Younger royals face greater pressure due to social media, says Anne

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The Princess Royal has suggested social media is adding to the pressures already faced by younger members of the royal family.

Interviewed for a documentary marking her 70th birthday next month, Anne also said she hoped her legacy would be the passing on of her knowledge and experience.

The Queen’s daughter was followed for more than a year by film-makers for the ITV programme, which features unseen family footage and conversations with her children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Commenting on the latest generation of royals, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the princess said: “The pressure that is applied to the younger members of the family is always worse, because that’s what the media is interested in and that’s, you know, hard sometimes to deal with.

Zara Tindall, Timothy Laurence and the Princess Royal have all given interviews for the birthday documentary (Andrew Matthews/PA)

In the film, due to be screened on Wednesday, Anne commented further on social media: “With online technology … being in touch is one thing but it’s not quite the same.

“The ability to meet people, that’s what makes the difference. I mean, I know what Twitter is but I wouldn’t go anywhere near it if you paid me frankly. But that’s a slightly different issue.”

Famously known as the hardest-working member of the royal family her daughter Zara said: “Age is not a thing to her it’s, you know, very much … the more she keeps doing the younger she’ll stay.”

The Princess Royal on her Gloucestershire estate, Gatcombe Park (Barry Batchelor/PA)

Anne said: “Slow down, I thought I had slowed down. I think the thing that nags away at you is that after all this time you should have learnt something.

“And there is an element of responsibility to make sure that you kind of knit that knowledge together and pass that on.”

Interviewed during the lockdown at her home of Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, the Queen’s daughter sympathised with families trying to isolate without outdoor space.

“It’s frustrating I think but look around here, it’s not hard here. The idea of being stuck in a block of flats, with small children, I can’t imagine how difficult that would be.”

The royal family
A young Princess Anne with the royal family (PA)

The film chronicles her life from her school days to her first marriage to Captain Mark Phillips, tours with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the 1974 failed kidnap attempt on the princess, her equestrian achievements and her professional involvement in London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

In a lighter moment, Anne is shown during a sitting for a bust being created by sculptor Frances Segelman and expresses her amazement at how long it took to create the hairstyle of the actress who played her in the popular Netflix drama The Crown, saying it only takes her “10 or 15 minutes”.

Anne, pictured during a Six Nations match at the home of Scottish rugby, Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, is patron of the Scottish rugby's governing body. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Anne, pictured during a Six Nations match at the home of Scottish rugby, Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, is patron of Scottish rugby’s governing body. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

He revealed that when they have a rare break and take their boat out onto the waters around Scotland, she is a better sailor then him.

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