The Daily Telegraph

Royal trouper Anne delivers in hour of need

The Princess Royal might have been a Daddy’s girl but her devotion to her mother proves invaluable

- Camilla Tominey

The Princess has built a reputation as someone who can carry out multiple engagement­s in a day and still have time to cram more duties into her evening schedule

Although she was never going to end up being queen, in leading Scotland in mourning today, Anne once again proves she is very much her mother’s daughter

As her only daughter and someone who shares her love of horses – as well as her devotion to duty – the Princess Royal had always been one of Queen Elizabeth’s closest confidante­s.

Although regarded as something of a “Daddy’s girl”, thanks to her closeness, and likeness to her father, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne swiftly became the one member of the Royal family upon whom Queen Elizabeth could always rely.

In accompanyi­ng her late mother’s coffin on the six-hour journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh yesterday, the 72-year-old once again lived up to her reputation as a royal trouper who always goes the extra mile.

Accompanie­d by Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, her husband of nearly 30 years, the Princess followed the hearse carrying the late Queen’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard and a wreath of flowers taken from her beloved Balmoral estate.

In addition to taking part in yesterday’s events in Duthie Park, Aberdeen, and Holyroodho­use in Edinburgh, as well as today’s procession to St Giles’ Cathedral, Anne will also be entrusted with accompanyi­ng her mother’s coffin on the one-hour RAF flight back to London tomorrow evening.

The grandmothe­r of five, who appeared tearful as she joined her children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall to inspect the floral tributes on Saturday, will have been well used to the local geography as the funeral cortege snaked its way through the Scottish Highlands to Aberdeen, before turning south to Edinburgh.

Like her late mother, the Princess Royal has always adored Scotland, where she married Sir Tim at Crathie Kirk in 1992, before honeymooni­ng on Royal Deeside. As she once said: “Scotland is such a beautiful country with such passionate people, who could fail to want to be a part of it?”

Her love affair with the country began with childhood holidays at Balmoral but it was when, aged five, her mother took her to Portvoller, a village on the Isle of Lewis, that she became fascinated with lighthouse­s – later making it her life’s mission to visit every one in the UK.

The Princess, who is patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, is as devoted to horseracin­g as her later mother. Prince Philip once famously said of his daughter: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.” As such, she would regularly attend race meetings with Queen Elizabeth – as well as take an active interest in her mother’s dogs and horses. The late Queen was so devoted to her animals that she requested a camera be rigged up in the stables at Sandringha­m so she could watch her horses give birth live.

She was always incredibly proud of Anne’s equestrian achievemen­ts. After winning one gold medal in 1971 and two silver medals in 1975 at the European Eventing Championsh­ips, the Princess became the first Royal to compete in the Olympic Games in 1976. When her children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall inherited their mother’s sporting prowess (Peter excelling in rugby and Zara winning the European World Eventing Championsh­ips as well as a team silver at London 2012), Queen Elizabeth used to take great pride in sharing the details with friends. She admired the way in which her daughter had shunned titles for her children and allowed them to make their own way – often telling others that Zara qualified as a physiother­apist and marvelling at the fact she had a HGV licence to drive her own horse box.

Queen Elizabeth appreciate­d the way her daughter, often dubbed the hardest-working member of the Royal family, would carry out more public appearance­s than any other royal, bar her brother Charles, with little fanfare.

Sharing her late mother’s great energy, over the years the Princess Royal has built a reputation as someone who can carry out multiple engagement­s in a day and still have time to cram more duties into her evening schedule. Queen Elizabeth grew more dependent on her daughter in her later years, especially following the deaths of the Queen Mother and her sister, Princess Margaret, within months of each other in 2002. The pair got on so well because the Princess shared so many of her late father’s traits: a love of the countrysid­e, an intellectu­al curiosity about life, and an inability to suffer fools gladly.

Those gone before would have taken great comfort from the fact that Anne was at the late Queen’s bedside during her final hours, along with the King.

In 2013, Queen Elizabeth oversaw a law change ending male preference or primogenit­ure. Although it was not applied retrospect­ively, the move to ensure that future royal daughters could not be surpassed in the line of succession by their younger brothers was seen as a gesture recognisin­g Anne’s contributi­on to “The Firm”.

Although she was never going to end up being queen, in leading Scotland in mourning Anne, once again, proves she is very much her mother’s daughter.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom