Sarah Ferguson’s weight oscillated a lot during and after her marriage to Prince Andrew, and the media wouldn’t leave her alone for it. In fact, the tabloids referred to her as the “Duchess of Pork,” even when she was pregnant with Princess Beatrice, per People. Ferguson gained 30 pounds due to high blood pressure, water retention and pregnancy.
But the reality was that Ferguson was also dealing with binge eating — an eating disorder, the University of Rochester‘s Medical Center explained. Ferguson turned to food as comfort during difficult times in her own life. “Food had become my addiction and every time things got difficult, I ate to compensate,” she told Hello! magazine in January. When the press called her “Duchess of Pork,” she ate even more, she revealed. “When you comfort eat you put on weight, and then beat yourself up for comfort eating. It is such a vicious circle,” she told the Daily Mail in 2018.
In a 2002 interview with The Guardian, Ferguson explained she began to overeat when she was 12, around the time her mother left the family for Argentinian polo player Hector Barrantes. Ferguson began to blame herself for her eating disorder and turned to food. “She was my spirit. My whole soul and she went. I believed it was my fault — of course I did. She hardly contacted me at all and that’s when food became my only friend,” She said.