The Guardian reports that Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is struggling with debts "running into millions of pounds" and is considering filing for bankruptcy.
While the Sunday Telegraph says that the Queen, Elizabeth Windsor, is "deeply concerned" and even discussed the problem with David Cameron recently at one of their weekly "audiences".
According to the papers no senior member of the royal family has been declared bankrupt before, although I'm fairly sure Charles I came pretty close...
Fergie's financial problems first came to light earlier this year after a News of the World "sting". A journalist posing as a business tycoon filmed her accepting money in exchange for an introduction to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew Windsor, Duke of York.
During the fall-out to the "cash-for-access scandal", she admitted to US chat show host Oprah Winfrey that she was "substantially" in debt.
Richard Sorksy of the UK Insolvency Helpline said Fergie could benefit from bankruptcy, even if it proves embarrassing for her fellow royals:
"It's a simple civil court procedure costing around £500 which will enable her to walk away from every single penny of her debt. If your assets are of a lesser value than your debts and if your income is not great enough to meet your expenses, it's generally a good option."
However, he added: "In Sarah Ferguson's case, it's a matter of the higher you climb, the harder you fall; it could be publicly humiliating if every dirty detail of her debt were to be made available in the high court."
- Sarah Ferguson faces bankruptcy after running up debts of millions (The Guardian)
- The Duchess of York faces bankruptcy over her £5m debts (Sunday Telegraph)
- Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson nearing bankruptcy (Atlanta Bankruptcy Law News)
- Dealing with debt (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Insolvency law news (The Solicitor)
- Find a bankruptcy solicitor (Contact Law)