Meanwhile Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York has launched a legal claim against News Group International for £25 million, losses she claimed she suffered as a result of being caught offering access for £500,000 cash to her then husband, the Duke of York.

Ferguson was caught in a 2010 sting operation mounted by the now defunct News of The World and fronted by its “Fake Sheikh” reporter Mazher Mahmood, currently serving time for tampering with evidence in a court case. She was filmed accepting money for the access and the newspaper broke the story.

Now Ferguson is claiming that she was tricked into making the offer, that her earnings plummeted from £750,000 a year to zero and that she suffered embarrassment and damage to her reputation. Defending the claim News Group say that Ferguson made the first move and took £27,600 in down payment, that her loss of earnings were down to her own illegality and that her case is “embarrassing, defective and attempted fraud”.

According to press reports Ferguson lives in a 7-bedroom £13 million chalet, which she bought with the Duke of York in 2014 in the exclusive Swiss resort of Verbier, four years after she claimed her earnings had plummeted to zero.

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