Behind the closed doors of Buckingham Palace, the royal family – or “the firm”, as it is sometimes referred to – has always been a private, tight-lipped institution.
Nonetheless, some of the more outspoken members of the family are able to break through the facade of crowns, curtsies and courtesies, becoming just as well known for their big personalities as their royal titles.
The Princess Royal, Anne – who celebrates her 70th birthday today – is one such individual, frequently making headlines as a result of her forthright manner and quick wit.
In the most recent season of The Crown, viewers of the Netflix period drama were delighted by Erin Doherty’s portrayal of Princess Anne, depicting the Queen’s only daughter as a somewhat rebellious royal in her early twenties.
Having previously said she had no interest in watching the multi-award winning series, Princess Anne recently spoke in an ITV documentary about the show, lightly mocking Doherty after it emerged that it would sometimes take two hours for the actor to have her hair done on set.
In December last year, the 70-year-old went viral when footage began circulating of her shrugging at the Queen as the monarch spoke to US president Donald Trump at Buckingham Palace.
Meanwhile, during a recent interview in Vanity Fair, the royal expressed her disdain over the mass use of digital devices, stating: “There’s more entertaining things to be done.”
From her opinions on The Crown to making an effort to keep away from Twitter at all costs, here are nine of Princess Anne’s best quotes:
1. On doing light outdoor exercise
“Golf seems to be an arduous way to go for a walk. I prefer to take the dogs out.”
2. On learning to live in the moment
“People don’t believe they’ve experienced the event unless they’ve taken a photograph.”
3. On how she is perceived by the public
“When I appear in public people expect me to neigh, grind my teeth, paw the ground and swish my tail – none of which is easy.”
4. On her disdain for digital devices
“I find it very difficult to understand why anybody gets sucked into screens and devices. Life’s too short, frankly. There’s more entertaining things to be done. I suppose that puts me in the real dinosaur range.”
5. On the forgotten royal family documentary from the 1960s
“I never liked the idea of the ‘Royal Family’ film. I always thought it was a rotten idea.”
6. On the ‘pesty’ nature of phones
“You are a pest, by the very nature of that camera in your hand.”
7. On how she found pregnancy
“Being pregnant is a very boring six months. I am not particularly maternal. It’s an occupational hazard of being a wife.”
8. On it taking two hours for Erin Doherty to have her hair done on The Crown
“I’m thinking, ‘How could you possibly take that long?’ I mean it takes me 10 or 15 minutes.”
9. On feeling no desire to use Twitter
“I mean, I know what Twitter is but I wouldn’t go anywhere near it if you paid me frankly.”
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