Sarah Ferguson has praised her ex-husband, Prince Andrew.

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The Duchess of York played down her status during a talk at the Halifax Metro Centre in Canada on Tuesday (16.09.08) when she paid Andrew – who she divorced in 1996 after ten years of marriage – a compliment.

She said: “I’m just Sarah, I am Fergie, I am red headed, and I married the queen’s best-looking son.”

When asked what her job is, the duchess – who has two daughters with Andrew, Princesses Beatrice, 20, and Eugenie, 18 – replied: “I am a mom.”

Sarah also talked about her hurt at being branded ‘The Duchess of Pork’ when she put on weight – and how she resolved not to listen to her detractors 10 years later after learning the journalist who came up with the nickname had considered it a joke.

She told the crowd of 600 people: “For 10 years, I had beaten myself up, and he has been the cause of my demise, and I have completely sabotaged my entire life, because I believed I was this revolting person. It was just a joke.

“I realised then and there that you just can’t believe your critics. You’ve got to stand firm for who you are.”

Among other topics discussed by the 48-year-old duchess was her friend Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997. Sarah claimed Diana would have been stunned by the outpouring of grief that followed her death.

She added: “She didn’t love herself. She gave out. She was a great lady.”