Sarah Ferguson cut a diplomatic figure today as she met with Ukrainian refugees living in Vukovar during a trip to Croatia.
The Duchess of York, 62, opted for a smart white blazer and black dress as she visited Vukovar and met with Ukrainian refugees in the country, to whom she gave blue pencils with a crown as a gift.
The mother-of-two, affectionately known as a ‘Fergie’ was visiting in her role as the chair of the newly formed International Montessori Ambassadors group.
Opting for a natural look, the Duchess, who is divorced from Prince Andrew, wore her hair down and loose and sported a low-key make-up look.
Sarah Ferguson cut a diplomatic figure today as she met with locals in Croatia while continuing her tour of the country to promote Montessori
The Duchess of York , 62, opted for a smart white blazer and black dress as she visited Vukovar and met with locals, to whom she gave blue pencils with a crown as a gift
She wore a touch of dark eye-liner around her eye and paired the look with small hoop earrings.
Days ago, she meet the mayor of Zagreb, where she also held a press conference at a hotel to promote her new role.
In the meeting she held onto 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 following the event, she wrote: ‘I’m in Zagreb with the @montessori.group as chair of the newly formed International Montessori Ambassadors group and honoured to meet with @tomislavtomasevichr, Mayor of Zagreb.
Days ago, she meet the mayor of Zagreb, where she also held a press conference at a hotel to promote her new role
The Duchess of York opted for a blue shirt dress with an A-line skirt which she paired with velvet loafers and a bedazzled 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 a low-key make-up look
The schooling system was invented in the early 1900s by Dr Maria Montessori to educate poor children in her native Italy.
Today, there are more than 5,000 Montessori schools in the US, and around 700 in the UK, where they are privately funded.
The method discourages traditional competitive measurements of achievement, such as grades and tests, and instead focuses on the individual progress and development of each child.
Children of different ages share the same classes, and are encouraged to collaborate and help each other.
Special educational materials are used to keep children interested, and there is an emphasis on ‘practical life skills’. Most Montessori classrooms are secular in nature.
The Montessori method has had its share of criticism. Some parents believe the classroom environment is ‘too free’ while others question Montessori teaching priorities, or the fact that children are not normally assigned homework
‘Zagreb is no stranger to wars and their consequences, and has welcomed 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 in place to integrate them with the larger community.
‘We discussed Montessori’s work in Croatia with Emergency Container Home Shelters, which offer decent shelter for the local refugee population, and the support they are giving to teachers and children with day care centres for refugee children, and how we can help support him and the Croatian people.
‘I spent time talking to Blizhina Maria who fled Odesa with her daughter Alisa on 24th February.
‘They managed to get near to the border then walked the final journey into Moldova.
‘It is a great honour to be here, showing respect and love for a country I have had a deep connection with 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 living through now.
‘I am immensely proud of our work setting up a refugee camp in Tasovcici, Bosnia, later singled out by the @refugees, and I am committed to doing all I can to give ongoing support
It comes after the Duchess of York said Prince Andrew is a ‘wonderful’ father and a ‘very, very good grandfather’ to Eugenie and Beatrice’s children
Fergie remains extremely close to her ex-husband 14 years after their divorce.
The couple, who wed in 1986 and share daughters Beatrice, 33, and Eugenie, 32, continue to live at the Royal Lodge on the Queen’s Windsor estate.
Sarah previously claimed Prince Andrew is a ‘wonderful father’ and grandfather, while reflecting on raising Princess Beatrice and Eugenie (pictured)
The Duchess of York said as grandparents they are trying not to ‘interfere too much’ with how Sienna and August are being raised
It is Fergie’s latest show of support for her ex-husband after he paid Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre a reported £12million to settle allegations of sexual abuse out of court – allegations that he 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 children get on with being the parents they want to be, and not interfere too much.
‘But I’m always there to pick up the broccoli when it goes flying at mealtimes.’
Beatrice 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.