Princess Anne, known as the Princess Royal since she was given the title by The Queen in June 1987, is probably one of the most underrated members of the royal family.
Rarely making the news for her many charitable achievements or the hundreds of official engagements and visits she undertakes each year, the only daughter of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh is often overshadowed by the younger members of the royal family such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two (totally adorable) children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Despite this, Princess Anne is one of the hardest working and most dedicated members of the royal family.
Princess Anne has been the busiest royal for at least three years in a row now. Often totalling over 500 engagements and official visits every year, the Queen’s only daughter continues to quietly and concertedly carry out her duties in the name of the Crown.
Educated at Benenden School in Kent, Princess Anne began carrying out public engagements when she was 18 years old. Her very first official engagement on behalf of the royal family was the opening of an educational and training centre in Shropshire in 1969.
Since then, Princess Anne’s busy schedule of engagements and visits has seen her travel the length and breadth of the UK, as well as all over the world.
In 2015 Princess Royal carried out an incredible 544 official engagements in total. However, in 2016, Princess Anne fulfilled an impressive 640 engagements, topping her personal best. She carried out more official events and visits than any other member of the royal family. Including the Queen!
Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, said, “The figures show her integrity and devotion to duty. She makes herself very visible because of the extraordinary affection people have for her.”
Now, in 2017, the Princess Royal is set to beat all of her other family members once again to be crowned the hardest working royal. So far, according to data compiled by the Press Association, Princess Anne has spent 106 days attending official events and carrying out public engagements.
Her brother and the future King, Prince Charles, has only spent 87 days carrying out official engagements. The Queen has spent just 49 days carrying out engagements so far. However, this is unsurprising in light of her age and plans to slowly step back from many of her public roles and duties to slow down her hectic yearly schedule.
While the Queen now avoids long haul travel due to her age, Princess Anne at 66 is still taking trips all over the world. She flew to help launch the Olympic games in Rio in 2016 in her role as President of the British Olympic Association. And, already this year, HRH has been to Ghana and completed a week-long tour of the People’s Republic of China in July.
The Princess Royal takes part in up to three overseas tours each year on behalf of the Queen and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. These trips, which HRH undertakes as an ambassador for the UK, are in addition to the trips she makes overseas in support of her charity work.
As President of Save The Children, Princess Anne has visited countries such as China, Cambodia, Botswana, Madagascar and The Philippines on more than one occasion. Save the Children UK was one of the first ever charities the Princess Royal became closely associated with at the beginning of her royal working life. She has supported the charity tireless ever since.
The official royal family website states that Princess Anne is involved with, “over 300 charities, organisations and military regiments in the UK and overseas.”
“She devotes a large part of her working life to official engagements and visits,” the Palace adds.
Princess Anne away from the public eye
When she’s not working on behalf of the royal family, Princess Anne devotes time to her three grandchildren. Savannah and Isla Phillips, the daughters of her son Peter Mark Phillips, and little Mia Tindall, the only child of her daughter Zara’s.
Princess Anne is also a keen horsewoman, just like her mother the Queen. She was even voted the BBC’s Sports Personality in 1971 after she won the individual European Three-Day Event at Burghley.
Just like the rest of the royal family, Princess Anne didn’t choose to be royalty. However, despite the path of her life being defined by her ancestry, Princess Anne continues to carry out her duties with dignity, grace and diligence. And, for that, she has our upmost respect.