Sarah Ferguson believes her charity work saved her life.

Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson

The Duchess of York - who was previously married to Queen Elizabeth's son Prince Andrew - founded Children in Crisis in 1993 and not only did the organisation, which is aimed improving the lives of children and women through education in developing countries, gave her a sense of "purpose", she also thinks it made her a better mother to her daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

She said: "It has certainly made me a better mother to my daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, giving me a sense of perspective, and allowing me to encourage them to use the platform they have to get involved in charitable work.

"It has probably saved my life, too, by giving me purpose through hard times. As my grandmother always said, 'When you feel bad about yourself, go out there and do something for somebody else.'"

The 58-year-old duchess' charity is merging with another organisation, Street Child, and she compared the change to 28-year-old Eugenie's upcoming marriage to Jack Brooksbank.

She wrote in a piece for the Evening Standard newspaper: "When I founded Children in Crisis, I believed there were no borders for suffering, egos should play no part, and no race, creed, or accident of circumstance should stand in the way of a child's right to an education.

"That's why I am so proud to hand the reins on to Tom [Dannatt, Street Child founder], and agree to change the name of the merged charity to Street Child.

"I see it a bit like Eugenie getting married later this year. She's 28, and when your children get to that age, you let them do their thing."

Both Beatrice, 29, and Eugenie will have roles in the new organisation.

Their mother explained: "The newly-merged charity will operate across 10 countries, and look to expand into more. I will be its founder patron and Beatrice and Eugenie will become ambassadors for its work."