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Princess Anne has bemoaned the “wall of phones” that greet her on public engagements.
The 71-year-old royal enjoys meeting wellwishers who have “stories to tell” when she goes on walkabouts at her meetings, but she’s find technology increasingly “gets in the way”.
She said: “It’s always interesting – because you just find people with stories to tell. So yes, I’m less daunted but maybe approach it slightly differently.
“Of course, weirdly, technology rather gets in the way now because whereas in those days [there was] the odd camera – now if you’re not careful it’s a wall of phones and you can’t actually see anybody.”
Anne recently visited Australia, 52 years after she first went Down Under with her parents, Queen Elizabeth and the late Duke of Edinburgh and she admitted she hadn’t realised just how tiring their work could be until then, though she’s learned to “pace [herself] better these days.
She told Australia’s Woman’s Weekly magazine: “We’d been away for a while by then so we were getting into the swing of it. I think there is no way they [the Queen and the Duke] could have prepared you for just how tiring it gets.
“Suddenly you find that you’ve woken up in the middle of the night having a nightmare that you’re standing in the middle of a reception and you can’t speak.
“That creeps up on you and I think you just learn to pace yourself. I can now sleep in any form of transport, which does help!”
The Princess Royal has also learned to adapt her wardrobe according to the weather.
She said: “Milliners do things which make perfect sense when you’re standing still inside; it makes slightly less sense when you’re outside in a draught, especially when it’s blowing from behind you, but that’s experience, as they say. These things you learn how to deal with.”
And of adding weights to her skirt hems, she added: “For some materials that was an absolute necessity. It’s fine if you want to wear light clothes but airports, always breezy, never a good idea, so you find some way of dealing with that.
“It’s a very old-fashioned habit. You wouldn’t find it much now unless you actually asked or had things specifically made.”
Anne thinks her mother has a great sense of “style”.
She said: “The Queen and I had a discussion the other day about the difference between fashion and style and I think maybe that’s relevant in the sense that she didn’t do fashion but she certainly does style, and style tends to last longer. You have an individual style and it’s a quality which has a long-term value.”