Scottish birthday plans for Princess Anne scaled back

The Princess Royal’s 70th birthday has been marked with the release of three official photographs to celebrate the milestone.

One of three official photographs taken by John Swannell of The Princess Royal which have been released to celebrate her 70th birthday. Picture : John Swannell / Camera Press

Anne is known for her no-nonsense approach to life and tenacious attitude, but in the images she is pictured smiling and looking relaxed at her Gatcombe Park home in Gloucestershire.

Wearing a Maureen Baker evening dress and Sue Palmer bolero jacket, the Queen’s only daughter looks stylish as she poses for celebrated photographer John Swannell and smiles broadly while sat in a chair.

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Swannell has taken photographs of everyone from Diana, Princess of Wales and her sons and the Queen’s official Diamond Jubilee portrait in 2012 to Tony Blair, Sir Michael Caine and Sir Elton John.

The Princess Royal, up on Goodwill, taking the water-jump during the cross-country event of the Badminton Horse Trials. Picture: PA/PA Wire

In another picture the princess looks directly at the camera, with a hint of a smile on her lips, wearing a Sue Palmer emerald green dress and a gold ribbon knot brooch, set with 12 diamonds.

The images were taken in late February – a few weeks before the coronavirus lockdown. Anne celebrates her 70th birthday today. Her son-in-law Mike Tindall has already revealed Covid-19 and the recent spike of cases in Aberdeen have meant plans to mark the day have been scaled back.

The former England rugby star, who is married to Anne’s daughter Zara, said alternative arrangements were being made.

Speaking earlier this week on BBC’s The One Show, Tindall said: “We did have plans – it would’ve been up in Scotland – but obviously with Covid and Aberdeen being locked down a bit, I think everything’s been scaled back a little bit.

“It’s a shame. I’m sure we’ll do something as a family to celebrate her 70 amazing years. She’s just an incredible woman in terms of how much work she can get through in the year.

“We will be doing something, as yet I don’t know whether she knows – so my lips are sealed.”

It is thought Anne is in Scotland like the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who traditionally spend the summer at Balmoral.

Despite the limitations of Covid-19, Anne’s milestone has been marked by a TV documentary and she has also guest-edited Country Life magazine.

In the ITV film, the princess suggested social media was adding to the pressures already faced by younger members of the royal family, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Anne was followed by film-makers for more than a year to make the programme, which featured unseen family footage and conversations with her children, Peter Phillips and Zara, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Speaking about the younger members of the monarchy, she 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.”

Anne also said she hoped her legacy would be the passing-on of her knowledge and experience.

When she guest-edited Country Life, the princess also wrote about holding an HGV licence, how she hates fly-tipping, and that she sees herself when she writes about rural affairs as a “classic Jack-of-all trades”.


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