Key moments from the royal family’s 2010s

Princess Anne explains why she chose not to give children HRH titles

‘I think most people would argue that there are downsides to having titles,’ royal says

Sabrina Barr@fabsab5
Thursday 01 January 1970 01:00

Princess Anne has spoken about her decision not to give her children HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) titles in a rare interview.

The Princess Royal, the second of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s four children, shares two children with her ex-husband Mark Phillips: 42-year-old Peter and 38-year-old Zara.

When Princess Anne married Phillips in 1973, he declined the offer of an earldom, with their children subsequently not being given HRH titles.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair magazine conducted in the lead-up to Princess Anne’s 70th birthday this August, the royal explained that she believes not giving Peter and Zara titles “was probably the right thing to do”.

“I think it was probably easier for them, and I think most people would argue that there are downsides to having titles,” she said.

A month before Princess Anne’s interview with royal expert Katie Nicholl took place for Vanity Fair, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention to give up their HRH titles as part of their decision to step down from their senior positions within the royal family.

Although Meghan and Prince Harry still retain their HRH titles, they are not going to use them in any capacity going forward.

Coincidentally, the day on which Princess Anne and Ms Nicholl conducted their interview at St James’s Palace was the same day it was announced her son Peter was divorcing his wife Autumn after 12 years of marriage.

Princess Anne did not address the divorce in the interview, but did speak about spending time with her four granddaughters: Peter’s daughters, nine-year-old Savannah and eight-year-old Isla, and Zara’s daughters, six-year-old Mia and one-year-old Lena.

The Princess Royal added that her lack of affinity for digital devices puts her “in the real dinosaur range”.

“I find it difficult to understand why anybody gets sucked into screens and devices,” the 69-year-old stated.

“Life’s too short, frankly. There’s more entertaining things to be done.”

On the topic of fashion, Princess Anne stated that she “very seldom” purchases clothing that isn’t made in the UK.

Admitting that she is particularly fond of Harris Tweed, the UK Fashion and Textile Association president said: “It went through a phase when it was very fashionable.

“For me the point about it is that it looks exactly the same at the end of the day as it did at the beginning. Brilliant.”

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