By Rebecca English
Emotional: Both women weep as the duchess reaches out to touch Princess Beatrice's face in one scene from finding Sarah
She says her girls are the centre of her universe.
Which begs the question why the Duchess of York allowed the Queen’s grand-daughters to be filmed crying, and at times clearly in distress, for her latest television series.
The six-part Finding Sarah has seen the shamed duchess pour her heart out to psychologists in an effort to cure her ‘poisonous’ spending issues.
In the final episode, which was shown on Sunday and featured the duchess frequently dissolving into tears, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie appear in several scenes discussing their mother’s ‘journey’.
While neither are children any more, at 22 and 21 respectively, it is clear that their mother’s recent woes have had a troubling effect on them.
This includes the incident in which Sarah was caught demanding £500,000 from a bogus businessman to arrange access to ex-husband Prince Andrew.
In the programme, Sarah receives a phone call from an unidentified person who tells her that the friend who originally helped set up the News of the World sting was planning to sell her story.
Viewers are told that the duchess is able to deal with the blow thanks to her ‘newfound strength’, but the camera then cuts to Eugenie, who is clearly upset by the prospect of yet more negative headlines.
Although her daughter is obviously sobbing, Sarah allows the cameras to continue to roll as she leads her through the garden of her former family home.
‘Seeing Eugenie so upset brought out the fighter in me,’ the duchess says in a voice-over.
Leading her away, Sarah then says: ‘What’s wrong Eug?’ to her daughter who has turned away from the cameras.
Sobbing Eugenie replies: ‘I don’t like it.’
Sarah: ‘It’s fine baby, it’s fine [as Eugenie continues to cry]. Don’t be sad, don’t be sad, what are you getting sad for? They can’t hurt you, they can’t hurt us. We’ve got to keep tough.’
As Eugenie sobs again, burying her face in her mother’s coat, Sarah says: ‘Baby’, before finally walking away.
The segment appears to be filmed at the duchess’s childhood home in Hampshire where she is shown with her stepmother, Susan, and Eugenie hugging around the kitchen table and looking at pictures of her time with the Royal Family.
In another scene, Beatrice appears in what seems to be a hotel room discussing her mother’s ‘re-invention’.
The pair hug, with the camera panning in on the weeping young woman’s face.
Yesterday the Daily Mail reported that the duchess claims to have cleared her estimated £2million-worth of debts thanks to the help of her former husband, only weeks after claiming she was still on the brink of bankruptcy.
She agreed to take part in the television series, which is being produced by Oprah Winfrey and is being broadcast only in the U.S., as a way to kick-start her career following her ‘cash for access’ humiliation last year after a string of failed business deals left her badly in debt for the second time in her life.
The programme has followed her as she consulted a series of psychotherapists and even a horse whisperer in her efforts to cure her ‘inability’ to cope with money.
At the end of the last programme she appears to blame it on poor self-esteem caused by her mother, Susan Barrantes, walking out on her as a young girl.
She says: ‘I now see that my mother abandoning me wasn’t my fault, and that is a revelation. I’ve learned it’s not what happens in your life, it’s what you say to yourself about what happens in your life.’
Sarah says she is now ‘fighting like a lioness’ after battling her ‘addiction to acceptance and approval’.
It emerged yesterday that she has a number of money-spinning schemes up her sleeve, including a new range of children’s books.
Fergie’s Farm is still in its early stages but will focus on the adventures of a group of farm animals. It is likely to come out next year.
There will also be another, undisclosed, range of books targeted at young people, while Finding Sarah: A Duchess’s Journey To Find Herself, a book based on the U.S. TV series, is already in the shops.