Sarah Ferguson in Cannes: 'All I want to say to everyone in this room is stop, stop, stop'

Sarah Ferguson recently attended the Cannes Film Festival to talk about issues close to her heart. She took to the stage to remind audiences of what's truly important, the future of the planet.

Sarah Ferguson Cannes Film Festival
© Gisela Schober / GETTY IMAGES
Sarah Ferguson Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is the star-studded event of the spring. On the red carpet, people from all over the world meet – in one night Cate Blanchett can be seen next to a French influencer and then next to royalty.

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This festival is not just about cinema. Each year, towards the end of it, the amfAR gala takes place. The event aims to fundraise money for ‘AIDS research and HIV prevention, treatment, education and advocacy’ explains The Hollywood Reporter. This year, $16 million were raised.

As paintings were being sold to the world’s finest people, Sarah Ferguson, who revealed she was diagnosed with skin cancer in the beginning of the year, took the stage to present a piece by Chris Levine depicting Queen Elizabeth. Though this seemed to be an easy task, the Duchess of York had to interrupt herself and remind people of why they were there.

Sarah Ferguson quiets the audience

The video of Sarah Ferguson telling the audience to be silent has been seen by many and, as expected, it has been widely commented on. Daily Mail on 14 May wrote that the Duchess ‘lost her cool’, GB News has called the moment ‘strange’ and titled their segment ‘Fergie’s meltdown’ while X users are calling her ‘hypocritical’.

In the clip which was originally shared by Heidi Klum, Fergie is on stage and, interrupting herself, says:

Quiet! because the incredible person Simon de Pury has done an amazing job tonight, this is exceptional, and all I want to say to everyone in this room is stop, stop, stop.

Ferguson, who is usually in the spotlight because of ex-husband Prince Andrew, then continues and calls out the celebrities in the room for looking for ‘the next party’. She proceeds to give a speech about climate change.

But what I want to say is why are we here? What is the future and why are we not making our planet better for the youth of tomorrow?

The clip ends while Ferguson is apologising for how her generation has ‘destroyed’ the planet.

In the video, the audience can be heard talking over her continually, even as she asked them to be quiet.

Sarah Ferguson at Cannes

Sarah Ferguson’s time at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival cannot be reduced to that awkward video. Indeed, the Duchess also attended other events and has made her activism quite clear.

Continuing to dissect her presence at the 2024 amfAR gala, it should be noted that Sarah Ferguson took the time to talk to People on the red carpet. In the interview, the Duchess of York spoke about how she and the Firm offer support to the King and the Princess of Wales while they recover.

She said:

I think family unity is key… I think the key to life is that we all support each other,


And also forgiveness is a great thing. I think forgiveness of yourself, and forgiveness of others

She also addressed her own cancer recovery and explained reassuringly that she was ‘doing very well’ and that she felt like she had finally managed to ‘get cancer in the right place rather than cancer ruling [her]’.

However, Ferguson didn’t just go to Cannes for the amfAR gala. Earlier in the same week she attended the Knights Of Charity gala dinner where she revealed she considered herself to be an ‘ambassador’ for Gen Z. With this in mind, her speech at amfAR appears like a simple continuation of that night where she stated:

I am the generational bridge between Gen Z and the outside world,
I'm saying, 'No, Gen Z, I'm very sorry for hurting your planet and I'm listening'

In the same speech she explained why she had taken on that role, simply saying that she understood Gen Z because she had consistently been judged. She expanded:

Gen Z are very strong people
No one should be judged on anything, not race, creed, colour, or any other denomination — and I'm a great supporter of LGBTQ. ­
Everybody just needs to be themselves — why is that not good enough?

Throughout the years, Sarah Ferguson has appeared to be taken a very active and vocal role, despite not being a working royal in the Firm.

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The Hollywood Reporter: Demi Moore and Cher Join Together to Raise $16 Million to Fight AIDS at amfAR Gala in Cannes

Daily Mail: Furious Fergie explodes at Cannes Film Festival audience during Queen artwork auction and tells them to shut up and be quiet as she blasts them for 'looking for the next party' when they should be 'worrying about climate'

GB News on X

People: Sarah Ferguson Says 'Family Unity is Key' amid King Charles and Kate Middleton Cancer Treatments (Exclusive)

Daily Mail: EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Fergie takes on new challenge as 'ambassador' for Gen Z because she can relate to 'always being judged'

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