Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York sent an email offering her consulting services to producers of Netflix's fictionalized royal drama, which was nominated for 24 Emmy Awards in 2021

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Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, photographed for PEOPLE.
| Credit: David Burton

Sarah Ferguson was more than happy to provide her royal insight to producers of Netflix's Emmy-nominated historical fiction drama The Crown.  

The series' four seasons so far have covered decades, from just before Queen Elizabeth's 1947 wedding to Prince Philip and ascent to the throne to, most recently, the globally watched royal weddings of the 1980s, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana's 1981 nuptials.

Despite a brief glimpse of her 1986 wedding to Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York told Town & Country in their most recent digital cover story that she couldn't help but half-jokingly ask, "Hello? Where is Fergie?"

So she emailed executive producer Andy Harries, she reveals: "I said to him, 'Why can't I help my character?'"

Though the show didn't take Ferguson up on her offer, she is still a fan, telling US Weekly earlier this year that "it was filmed beautifully. The cinematography was excellent."

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sarah ferguson and princess diana
Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana in 1983.
| Credit: Georges De Keerie/Getty

Much more prominently featured in the show is the late Diana, who was a dear friend to the Duchess since Diana was 14 and Ferguson was 15.

In fact, Diana introduced Ferguson to Prince Andrew. "I said to her, 'Oh, Andrew's really good-looking,'" recalls the Duchess. "And she said, 'Duh, Fergs!'" (The pair wed divorced in 1996 but remain close co-parents of daughters Princess Eugenie, 31, and Princess Beatrice, 32.)

In some ways, though, the Duchess is probably content she has thus far remained a side figure in the fictionalized world of The Crown. After all, she's seen her share of real-world scandal and scrutiny in the 35 years since she joined the royal family.

"When you have a sense of humor and you're a redhead, everyone takes you for a big hurricane," she told PEOPLE in a recent cover story. "But sometimes, you don't always want to be the eye of the storm."

These days, "It's like I've gotten out of my own way," she shared. "I've really become Sarah. The Duchess is there. Good old Fergie's there too. But Sarah is authentically present."

Sarah Ferguson, Princess Diana
Credit: David Levenson/Getty

She struggled emotionally with her portrayal as "fat, frumpy Fergie" in comparison to Diana, she told PEOPLE. "We were positioned as saint and sinner."

"We were just there for people to make a lot of money. At the time we both didn't realize that," she said.

But her longtime friend offered some sage advice: "Diana and I both had our own mental health issues, and she and I used to talk [about them]. She said, 'Fergie, remember one thing: When you're at the top of the pedestal, it's so easy to fall off. And you're at the bottom. You just climb up.'"