Sarah Ferguson has faced numerous obstacles during her extraordinary life and in this very personal speech she talks candidly about some of her most formidable challenges, such as her parent's acrimonious divorce, her difficulty adjusting to official life as The Duchess of York, her despair over the unrelentingly vicious British press, the heartbreaking failure of her own marriage, and the burden of massive personal debt she took on as a single working mother. Sarah credits her faith, values, and devotion to family, for enabling her to navigate crisis and grow from life's experiences.
My Road to an Authentic Life
Sarah Ferguson describes herself a born people-pleaser. When her marriage into Britain's royal family thrust her onto the world stage she says her seeming inability to please everyone caused her to lose confidence and direction. Following her divorce in 1995 the Duchess says the process of starting a new life helped her to refocus, rebuild her esteem, and find the inner peace she thought she'd lost. In this speech the Duchess uses personal accounts to dramatize the differences between her former "inauthentic" life and the "authentic" life she lives today.
Motherhood & the Spirit of Caring
Nature provides mothers with a powerful instinct for caring. In this speech the Duchess shares her views on motherhood, based on her unique perspective as a hands-on mother of two royal princesses, as well as from her experiences as an international humanitarian who has witnessed extraordinarily caring and courageous mothers all over the world.
Risk and Self Discovery
Sarah Ferguson says that on the first day of her divorce it was as if all doors suddenly slammed shut. "If my marriage in a fishbowl had been disorienting, divorce for me was like being cut adrift in a raging sea." Faced with a staggering personal debt and with two young daughters to help raise, one thing was certain: Sarah needed to go out and earn a living and to do that she began commuting to work in America where she said people gave her a "second chance" and encouraged her to take risks while building a new career. In this inspiring speech the Duchess talks about how she broke with the past and learned to embrace risk for personal growth.
Sarah Ferguson first stepped onto the world stage in 1986 when she married Britain’s Prince Andrew, second son of Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke and Duchess of York have two daughters, Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York and Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York. The Duke and Duchess’s 10-year marriage ended amicably in 1996 and they remain close as friends and active co-parents.
Sarah is widely admired for having faced and overcome personal adversities such as divorce, near bankruptcy, family tragedy, hostile press, and more, to find success as a single working mother and career woman in business, advocacy, publishing, broadcasting, film, public speaking, and philanthropy.
Sarah founded three international charities: Children in Crisis (based in London); The Sarah Ferguson Foundation (based in New York); and Sarah Selects (based in the UAE).
She is a bestselling author with 27 books to her credit including two autobiographies and books about health, empowerment, history, art, as well as several children’s series.
Sarah makes news and lately she also reports and presents it. In America she is a special correspondent for NBC’s Today Show, and she has presented televised specials seen on ABC, FOX, and CNN. In Britain Sarah has presented and co-produced programs for ITV, BBC, and Sky TV. A newcomer to film she conceived and successfully proposed a film treatment for Young Victoria, about the early life of Queen Victoria. Scripted by Julian Fellows (Gosford Park) and produced by Martin Scorsese, Young Victoria premiered in 2009.
Sarah devotes much of her time to promoting wellness and children’s causes. Having served for more than a decade as US spokesperson for Weight Watchers International she continues to speak out on the issue of obesity. Sarah currently serves as Global Advocate for Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) and she lends support to the American Heart Association; the American Cancer Society; the National Heart and Lung Institute; Avon’s Hello Tomorrow Fund; the Ophelia Project. Previously Sarah served two years as Global Ambassador for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
In Britain Sarah, The Duchess of York, is patron to charities including the Teenage Cancer Trust, Tommy’s – The Baby Charity; The African Caribbean Leukemia Trust; the Motor Neurone Disease Association; The Chemical Dependency Centre; Carr-Gomm; The Daisychain Foundation; and Springboard for Children.
Sarah enjoys fitness training, writing, sketching, and photography. She is also a licensed private pilot.