Princess Anne speaks to Canadian TV about the coronation & future of the Monarchy

The King's sister spoke on a wide range of topics

Princess Anne recently sat down for an interview with Canada’s CBC News, and nothing was off the table.

Anne, who gave a wide ranging interview to chief correspondent Adrienne Arsenault, is the only senior member of the Royal Family to have spoken in this way ahead of Saturday’s coronation.

Sitting down together at St James’s Palace, the Princess spoke about her parents, her older brother, her role in the coronation – and the future of the Monarchy.

Princess Anne spoke to CBC ahead of the coronation, from St James’s Palace

The big questions, of course, surrounded King Charles and what kind of Monarch he will be, after spending most of his life as the heir to the throne.

‘Well, you know what you’re getting because he’s been practising for a bit, and I don’t think he’ll change,’ Anne explained. ‘He is committed to his own level of service, and that will remain true.’

Anne herself is a very hard working Royal, regularly topping the family table for most engagements in a year, and has spent most of her life supporting her parents. She told Arsenault that throughout her mother’s 70-year reign, that both the Queen and the activities of the family didn’t change very much and that there was ‘a rhythm to the year’ meaning you knew what to expect.

Her tight schedule is partly ‘by design’ she explained, as it’s ‘really the only way to organise a life’.

But with a new Monarch comes a new way of doing things and Anne said that ‘for the rest of us [the Royal Family], it’s more a question of, OK, we have to shift the way we support. And that’s what we need to do.’

Charles and Anne attended the Order of the Thistle service during Holyrood Week. (Royal Family)

She couldn’t answer how things would change for her own work yet, but from the outside, since the Queen’s death, little has properly changed other than Charles and Camilla taking centre stage, and arguably a lower number of engagements being carried out across the family, as they have appeared less visible.

This is perhaps to help The King solidify his role, or might be a reflection of the new palace regime oiling itself into a steady rhythm.

Of course, one major change over the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign was the, somewhat, drop in support of the Royal Family and people openly questioning their relevance. And, while the institution is currently receiving a boost in support with the coronation coming up, questions remain about the future of the Monarchy both at home and abroad.

‘It’s not a conversation that I would necessarily have,’ the Princess said on the topic of the relevance of her family. She does admit that there are moments when the conversation should happen: ‘But I would just underline that the Monarchy provides, with the constitution, a degree of long-term stability that is actually quite hard to come by in any other way.’

Another thing Anne is not too keen on is Charles III’s plans to slim down the number of working Royals. At 72, The Princess Royal is already one of the hardest working family members, and says that ‘it doesn’t sound like a good idea from where I’m standing, I have to say,’ she laughed. ‘I’m not quite sure what else, you know, we can do.’

Although she does admit that her brother’s comments were said in a time where ‘there were a few more people around to make that seem like a justifiable comment’.

It seems that the departure of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Duke of York’s effective removal from public duties and the ageing cousins of the late Queen have all had an impact on this plan.

As for the coronation itself? Well, Anne will be taking on the role of Gold Stick, which will see her travel on horseback behind the newly crowned King and Queen. This is a role she has as Colonel of the Blues and Royals, but she was asked to if she would like to undertake this duty on her brother’s coronation day.

Embed from Getty Images

The role is a purely ceremonial one these days, but in centuries past Gold Stick was a bodyguard of Monarchs, tasked with protecting them. The sentiment of Charles asking his sister to take on this role is not lost on those who have followed their lives – but why did Anne say yes? ‘Not least of all it solves my dress problem,’ she joked.

The Princess added that the coronation is ‘fundamentally important’ and ‘a very essential part of the responsibilities of the Crown’. ‘It’s not just a ceremony,’ she added.

Turning to more recent events and the loss of the Queen, Anne discussed escorting her mother’s body from Balmoral to London. She explained she ‘took a lot of it in’, adding it was an ‘impressive sight’ and ‘really touching, the way people responded’.

Discussing the impact of Covid, Anne commented on her father’s final months. The Princess said that the pandemic ‘stole’ some of those moments that ‘kept [Philip] interested’, for example family and friends visiting.

And for the Queen too, having to sit alone at the Duke’s funeral; she was glad she and the wider family didn’t see this at the time, but ‘the photographs make it worse somehow’.

She finished the interview with a comment about the Monarchy’s role and its benefits, indicating she had no worries about its future: ‘I believe that there is genuine benefit from this particular arrangement. It has good long term benefits, and that commitment to long-term is what the Monarchy stands for.’

Watch the full segment below.

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