The Duchess of York, who later became a best-selling author, passed only two O-levels at a prestigious school in Ascot, records show.

Discovered during building renovations, her University of London results for June 1976 were found to be markedly different from the six O-Levels previously claimed.

The documents were uncovered in a dusty filing cabinet at Hurst Lodge School in Ascot, where the Duchess, now 64, was enrolled as a weekly boarder in the 70s.

The lodge has since relocated to a different site in Yately.

Despite failing in English language, English literature, French, biology, and geography, the Duchess achieved an A in spoken English and a C in art.

Her classmate from Queen's Secretarial College in London, Charlotte Eden, remembered with fondness, "We were both dunces at shorthand and typing.

"We used to sit at the back of the class and giggle."

Alongside her O-level results, a letter of thanks to Hurst Lodge School, regarding best wishes for her marriage to Prince Andrew in 1986, was found during the renovations.

A source close to the Duchess, who is presently engaging in discussions about TV adaptations of her best-selling novels with streaming giants, told The Mail on Sunday: "Academic qualifications are not the be-all and end-all and the Duchess is a firm believer in the importance of emotional intelligence and kindness."

Known for her transparency about her academic struggles, the Duchess has publicly admitted to difficulties in formal education.

As the source quoted: "Indeed, she is proud of the fact she started out scrubbing toilets for a living and has ended up as a Sunday Times bestselling author in her 60s."

An incident from her teenage years could partly explain her academic struggle.

The Duchess and her sister, Jane, were left with their father, Major Ronald Ferguson, after their mother Susan walked out on the family in 1972.

In her 1996 book "My Story," the Duchess wrote: "My mind was anywhere but on studies in the summer of 1974.

"Mathematics eluded me, and I laboured on my English but couldn't concentrate."

In her second book "Finding Sarah: A Duchess's Journey to Find Herself," she disclosed her learning difficulties, including ADHD and dyscalculia.

Yet, she wrote about her belief in achieving success even without acing exams, stating "I was very successful at school.

"I was made 'head girl' – which is the equivalent of class president... I was our class ringleader too, gregarious and dramatic with a flair for stirring up mischief."

Her life journey evinces that success, while often quantified through formal education, can also be built on emotional intelligence, resilience, and kindness.