Princess Anne might just be one of our favorite royals—and not only because we fell in love with The Crown's portrayal, with Erin Doherty playing the rebellious and flirtatious teenage princess in the Netflix show's most recent season.
Now, in an exciting new tell-all for Vanity Fair, Princess Anne (the queen's second child and only daughter) gives a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at royal life, and offers her advice to "the younger generation of royals."
In the interview with Vanity Fair royal correspondent Katie Nicholl, the "royal rebel" (as dubbed by the magazine's May cover story) reveals that she's glad she never gave HRH titles to her two children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips.
“I think it was probably easier for them, and I think most people would argue that there are downsides to having titles,” Princess Anne, 69, said. “So I think that was probably the right thing to do.”
The interview, which took place a month after the Sussexes' explosive announcement, seems to indirectly endorse Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step away from the royal family as senior working members and become financially independent.
As you'll surely recall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in January that they were stepping away from royal life. In order to do so, Queen Elizabeth said they were no longer allowed to actively use the word "royal" or their honorary titles of "His and Her Royal Highnesses." You'll also recall that Meghan and Harry opted to not give baby Archie a "prince" title like his cousins George, Charlotte and Louis, instead opting for the more generic "Master" Archie.
But Anne doesn't make it easy. She says that, at the risk of sounding like a “boring old fuddy-duddy at the back," the younger generation of royals should not try to "reinvent the wheel," especially when it comes to philanthropy.
When speaking of her time spent working with the Save the Children foundation, she says that her boots-on-the-ground approach to service is something the working royals must embrace.
“I don’t think this younger generation probably understands what I was doing in the past and it’s often true, isn’t it? You don’t necessarily look at the previous generation and say, ‘Oh, you did that?’ Or, ‘You went there?’ 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 said.
Is that a reference to Meghan and Harry's newly announced Archewell Foundation? Or even a reference to Kate and William's recent upgrades to their Royal Foundation website? Or just a broad generalization of the roles royals play in today's world? It's hard to say, but the queen's second child did avoid getting too political with any of her statements.
Is Princess Anne now our favorite royal for being a self-described "fuddy duddy"? Absolutely.