Duchess of York spotted in Yellowknife

Patrons at a Yellowknife coffee shop were surprised to see Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, sipping java as a TV crew taped her for new reality series.
Javaroma co-owners Fadil Memedi, left, and Rami Kassem, right, stand with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, in a photograph shown on a patron's computer on Thursday. ((CBC))

Patrons at a Yellowknife coffee shop were surprised to see Sarah Ferguson sipping java as a TV crew taped her for new reality series.

The Duchess of York, along with a three-person camera crew, spent part of Thursday morning and afternoon at Javaroma, a downtown coffee shop in the N.W.T. capital.

"She was just like a normal person sitting there," said Penelope Cozic, who along with a co-worker met Ferguson at Javaroma on Thursday morning.

Several people, including Javaroma co-owners Fadil Memedi and Rami Kassem, had their photographs taken with Ferguson, who wore a dark-coloured Canada Goose parka.

"I think she was pretty down-to-earth, a very polite lady," Memedi told CBC News.

"We had the opportunity to have some pictures with her and serve her some coffee and [a] sandwich … she was very pleased. She seems like a great lady."

Memedi said Ferguson enjoyed a cup of "Wolf's Breath," a strong "northern" blend of coffee. He added that she even bought more coffee blends to take home.

Ferguson's staff told CBC News that she spent Wednesday camping, which will be featured on her reality show.

Addressing recent troubles

Ferguson's Yellowknife stop will be included in the six-part reality series, Finding Sarah, which will debut later this year on the U.S.-based Oprah Winfrey Network.

The network's website says the show will follow Ferguson around as she addresses "her recent public troubles" and "lifelong battles with weight, relationships and finances."

She sparked a scandal last year when she was secretly filmed appearing to sell access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, in exchange for £500,000 ($769,000 Cdn).

Ferguson married Andrew, who is fourth in line to the throne, in 1986. They had two children, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, before divorcing in 1996.

Ferguson has since authored children's books, founded the charity Children in Crisis, and acted as a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers.

As part of Finding Sarah, Ferguson will speak with TV personalities like Dr. Phil McGraw, Suze Orman and Martha Beck, as she tackles a number of personal issues.