Sarah Ferguson opens up on the 'total inspiration' that motivated her philanthropic work


Published in Good Housekeeping, the Duchess of York wrote an emotional open letter to her two daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, giving the couple a heartfelt message about motherhood and charity. The letter extolled the virtues of her daughters, who were praised for their “courage, strength and integrity” by their adoring mother. Sarah also took the opportunity to share her thoughts about her maternal grandmother, Doreen Wingfield, whom she affectionately nicknamed Grummy.

“Grummy was my total inspiration,” she confided in her letter.

“She always said, ‘When you feel bad about yourself, give to others’.

“Grummy started me on the road to charity and philanthropy, which led to my starting Children in Crisis in 1992.”

The charity aimed to bring education and care to forgotten children in rural and remote areas of the world.

In 2018, she decided to merge the charity with a similar organisation, called Street Child.

Writing in the Evening Standard at the time of the merger, Sarah said the charity had made her a better mother and had “probably saved her life”.

“I’m so grateful to everyone that has supported us and so proud of the fact that we have defied the odds, and kept the charity going all these years,” she said.

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“We adored her because on one hand she was very old-fashioned and ladylike – she did tapestry, played the piano,” she explained.

“But she also taught us how to play cards and all about the races. Now and again, she’d say: ‘If you’re feeling sad or feeling everything is on top of you, remember there’s always people who are worse off than you.’

“It’s something that’s kept Sarah going enormously.”



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