Steely, passionate ...bust reveals the
SHE’S THE mould-breaking royal who prefers to let her hard work do the talking for her.
But to mark her 70th birthday Princess Anne has allowed TV cameras to follow her day-today life, giving a unique insight into what really makes the Queen’s only daughter tick.
The ITV documentary features royal sculptor Frances Segelman who has been commissioned to create a bust of the Princess to mark her milestone birthday on August 15.
And speaking exclusively to the Sunday Express, Frances has given a taste of what viewers can expect to learn about the royal having spent hours with her during sittings over the course of six months.
The documentary, set to be screened later this month, has exclusive access to the Princess, her family, staff and work.
It promises to portray “a steely, quick-witted mother, grandmother, Olympian and Nobel nominee who shows no sign of slowing down”.
In the documentary, her ladiesin-waiting admit that they struggle to keep up with her relentless pace while her charities reveal a passionate patron who keeps everyone on their toes.
And Frances couldn’t agree more. “She is an incredibly fastpaced lady who never stops wanting to do good for others,” she says. “She is kind, caring and wonderful. I really did find her to be the most amazing lady.”
Frances, who has created busts of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and the Duke of Kent, has also released these photographs that show the sculpture presenting the Princess in all her regal glory.
“I have always wanted to sculpt Princess Anne because I admire the fact that she is a very hard-working royal but she doesn’t seek out publicity,” says Frances. “I felt that to sculpt her would be an interesting way to get to know her.
“Usually I go to Buckingham Palace to sculpt the royals and I had three sittings with the Queen in the artist’s room at the Palace but Princess Anne wanted to come to my studio in Wapping,which is not the usual protocol for the royals.
“But she is a woman who very much knows her own mind. She is so down-to-earth and never wants any fuss.”
Frances was invited to St James’s Palace to meet Princess Anne’s secretary in spring last year. “I knew from sculpting the Duke of Kent at St James’s Palace that it has tiny corridors and many stairs and it’s hard to move the sculpture about so we discussed it and it transpired that Princess Anne was happy to do all of the three sittings at my studio.”
The first sitting last October took place with a lady-in-waiting in attendance.
“We shook hands and I showed her through my hall and down the stairs into my studio.
It’s the first time a member of the Royal Family has come here.
“My studio is really tiny but I ushered her to take a seat. I felt very nervous. To be sat opposite a royal is always daunting, but to make conversation I started by explaining the sculpting process and that I would need to take a series of head measurements and photographs, which the Princess agreed to without hesitation. “She had a cream suit on and looked really elegant. Her lady-in-waiting stayed in the room while I measured her with my calipers, which I use to help accurately represent my subjects’ facial proportions.
“This is particularly important for my sculptures of the Royal Family which are usually life and a quarter sized as they need to sit well proportionally in the context of tall state rooms.
“After our initial exchange the ice was broken. Princess Anne is very passionate about horse racing and the environment and is very fired up about green issues and saving energy. In that respect, she is very much like Prince Charles and is a very caring person.
“It was so interesting to actually be sculpting this royal who I had read so much about. It was hard, though, because not only did I have to relax in my first sitting, I also had to chat and get the correct likeness. But Princess Anne was so nice and chatty, she really put me at ease.”
Frances recalls how the Princess Royal left after the allocated one-hour sitting to go straight to another appointment, having already been to an event that morning.
By the second sitting, in December, Frances had read up about horse racing and all about Princess Anne’s charities.
“I just wanted to make the Princess feel at ease too by being as informed as I could be,” she says. “When the second sitting took place I felt much more relaxed and any nerves had subsided.
“Princess Anne is passionate about the work that she does for UK Youth, of whom she has been a patron of since 2003, and her work as President of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers since it launched in 2011.
“The second sitting, however, was very squashed as we had the film crew with us. It was a bit challenging. But Princess Anne remained calm and looked very neat and smart in a turquoise green suit with a high collar. Her hair was pulled back but it suited her.
The ITV documentary features unseen family footage and conversations with the Princess, her children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and