Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, says she felt like a single mother when she was married to Britain's Prince Andrew.
The duchess - who divorced the prince in 1996 - revealed she felt like she was single-handedly bringing up daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, because Andrew's naval and royal commitments often took him away from the family.
She is quoted in Britain's Daily Express newspaper saying: "So many naval wives will understand what I went through. For the first five years, I saw Andrew 40 days a year and, when he did come home, he wasn't just mine. "He was also a prince and had duties to perform. I was a single parent."
Andrew recently paid tribute to Sarah's mothering skills at a New York ceremony in which she was named the American Cancer Society's Mother of the Year.
Andrew said: "I am delighted and pleased that Sarah has been recognized as a super mother.
"I have been the silent beneficiary of her brilliance in the ways she brought up our two wonderful daughters.
"Sarah managed this in the glare of what has been at times hostile attention, but never allowed this to get in the way of our family and the values we both bring to the challenge of being modern parents."
The prince's glowing praise moved the duchess to tears, and she was overheard saying: "He's never done that before, never!"