Known for her strong character, but also her discreet devotion to her royal duties, Princess Anne rarely shows her emotions. But the daughter of Elizabeth II could not hide her grief as she accompanied her mother on her last trip.
His brother King Charles III recalled to London to fulfill his first obligations as sovereign, it was his sister who followed the procession, visibly upset, during the six-hour drive from the castle of Balmoral at Edinburgh.
Her bow to the hearse as she arrived in the Scottish capital moved Britons in the ultimate act of devotion to her mother after a lifetime of service.
On Monday, the Princess Royal, a title she has had since 1987 as the eldest daughter of the monarch, walked alongside the king and their two brothers during the procession carrying the coffin of Elizabeth II from the castle ofHolyroodhouse to the cathedral of Saint-Gilles. She will be on the plane which will then take the body to London.
At 72, his role could now change with the advent of Charles III, who could find support from his sister when he takes on his new role.
Anne has indeed the reputation of being the most zealous member of the royal family, combining a career as a high-level horsewoman having taken her to the Olympic Games, and a life of public engagements carried out at a sustained pace and in relative discretion, far from the scandals of recent years.
Much like her outspoken father, Prince Philip, she reportedly described herself as no “does not correspond to the image that everyone has of the princess of fairy tales“. “We learn the hard way“, she recounted. “There is no school for royalty“.
Anne, sometimes considered cold and criticized for her acerbic humor, never sought to please the press, believing that she was not there to “do acrobatics“, and once asking the photographers to “fuck off“. She worked her way through her parents’ royal system while choosing a more modern path for her own children.
The princess, who writes her speeches herself, has also earned respect for her support of 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 passerby were injured by gunfire.
A document released by the National Archives later revealed that the assailant, Ian Ball, pointed his gun at Anne, telling her: “I want you to come with me for a day or two because I want 2 million pounds. Are you going to get in the car?” This to which Anne replied sharply: “Certainly not and I don’t have 2 million pounds“.
Born on August 15, 1950, Anne inherited her mother’s passion for horses and quickly became a seasoned athlete. In 1971 she won the European Eventing Championship. “I saw (in this sports career) the way to prove that I had something outside of my family, and that victory or defeat depended only on me“, she said. She became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1988 and took part in the organizing committee of the London Olympics in 2012.
Married to rider Mark Philipps in 1972, their union was followed by around 500 million people on television. They had two children – Peter and Zara – and breaking tradition, the couple decided that Mark Phillips would not take the royal title so their children could feel free to lead their own lives. The couple divorced in 1992 and nine months later the princess married Commander Timothy Laurence, a former squire to Queen Elizabeth. Their marriage was celebrated in Scotland, the Church of England not allowing the unions of divorced people.