Princess Anne has sat down with for an interview Vanity Fair, to mark her 70th birthday this year. The Princess Royal seems to offer her younger Royal Family members advice in pleading: “do not reinvent that particular wheel”.
Anne, who is often ignored by the media in her hundreds of engagements across the UK and abroad each year, describes herself as “the boring old fuddy-duddy at the back, saying, ‘Don’t forget the basics”.”
The Queen’s only daughter is famed for her sharp tongue and no-nonsense ways, and apperas to be offering advice in her statements made in the interview, but does not mention anyone by name.
“I don’t think this younger generation probably understands what I was doing in the past and it’s often true, isn’t it? You don’t necessarily look at the previous generation and say, ‘Oh, you did that?’ Or, ‘You went there?’,” Anne commented.
The Princess has been patron of Save the Children for four decades. Anne explains that she spent 10 years learning about the organisation before she felt she had the understanding needed to take part in any public debates on behalf of the charity.
“Nowadays, they’re much more looking for, ‘Oh let’s do it a new way,’” she said. “And I’m already at the stage, ‘Please do not reinvent that particular wheel. We’ve been there, done that. Some of these things don’t work. You may need to go back to basics.’”
Some have inferred that Anne refers to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have since left the Royal Family as working members to pursue their own agenda outside of palace confines and to be ‘financially independent’.
The Princess’ 70th birthday comes in August, but Anne admitted she has no signs to retire, referencing her nonagenarian parents, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip chose to retire in 2017, at the age of 95 – he turns 99 in June, while The Queen marks her 94th birthday in a week.
“I don’t think retirement is quite the same [for me],’ she said. “Most people would say we’re very lucky not to be in that situation because you wouldn’t want to just stop.
“It is, to a large extent, the choice of the organisations you’re involved with and whether they feel you’re still relevant.
Commenting on her parents passing various patronages on, Princess Anne agreed: “I think both my father and my mother have, quite rightly, made decisions about, you know, “I can’t spend enough time doing this and we need to find somebody else to do it” because it makes sense.
“I have to admit they continued being there for a lot longer than I had in mind, but we’ll see,” she said wryly.
The May issue of Vanity Fair featuring Anne’s interview is available via digital download and to purchase at newsagents from Friday 17th April.