|Susan Ferguson, the stepmother of the Duchess of York, is to re-marry. She has been a widow since the death of Major Ronald Ferguson in 2003|
Sarah, Duchess of York speaks of her joy as her stepmother, Susan Ferguson, becomes engaged to a former Army commander.
Nine years after the death of Ronald Ferguson, the Duchess of York’s father, the galloping major’s widow, Susan, is to marry another distinguished former soldier, Sir Richard Swinburn.
“I’m delighted,” Fergie tells Mandrake. “I’ve met Sir Richard several times and I’m very happy for both of them.”
Susan, who celebrated her 66th birthday on Monday, had a son and two daughters by Major Ferguson, to whom she was married for 27 years.
He was previously married to another Susan, the mother of the Duchess of York and her sister, Jane. His first wife went on to marry the Argentine polo player Hector Barrantes. She was killed in a road accident in 1998.
Sir Richard, a former Army commander, who turns 74 next month, lost his beloved wife, Janey, in 2001. He put their family home, a Grade II-listed Georgian manor house in Somerset, on the market for £3.5 million in 2010.
Susan nursed Major Ferguson, who served in his father’s regiment, the Life Guards, for many years as he battled prostate cancer.
Major Ferguson became a public figure after Sarah married the Duke of York in 1986 and his occasional romantic indiscretions were the subject of much attention from the tabloid newspapers.
He became embittered about the way in which he and his daughter had been, as he saw it, ill-used by the Royal family and published an autobiography, The Galloping Major, in 1994.
However, he continued in his role as polo manager to the Prince of Wales after a scandal involving his patronage of a London massage parlour.