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Duchess of York goes bust

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Ferguson launched the company in 2006 to control her publishing, speaking and media contracts in the US. But after only two years, Hartmoor has hit the wall with debts of between $1-2m.

The Telegraph reports that Hartmoor, which was based on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, was hit by the expiry of the Duchess’ lucrative Weighwatchers contract, worth £2m a year to the firm. Sarah Ferguson has been the face of the brand in the US since 1996, following her acrimonious divorce from Prince Andrew.

Another contract with Wedgewood, the luxury homewares brand, also recently came to an end, marking a downturn in the Duchess’ fortunes.

According to The Telegraph, Hartmoor’s creditors will not be getting their full investment back. They will receive between 50 and 75 cents per dollar.

Sarah Ferguson owned 51 per cent of the struggling business but she was not involved in the day-to-day running of the firm. As the Duchess told Harper’s Bazaar, "Hartmoor is a department store of everything I do."

But the Duchess of York will not go down without a fight. Despite winding up Hartmoor, Ferguson does have contracts in the pipeline to produce a movie franchise of her best-selling series of Little Red children’s books.

And while Britain has always treated the fallen Royal with contempt, the US has always loved the Duchess. "I failed in Britain," she says. "And when I gave it a go in America, I was ready to fail there too – but they have really embraced me."

Let’s hope America’s goodwill goes the distance.

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