Even though she’s known her for most of her life (and she was once her daughter-in-law!), Sarah Ferguson still gets the jitters around Queen Elizabeth.
“I always get really nervous before meeting the boss,” Fergie replied when asked, “Who was the last person you got tongue-tied over?” during an interview with KIIS FM in Sydney, Australia.
But she quickly admitted that the monarch makes everyone feel at ease in her presence.
“Oh of course, she’s brilliant. She makes you feel comfortable within the first five seconds,” Ferguson said.
Fergie has remained close to her ex-husband Prince Andrew since their divorce in 1996), and he has provided rooms for her in his home at Royal Lodge in Windsor while they co-own a chalet in Verbier, Switzerland.
“Well, I always think — we’re divorced to each other right now . . . so we never really left each other,” she added.
Fergie’s interview comes at the same time Andrew is also making headlines. According to The Sunday Express, Andrew wrote a letter to the Queen urging her to ensure that his and Fergie’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie would have greater public roles within the royal family.
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In the letter, Andrew reportedly complained that the princesses were in danger of being overshadowed by the Princes William, Princess Kate and Prince Harry. He also insisted that his daughters be given better accommodation at Kensington Palace instead of their apartments at St James’s Palace.
But the Queen reportedly rebuffed the approach, asking her private secretary to intervene.
The long-standing plan — backed by Prince Charles, who is mindful of the cost of having anything other than a slimmed down number of senior members of the family on the public payroll — is to create a monarchy based mainly around the immediate heir and his sons, Princess William and Harry and their families.
In August, it was reported that plans are underway for Princess Eugnie to move into a cottage in the Kensington Palace compound that also houses Will, Kate and Harry.
PEOPLE could not confirm the existence of the letter. Neither spokesmen for the Queen, Andrew or Charles would comment when contacted by PEOPLE.