Sarah Ferguson Calls Former Mother-in-Law Queen Elizabeth Her 'Greatest Mentor'
Fergie, as the Duchess of York is affectionately known, appeared on Monday's episode of the Tea with Twiggy podcast to talk about her debut novel, Her Heart For a Compass. During the chat, she called the Queen, the mother of her ex-husband Prince Andrew, her "greatest mentor" and the "person who believes in me."
"I think to myself that honestly, my mother-in-law has been more of a mother to me than my mother," she said. (Susan Barrantes left the family when Fergie was a child to move to Argentina with a new husband, professional polo player Héctor Barrantes. She died in a car crash in 1998.)
Fergie, 61, added, "I absolutely admire the incredible way Her Majesty is so modern ... and how flexible, and how understanding, and how forgiving and how generous."
Despite their divorce in 1996, Fergie and Prince Andrew remained friends and amicable coparents to daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. And Fergie has made her respect for the monarch known: she has been known to do a deep curtsy upon the Queen's arrival at events like Royal Ascot. The Duchess of York has also been spotted happily chatting with the Queen in the royal box.
Fergie was seen accompanying Prince Andrew, 61, to the Queen's Balmoral estate in Scotland last week following the news Virginia Roberts Giuffre filed a lawsuit regarding alleged sexual abuse by the royal.
Fergie recently told PEOPLE of Andrew, "Whatever challenges he has, I will stand firm to the co-parenters we are together. I believe he's a kind, good man, and he's been a fabulous father to the girls."