Sarah Ferguson cut a diplomatic figure today as she met Ukrainian refugees living in Vukovar on a trip to Croatia.
The Duchess of York, 62, opted for an elegant white blazer and black dress during her visit to Vukovar and met Ukrainian refugees in the country, to whom she presented blue pencils with a crown as a gift.
The mother-of-two, affectionately known as ‘Fergie’, was visiting in her role as chair of the new group of international Montessori ambassadors.
Opting for a natural look, the Duchess, who is divorced from Prince Andrew, wore her hair down and loose and sported understated makeup.
Sarah Ferguson looked like a diplomat today as she met locals in Croatia while continuing to tour the country to promote Montessori
The Duchess of York, 62, opted for a smart white blazer and black dress when she visited Vukovar and met locals, whom she presented with blue pencils with a crown as a gift.
She wore a pop of black eyeliner around her eyes and teamed the look with small hoop earrings.
A few days ago, she met with the mayor of Zagreb, where she also held a press conference in a hotel to promote her new role.
At the meeting, she held a Little Red Doll, heroine of her own series of children’s books and also posed with an edition of her books with Little Red in Croatia.
She also held up a copy of Newsweek from 1985.
Taking to her Instagram after the event, she wrote: “I’m in Zagreb with the @montessori.group as chair of the new International Montessori Ambassadors Group and honored to meet @tomislavtomasevichr, Mayor of Zagreb.
A few days ago she met the mayor of Zagreb, where she also held a press conference in a hotel to promote her new role
The Duchess of York opted for a blue shirt dress with an A-line skirt which she teamed with velvet loafers and a dazzling denim jacket for the meeting in the Balkan nation
Opting for a natural look, the Duchess, who is divorced from Prince Andrew, wore her hair down and loose and sported understated makeup
The school system was invented in the early 1900s by Dr. Maria Montessori to educate poor children in her native Italy.
Today, there are over 5,000 Montessori schools in the United States and about 700 in the United Kingdom, where they are privately funded.
The method discourages traditional competitive measures of achievement, such as grades and tests, and instead focuses on each child’s individual progress and development.
Children of different ages share the same classes and are encouraged to collaborate and help each other.
Special teaching materials are used to keep children interested and the emphasis is on ‘practical life skills’. Most Montessori classes are secular in nature.
The Montessori method has had its share of critics. Some parents think the classroom environment is “too free” while others question Montessori teaching priorities or the fact that children are not normally given homework.
“Zagreb is no stranger to wars and their consequences and has been hosting refugees for many years. 11,000 Ukrainians have sought refuge in Croatia since their country was invaded by Russia and the mayor explained the structures and systems they have put in place to integrate them into the wider community.
“We discussed Montessori’s work in Croatia with Emergency Container Home Shelters, who provide decent shelter for the local refugee population, and the support they provide to teachers and children with child care centers for refugees, and how we can help support him and the Croatian people.
“I spent time talking to Blizhina Maria who fled Odessa with her daughter Alisa on February 24.
“They managed to approach the border and then made the last trip to Moldova.
“It is a great honor to be here, to show respect and love for a country with which I have had a deep connection for three decades.
“My charity Children in Crisis supported Croatian and Bosnian refugee families in the early 1990s who were going through the heartbreak Ukraine is currently experiencing.
“I am immensely proud of our work setting up a refugee camp in Tasovcici, Bosnia, later designated by @refugees, and pledge to do all I can to provide continued support
It comes after the Duchess of York said Prince Andrew was a “wonderful” father and a “very, very good grandfather” to the children of Eugenie and Beatrice.
Fergie remains extremely close to her ex-husband 14 years after their divorce.
The couple, who married in 1986 and share daughters Beatrice, 33, and Eugenie, 32, continue to live at Royal Lodge on the Queen’s Windsor estate.
Sarah previously claimed Prince Andrew was a ‘wonderful father and grandfather’, while reflecting on the upbringing of Princess Beatrice and Eugenie (pictured)
The Duchess of York said as grandparents they tried not to ‘interfere too much’ with the way Sienna and August were brought up
This is Fergie’s latest show of support for her ex-husband after he paid Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre £12million to settle sexual abuse allegations out of court – allegations he has always denied.
Speaking to Ok Magazine, Fergie said: ‘[Andrew] is a wonderful father and a very, very good grandfather.
She continued, “I think as a grandparent you have to let your kids be the parents they want to be and not interfere too much.
“But I’m always there to pick up the broccoli when it flies around at mealtimes.”
Béatrice who married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 38, in 2020 is mother to daughter Sienna, seven months, while Eugenie who married Jack Brooksbank, 36, in 2018 is mother to son August, one. Beatrice is also stepmother to Edoardo’s son, Wolfie.