Princess Anne has said that it is “too late” to consider what she might have done in another life, as she reflected on her decades of service on behalf of the royal family.
Anne is the second eldest child and only daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. King Charles III is her older brother, while Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh, are her younger brothers.
The senior royal is known as the hardest-working member of The Firm, and is involved with more than 300 charities and organisations. Last year she carried out over 200 engagements.
One of her biggest causes at present is the Whitley Fund for Nature, which hosts an annual ceremony that distributes grants worth £500,000 to conservationists around the world. Anne attends each ceremony to present the awards and deliver a speech to attendees.
In a rare interview, the Princess Royal spoke to The Telegraph about how she helps run various charities.
At one point in the interview, she was asked what profession she might have chosen in another life, to which she apparently laughed and looked “vaguely impatient”.
“You can ask but I’ve no idea,” she responded.
“It’s way too late to have those concerns – in a way the fortunate part of my life has been the broad spectrum, to see so much.
“Not having a very specific interest has been a bonus, I suppose. We all have ways of doing things and with Whitley it is the practical aspects of what they do, and how to support them [that has been my focus].”
Speaking with Canada’s CBC News earlier this year, ahead of Charles’s coronation on 6 May, she threw doubt on her brother’s plan for a “slimmed-down monarchy”.
“I think the ‘slimmed down’ [remark] was said in a day when there were a few more people around,” she said. “It doesn’t sound like a good idea from where I’m standing, I would say. I’m not quite sure what else we can do.”
Anne also spoke about what kind of monarch Charles would be.
“Well, you know what you’re getting because he’s been practising for a bit and I don’t think he’ll change,” she said, referring to the fact that Charles was the longest serving Prince of Wales, the title he held for 64 years and 44 days.
“He is committed to his own level of service and that will remain true.”