The former American actress became the Duchess of Sussex when she said “I do” to Prince Harry, the Duchess of York’s nephew, in 2018. Several decades prior, Ferguson married Prince Andrew, one of Queen Elizabeth II’s sons, in 1986. That union lasted until 1996.
After facing intense media scrutiny, the Duke and Duchess announced in 2020 they were stepping back as senior members of the British royal family.
“I believe that everybody has a right to their own voice and there should be no judgment on race, creed, color or any other denomination,” the 61-year-old told Good Morning America on Friday about how the press has treated Markle, 39.
“I personally would never be able to judge another, so I just am not like that,” Ferguson shared. “I wish Harry and Meghan so much happiness and I know that [the late Princess] Diana would be so proud of her sons and their wives.”
Ferguson was a close friend of Diana, Harry’s mother and her late sister-in-law. While the two were pitted against each other by the media, Ferguson called Diana her “best friend.”
Diana passed away in 1997 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash at age 36.
“She’s in my heart,” Ferguson told the outlet, adding she called Diana her “laughing friend.”
“I always said it doesn’t matter whether you get the love back or you don’t get the love back or she’s here or she’s not here, you can love anyway and keep the kindness,” she said. “I loved Diana and I will always love her even if she isn’t here in person. It’s a really lovely thing to have.”
Ferguson, now a grandmother, wonders what Diana would have been like with her own grandchildren. Her two sons have five children between them.
“If she was here, we’d be racing to the bouncy castle with our grandchildren,” said Ferguson. “The funny thing is we’d be with our grandchildren running in the egg and spoon race. She was always a better, faster runner than me.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, Calif.
In the wake of quitting royal duties, they gave an explosive TV interview to Oprah Winfrey in March, in which the couple described painful comments about how dark their son Archie’s skin might be before his birth. Markle talked about the intense isolation she felt inside the royal family that led her to contemplate suicide.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately.
On June 4, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. The child is eighth in line to the British throne.
The name pays tribute to both Harry’s grandmother the queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.