The Duchess of York has released a moving film of her recent trip to visit some of Nepal’s most vulnerable women and children in remote parts of the country still recovering from a devastating earthquake in 2015.
Fergie, 59, went for a pared back look during her three-day visit to the country in July with the charity Street Child, forgoing make-up and wearing a traditional bindi on her forehead during a classroom visit in Mahottari.
The royal was introduced to teenagers on an accelerated learning who had missed out on school and told them: ‘I have a solution for you,’ as she delved into a gold Windsor Castle gift shop bag.
She explained: ‘A pencil and a rubber all the way from Windsor, England with a crown. As a present.’
Later, while chatting to a young woman and her baby son, Akash, she said: ‘Let’s see if we have a nice present for Mummy.’
Speaking through an interpreter, the woman told the Duchess she’d never been to school and said she had no idea what age she was when she gave birth to her son.
Fergie then presented her with an £86 Solar Plexus Chakra Cord bracelet from the brand Daisy London, which has links to her daughter Princess Eugenie.
In 2014, the bride-to-be designed three bracelets for the brand to raise money for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital where she was treated as a child for scoliosis.
She’s also been seen wearing pieces from the trendy London brand, whose first campaign featured Cara Delevingne, on several occasions.
Fergie was in the country to see the work of Street Child, which recently merged with her charity Children In Crisis to form a single organisation, and was introduced to a woman who said she’d given birth to her first child at the age of 12.
She said she’s been looking after her children alone as her husband is currently working in India to send money back to his family.
The Duchess also visited Ratnawati, an earthquake-devastated part of Nepal to see the work Street Child has been doing to re-build education, with funding support from UNICEF.
The trip was designed to show her the work of Street Child’s largest programme – a £5m, three-year initiative to help 10,000 girls into education from Nepal’s lowest caste, the Musahar.
Literacy rates for Musahar girls – which translates as ‘rat catcher’ – are under four per cent, and 99 per cent leave school before the age of 10.
During filming, the royal said: ‘I’m so encouraged by the fact that all these children are together, that thanks to the work of Street Child and the local organisations in this area that these children will be listened to.
‘The whole key of Street Child is that it is about education in forgotten areas, children who literally have nothing – no food, no jobs, no education, nothing.’
Speaking about the merger of her charity Children In Crisis with Street Child, she likened it to her emotions around Princess Eugenie’s upcoming marriage.
‘It’s like a child that’s got to go to university and then get married,’ she explained.
‘In the year of Eugenie’s marriage I can understand why you have to say onwards and upwards and well done, but it’s time now.’
The Duchess founded Children in Crisis in 1993 and it has since worked across Sierra Leone, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan.
It’s now planned that, following the merger, Eugenie and Beatrice will become global ambassadors for Street Child.