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Fergie's diamonds are missing after flight

Published Oct. 5, 2005

Can the Duchess of York be trusted with the royal jewels?

Apparently not.

It seems the duchess is missing a necklace and bracelet valued at $385,000.

The jewelry was a gift from Queen Elizabeth II when the duchess, then known as Sarah Ferguson, married Prince Andrew in 1986.

Buckingham Palace said the jewelry was missing from a suitcase that an assistant brought back Monday from New York on a British Airways flight. The duchess returned to London earlier on the Concorde.

The duchess, known affectionately as "Fergie," has been somewhat of a royal outcast since her separation from Andrew. Her image was further tarnished when photos of her lounging topless with a Texas financier were published in the tabloids.

As for the jewels, British police and the airline have begun an investigation to determine whether the jewelry was stolen and if the theft occurred at the U.S. or London end of the flight.

Who is responsible for the jewelry?

Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, said it is the royal family, not airlines.

"The queen," Seward said, "never travels without her jewelry in a box at her side, and when she is not there it is looked after by her page."