The Duchess of York has hit out at “outrageous” critics who made comments about her daughter’s weight.

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Sarah Ferguson says criticism of Princess Beatrice – who was recently pictured in a bikini while on holiday with boyfriend Dave Clark – is unfair and could lead to her developing an eating disorder.

The duchess – a spokesperson for healthy eating club WeightWatchers – said: “They have been absolutely outrageous calling her such horrible names. I just think they ought to take more responsibility.

“She said to me afterwards, ‘Will they be happy if I get anorexia because then they’d write about that’.”

The duchess presented an ITV documentary last night (19.05.08) called The Duchess in Hull, which saw her stay with an overweight family on a run-down council estate in Britain to try and teach them how to lead a healthier lifestyle.

She admitted on the programme that she felt “fat and ugly” every day.