corgis to the fore, as though they were canine sales assistants.
‘The corgis are very nice and very polite and well-trained,’ she informed readers of Hello! magazine on March 5.
Recently, the Duchess (centre) has appeared on any number of TV and radio programmes, promoting her second romantic novel for Mills & Boon, which is called — inaccurately, as it turns out — A Most Intriguing Lady
Time and again, she pushes the Queen’s corgis to the fore, as though they were canine sales assistants
‘I am their favourite but everybody always says it’s just because I feed them gravy bones. I love everything about them and I spoil them the most.’
Perhaps sensing that people are more interested in the Queen’s dogs than in her romantic novels, the Duchess’s references to Muick and Sandy multiplied with each interview.
On BBC’s The One Show on March 27, she claimed, in her mawkish, free-floating stream-of-consciousness, that the corgis always made her think of the values upheld by her former mother-in-law.
‘One thing I really love when I’m with them actually, because I really think about HM and I just really think about the value system that she supported in this country . . . I remember she used to say, ‘Sarah, there needs to be more kindness in the world, which would disarm malice’.
‘We should all stop for a minute and remember those words with respect and affection for a great leader [who has] now passed it to another great leader in her son.’
To my ear, the cracker-barrel banality of the Queen’s supposed quote sounds eerily like one of those little homilies the Duchess likes to deliver when she has something to sell.
‘When I look at them, I think ‘Yes, come on’ . . . and I think it is so important for the whole country to unite and uphold the values that the monarch gave us all, really . . .
Because they’re national treasures I’m terrified when they go out running. They chase everything. Straight into trees, bang, like that! I go, ‘No, no, no, the nation loves you, stop, stop, stop chasing the squirrels!’ ‘
With each new interview she manages to discover fresh news about Sandy and Muick.
To Rylan Clark on Radio 2 on April 1, she once again ‘opened up’ about the corgis, reporting that, after a period of mourning, they were doing ‘really well’.
‘They’re great, they’re really happy, and their tails have gone up now, so I think they are over their grief,’ she said.
She added that the corgis were ‘so sweet. I think they have been trained by her to be so gentle. When you take a little digestive biscuit and break it like she used to with her little hands . . . she must have put a little biccy in front of them, and they gently take it.’
On April 5 on TV’s Loose Women, she returned once more to the subject, this time revealing a detail previously undisclosed.
‘I went to a dog whisperer and said, ‘Now tell me about grief’. And he said, ‘At night just make sure they have their own space.’ Yeah, so I do. Because I think they were grieving . . . their little tails went down. And I wanted to make them have waggy tails.’
Now there’s no stopping her. At the weekend, she claimed in The Sunday Times that the late Queen is haunting the Yorks’ home.
‘The corgis can sense the late Queen’s presence at Royal Lodge . . . Her dogs, Muick and Sandy, whom we’ve adopted, often do bark at nothing, which makes me think that Queen Elizabeth is passing by and laughing.’ In case we were wondering, she added: ‘I’m not being weird.’
Of course, neither the corgis nor their late mistress are in a position to question the Duchess of York’s increasingly outlandish stories.
If, in her next interview, she claims that Sandy and Muick regularly put on little tap-dancing shoes and burst into a doggy chorus of the National Anthem, or that Her Majesty used to whisper in her ear, ‘Eee up, lass, there’s nowt so queer as folk’, which of us would be in a position to contradict her?
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