Princess Anne’s blunt view of Queen stepping back: ‘Been longer than I had in mind!’

Princess Anne has 'gravitas' for counsellor of state says expert

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This week, Princess Anne and Prince William have been taking on royal duties while the 95-year-old monarch is taking some time out to rest, on doctors’ advice. Her Majesty cancelled several engagements last month and this month after a brief overnight stay in hospital, and is now only taking part in light duties within palace walls. The Princess Royal and Duke of Cambridge conducted two Investiture ceremonies at Windsor Castle on Tuesday afternoon. Anne, 71 and William, 39, handed out awards to more than 120 people who had been recognised in the Queen’s honours’ list.

The event came just two days after the Queen pulled out of the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph on Sunday due to a sprained back.

On Wednesday, the Queen was seen holding a face-to-face audience with General Sir Nick Carter, the chief of the defence staff, her first public engagement since 19 October.

The Queen’s devotion to her duties has long-been recognised, but her daughter Anne admitted last year that she was surprised her mother was still playing such an active role for the monarchy.

Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine ahead of her 70th birthday in April 2020, Anne reflected on how the Queen and Prince Philip were handing down some of their responsibilities to their children and grandchildren.

She said: “I think both my father and my mother have, quite rightly, made decisions about, you know, ‘I can’t spend enough time doing this and we need to find somebody else to do it’, because it makes sense.

“I have to admit they continued being there for a lot longer than I had in mind, but we’ll see.”

The Queen’s recent health issues have led one source within the Royal Family to express concern that Her Majesty may need to scale back her duties.

A source told the MailOnline this week: “I firmly believe the public won’t see her out and about as much. That said, she will still be visible, carrying out less taxing engagements within palace walls.

“The whole video and virtual engagement development as a result of COVID-19 has given palace aides options they didn’t have before. But there will definitely be a change in pace.”

Palace aides were reported to have said “nothing can be ruled out, and nothing can be ruled in” but said some events such as handing out honours could be scaled back to include smaller sessions or one-on-ones in private.

Following the Queen’s absence on Sunday, another royal source said: “It is the most unfortunate timing for Her Majesty who recently had a short break to Sandringham in Norfolk for a few days and was left feeling rested and recuperated on her return to Windsor Castle.

“On conversation with royal doctors it was decided that a back sprain is not conducive with a car journey and a period of standing.

“Her Majesty is deeply disappointed to miss the ceremony.”

As younger royals take on more responsibility, Anne had some advice for them in the same Vanity Fair interview.

She said: “Nowadays, they’re much more looking for: ‘Oh, let’s do it a new way.’

“And I’m already at the stage, ‘Please do not reinvent that particular wheel. We’ve been there, done that. Some of these things don’t work. You may need to go back to basics’.”

Anne could be granted with a prestigious role in the near future, as she is tipped to replace Prince Harry as the next Captain General of the Royal Marines.

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Source told The Sunday Times recently that Anne was “very keen” to take on the role.

In line with the Royal Family’s military connections, she is currently Patron of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity as well as being Commodore-in-Chief for Portsmouth.

The Queen’s only daughter had a close relationship with her late father, Prince Philip, who was known for his love of the British Armed Forces.

Following his death, Anne said: “You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready. My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.”

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