Duchess of York
(12 Jun 2008)
Candidly sharing lessons from her extraordinary life on the international stage, The Duchess inspires audiences with her powerful story. Having survived personal trials under a harsh media spotlight, The Duchess shares with audiences the secrets of her turn-around success, overcoming the fear of a new global environment and the War on Terrorism, focusing on physical fitness, achieving personal goals, overcoming adversity, and community activism, adapting to change and living an authentic life.
The Duchess of York, formerly Miss Sarah Ferguson, is the second daughter of the late Major Ronald Ferguson and his former wife, the late Mrs. Hector Barrantes. The Duchess of York married The Prince Andrew, second son of Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey on 23rd July 1986, at which time His Royal Highness was created The Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh. The Duke and Duchess of York have two daughters, Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York and Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York.
The Duchess of York balances motherhood and charity work with a diverse international career:
Charity & Philanthropy
The Duchess recently established the Sarah Ferguson Foundation, based in New York, to support charities serving forgotten children internationally.
In February 2007 the Duchess was honoured as Mother of the Year by the American Cancer Society in recognition of her role as a great mother to her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie and of her support of children around the world.
In 1993 the Duchess founded Children in Crisis in London and she remains active in supporting its mission to provide aid to forgotten children around the world. The Duchess has personally visited projects underway in Sierra Leone, Argentina, Russia, Poland, Albania, and India.
In 2005 The Duchess was named a Global Ambassador for World Children’s Day, an international campaign produced by Ronald McDonald House Charities. In November 2006 she took part in a five-continent fundraising and media tour which included stops in the USA, Mexico, Poland and Hong Kong.
Publishing & Recording
In June 2006 the Duchess published Little Red’s Summer Adventure (Simon & Schuster, 2006), the third book in a three-book children’s series about the adventures of a rag doll character named Little Red.
In October 2004, the Duchess published Little Red’s Christmas Story (Simon & Schuster, 2004).
In October 2004 Walt Disney Feature Animation released a special DVD 'The Cat That Looked At A King', with the Duchess’s voice in the role of the Queen. The story is derived from the books of Mary Poppins by PL Travers. In May 2004 the Duchess hosted an eleven-minute production featurette on Universal’s DVD ‘The Legacy of Pan.’
In January 2003, the Duchess published a new book entitled: What I Know Now: Simple Lessons Learned the Hard Way (Simon & Schuster). Written from the perspective of a woman who faced (and overcame) formidable problems, the Duchess’s book serves up 48 short chapters of advice on thorny issues such as: Surviving Your Critics; Choosing Battles; Bending the Rules; Bingeing No More; Breaking Patterns, and more.
An accomplished amateur photographer, in 2003 The Duchess published a collection of images in an art book titled Reflections. Sold only in Britain all proceeds benefited her UK-based charity Children in Crisis.
The Duchess published five lifestyle books with Weight Watchers: “Energy Breakthrough” (Simon & Schuster 2002): “Reinventing Yourself” (Simon & Schuster 2001); “Win the Weight Game” (Simon & Schuster, 2000); “Dieting with The Duchess” (Simon & Schuster 1999); and “Dining with The Duchess,” (Simon & Schuster 1998).
In 1996 The Duchess published her best-selling autobiography My Story (Simon and Schuster 1996)
She has also published two historical books on the life and travels of Queen Victoria, as well as four children’s books based on the character “Budgie the Little Helicopter”
Health / Wellness Advocacy
In January 2007 the Duchess of York began her 11th year as U.S. spokesperson for Weight Watchers International, Inc. The Duchess has become “turnaround’ role model for millions and in recent years has emerged as an international voice on weight management and the role of weight-health in disease prevention.
On February 4, 2005 the Duchess of York served as a celebrity spokesperson for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Red Dress Collection 2005 to help raise awareness that heart disease is the # 1 killer of U.S. women.
The Duchess was a founding supporter of The American Cancer Society’s Great American Weigh In, an annual campaign (modelled after the Society’s Great American Smoke Out) aimed at raising awareness of the link between excess weight and cancer. In March 2003 she joined the American Cancer Society at a congressional briefing.
In the UK, The Duchess is a long-standing patron to a number of British charities, including the Teenage Cancer Trust, Springboard for Children and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Broadcasting / Public Speaking
The Duchess was a featured speaker at the California Governor & First Lady’s Conference on Women September 26, 2006.
The Duchess has served as a special correspondent to NBC’s Today Show and has been a substitute host for CNN’s Larry King Live. In England she has served as guest editor on BBC Radio 4 “Today” program and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s primetime lifestyle show “Steve Wright”. Previously she co-produced and served as presenter in a documentary for BBC television called “In Search of the Spirit.” In 1998 she hosted an 8-part panel talk show on Britain’s SkyOne television.
The Duchess is currently in development on lifestyle products. A signature line of Moissanite jewelry “Sarah Ferguson for K&G Creations” was introduced in September 2006 to the US through fine department stores.