SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Fitness expert Callan Pinckney is back from the United Kingdom where she supervised the duchess of York's efforts to regain her figure following the birth of a daughter.
Pinckney said Monday the former Sarah Ferguson, who married Britain's Prince Andrew, is now in better shape than most 28-year-old American women.
'She's half the size she was when she was in Australia,' said Pinkney, who returned from London shortly before Christmas. 'She has the type of figure 99 percent of the women in the world would envy.'
Pinckney said the duchess invited her to Buckhingham Palace to supervise her Callanetics exercise program, which she began at the encouragement of friends she visited in Australia.
'We did not discuss weight or diet,' said Pinckney. 'Whatever diet she was on, she was very happy with. I was there to help her learn the exercises backwards and forwards so she could do them in her sleep.'
Pinckney said Callanetics exercises, which she began developing in the early 1970s, strengthen the body without creating protruding muscles.
Due to the royal family's tight public schedule, Pinckney stayed in a hotel close to Buckingham Palace and worked with the duchess as time permitted over six days in December.
At the time, the British press was chastising Fergie for staying with her husband in Australia and leaving their 3-month-old daughter in London. But Pinckney said Beatrice was often with her mother as the duchess exercised.
Pinckney used her sessions with the duchess to tell her something about the American South, including live oak trees, Spanish moss, alligators and other marsh creatures.
'I asked how I should address her and was told to call her ma'am,' said Pinckney. 'I did and she said, 'It sounds so strange the way you say ma'am.' I said, 'Well, that's Southern.' And she said, 'Oh, is that the way they speak? Well, why don't you just call me Sarah?''
Pinckney said Fergie will only have to work out once a week to keep fit, which she said the duchess is determined to do because 'it is very important to her that she does look good because of her station in life.
'For her, the days of being overweight are gone forever,' Pinckney said.