Known for her strong character but also for her discreet devotion to her royal duties, Princess Anne rarely shows her feelings.
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But Elizabeth II’s daughter couldn’t hide her grief after her mother’s death.
“I had the opportunity to share the last 24 hours of my dear mother’s life. It was an honor and a privilege to accompany him on his final journey,” Princess Anne said in a statement from Buckingham Palace on Tuesday night, thanking those who showed so much “love and respect” for the deceased.
The Princess praised Elizabeth II’s contribution to “national identity” and concluded her message with the words: “Thank you to my mother the Queen”.
His brother King Charles III. called back to London to carry out his first duties as sovereign, it was his sister who followed the procession, visibly annoyed, during the six-hour journey from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh.
Her bow in front of the hearse as she arrived in the Scottish capital moved Brits to the ultimate act of devotion to their mother after a lifetime of service.
The Princess Royal, a title she has held as the eldest daughter of the monarch since 1987, walked alongside the king and her two brothers in the procession that carried Elizabeth II’s coffin from Holyroodhouse Castle to Saint Gilles Cathedral on Monday.
She was still on board the military plane that took the remains to London.
Now, at 72, his role could change with the arrival of Charles III, who could find support from his sister as he takes on his new role.
Indeed, Anne has a reputation for being the most zealous member of the royal family, combining a career as a top-class equestrian that has taken her to the Olympics with a life of public engagements, conducted at a sustained pace and with relative discretion be performed. far from the scandals of recent years.
She looked a lot like her outspoken father, Prince Philip, and reportedly described herself as “not everyone’s picture of a fairytale princess.”
“You learn the hard way,” she said. “There is no school for kings”.
Anne, who is sometimes seen as cold and criticized for her snarky humor, never tried to please the press because she believed she wasn’t there to “do acrobatics,” and once urged photographers to “hell break loose to be”.
She worked her way through her parents’ royal system while choosing a more modern path for her children.
The princess, who writes her speeches herself, has also earned respect for her support from more than 300 charities, various organizations and military regiments.
In 1974, she was the target of an attempted kidnapping when the car she was traveling in was targeted. Two police officers, his driver and a passer-by were shot and injured.
A document released by the National Archives later revealed attacker Ian Ball pointed his gun at Anne and told her: “I would like you to come with me for a day or two because I want £2million. Are you getting in the car?” To which Anne replied sharply, “Certainly not and I don’t have two million pounds”.
Born on August 15, 1950, Anne inherited her mother’s passion for horses and quickly became a skilled athlete.
In 1971 she won the European Eventing Championships.
“I’ve seen the path (in this sports career) to prove that I have something outside of my family and that winning or losing depends only on me,” she said.
She became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1988 and participated in the Organizing Committee of the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Married to driver Mark Philipps in 1973, their union was watched on television by an estimated 500 million people.
They had two children – Peter and Zara – and breaking with tradition, the couple decided Mark Phillips would not accept the royal title so that their children could feel free to live their own lives.
The couple divorced in 1992 and nine months later the Princess married Commander Timothy Laurence, a former squire of Queen Elizabeth, in Scotland as the Church of England does not allow marriages between divorced people.
Princess Anne has five grandchildren.