Sarah Ferguson swells with pride when talking about her daughters, Beatrice, 19, and Eugenie, 17, whose father is ex-husband Prince Andrew.
“Beatrice and Eugenie and the whole family are growing up beautifully well,” the Duchess of York, 48, tells me. “Andrew and I believe in joint parenting. I’m a mum, I’m a good mum, and that’s the best thing I’ve done. Seeing your children grow into really good examples of good manners, smiling, kindness and compassion is huge.”
How does she keep her daughters from getting into trouble?
“The most important thing is to be the best role model you can be,” she tells me. “One of the things my children know is when I say no, I mean it. They always say, ‘ You’ve made mistakes yourself, haven’t you, mom?’ But the real truth is that my girls have been brought up with really strong boundaries from me. I believe very strongly in manners, kindness and in listening. Nobody listens anymore. What I do with my girls is I go in, shut the door, turn the telephone off, turn the TV off and say, ‘Let’s talk.’ They go, ‘Nah, nah, nah.’ Then I say, ‘I’m listening, you talk.’ It’s about listening.”