Princess Anne has spoken about one of her niche interests in the foreword for a book. Christopher Nicholson’s 288-page text has been updated to include the modern technology used by lighthouse authorities as well as Irish rock lighthouses. Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter is the patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), the General Lighthouse Authority responsible for the waters surrounding Scotland and the Isle of Man.
In her brief comment, Anne expresses the importance lighthouses have played in the history of humanity for centuries and how technological advancements have affected them.
But she also candidly spoke about her “own deep and long-held interest” in lighthouses on the British Isles.
Her foreword read: “Lighthouses are an enduring symbol of man’s tenacity, ingenuity and altruism in the face of the unrelenting power and destructive force of nature.
“Over the centuries they have enabled many lives to be saved, and in so doing have become part of our history, folklore and engineering achievements.
“From first construction to modern day automation, our lighthouses have been upgraded and modified to make use of advancing technology, but they still remain beacons of light in the dark.
“Built by men of courage and vision they have become symbols of our determination to co-exist with nature, and even though they are no longer under the care of the lighthouse keeper, they still evoke feelings of security and reliability.
“My association with all of the British lighthouse authorities stems from my own deep and long-held interest in our lighthouses.
“The accounts you will read in this book are a fascinating record of a bygone era, dogged determination and humane achievement, so it is a book that I found thoroughly absorbing.”
This isn’t the first time Anne has written about her passion for lighthouses. In 2015, her foreword appeared also at the beginning of Ian Cowe’s book, “Scottish and Manx Lighthouses”.
In it, King Charles’s sister wrote of the “remoteness and exceptional natural beauty” of the sights shown in the images included in Mr Cowe’s book.
As patron of the NLB since 1993, Anne has visited several lighthouses with the organisations over the past decades.
She regularly joins the organisation on its ship Pharos, which every year carries out inspection voyages.
Anne is also believed to have undertaken private trips to view some of the lighthouses in Scotland.
Moreover, the Princess Royal got to explore a lighthouse across the pond as recently as in October 2022.
As part of her low-ley trip to New York last year, the sister of the sovereign visited the National Lighthouse Museum in the city borough of Staten Island.
Praising the institution, the royal said in a brief speech at the time: “The lighthouse still has a really important part to play.
“The story that goes with lighthouses and how we got here is just as important, and [the] museum has made an astonishing impact in telling that story.”
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