Sarah Ferguson dealt with the stress of Prince Andrew's court case by writing a romance novel.
The Duchess of York has remained close to her ex-husband since they split in 1992 and so when he was accused of sexual assault from Virginia Giuffre - with whom he later settled out of court for a rumoured £12 million - she retreated into her "imagination" to block out the frenzy around her.
Asked if she responded to the public scrutiny by throwing herself into her work, Sarah - who was appearing at the Henley Literary Festival to talk about her upcoming Mills and Boon book 'A Most Intriguing Lady' - said: “I escape in life into everything through my imagination and through my will to be joyous.”
The 62-year-old duchess insisted she didn't resent the global media coverage of the case, which ultimately led to Andrew being stripped of his patronages and military titles and stepping back from royal life.
She said: “I think the media are vitally important for many different reasons. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong. And I think we just keep going and never explain too much or say too much.”
Elsewhere at the event, the author revealed she had given copies of her book 'Her Heart for a Compass' to her "mother" and "best wonderful best friend", the late Queen Elizabeth.
She said: “She’s my mother and my wonderful best friend. I’ve been the luckiest person alive because every minute is a memory and it will be in my heart and in my mind.
"When we wrote the book I gave it to the boss [the Queen]. I said, you don’t need to read it. I gave it to her in French."
Sarah insisted she would never have turned to romantic fiction if the queen - who died last month - hadn't approved of her new career path.
She said: “It’s been all my life that I’ve known the boss and there’s no one like her.
“I wouldn’t do anything unless the boss gave me her blessing though, and still to this day, I think about that.”