Princess Anne ‘let guard drop’ claims expert
Anne, 70, is considered a royal stalwart who is completely dedicated to the monarchy’s values and one of the hardest-working members of the Firm. Despite being the Queen’s second child and continuously slipping further down the line of succession as the Royal Family grows, she has never wavered in her duties. But she did have one minor slip-up during a prestigious reception which made headlines around the world — and the upsetting occasion should act as a warning to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they consider stepping into political spheres.
The Princess Royal was attending the NATO leaders reception at Buckingham Palace two years ago when she went viral.
She was caught on camera being beckoned by the Queen to join the royal lineup to greet the world leaders.
In response, Anne simply shrugged — a particularly surprising gesture for the usually formal royal — leading many to think she was snubbing then US President Donald Trump and refusing to meet him as he stood next to her mother.
Aides in the room said Anne was actually being asked to see if anyone else needed to be greeted by the Queen, and the Princess Royal shrugged because it was only her left.
She was unaware of the commotion she triggered on social media at the time because she does not use Twitter.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Princess Anne
Meghan and Harry were accused of being political when encouraging the US public to register to vote
This occasion, combined with other leaked footage, painted an unfavourable image of the supposedly nonpartisan royal.
She was pictured chatting, and laughing, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Boris Johnson that same day.
Reports suggest the world leaders were joking about Mr Trump and his extensive press conference.
A source said: “The Princess was unhappy to be dragged into that particular story because she has always been careful not to be seen to be political in any way.
“She is also incredibly respectful, so any suggestion that she would laugh at anyone behind their backs was quite upsetting for her.”
Mr Trump has just stepped down from the White House, but he was an incredibly contentious President especially as he had little experience in politics before he was elected.
He was subsequently mocked by some world leaders for his unusual take on the presidency.
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Anne was seen laughing with Trudeau and Johnson
Anne, like the rest of the Royal Family, is expected to remain strictly apolitical to uphold the values of the constitutional monarchy.
She is traditionally very tight-lipped on everything personal, stretching from her son Peter Phillips’ recent divorce to her thoughts on international relations.
It then surprised royal watchers when, shortly after this incident, she appeared to make a tacit warning to Harry and Meghan.
Speaking to royal correspondent Katie Nicholl, she said she is the “boring old fuddy-duddy at the back saying, ‘Don’t forget the basics’” within the Royal Family.
She continued: “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?’
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Trump greeting the Queen at the December 2019 NATO reception
Anne seems to shrug when beckoned by the Queen
“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.’”
Harry and Meghan were perceived as trying to “reinvent the wheel” both when they were within the Royal Family and now in their attempts to carve out a new life for themselves away from the Firm.
While Anne may have been trying to make a general suggestion, her warning could have also been made in the context of her political slip-up at the NATO reception.
It may have been a reminder to the couple of what happens when stepping away from the monarchy’s core values.
Yet, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had already rubbed Mr Trump up the wrong way at the time of Anne’s interview with Vanity Fair, published in April last year.
The former President dubbed Meghan “nasty” back in 2019 after old comments where she called him “misogynistic” and “divisive” resurfaced.
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The rebellious royals then seemed to irk him once again when encouraging the US electorate to register to vote in an unprecedented TV address in the run-up to the presidential election.
Mr Trump ended up saying he was “not a fan” of the Duchess and wished her husband “good luck” with her — although Meghan has since maintained that she said nothing “controversial”.
It remains to be seen whether the couple will choose to continue their foray into politics now the Biden administration is in the White House.
Meghan is said to have political ambitions of her own and once expressed her dream to one day become US President.
However, the couple did agree to continue to uphold the values of the monarchy despite leaving the Firm last March, and this includes political neutrality.
The Sussexes are reportedly not looking to review the terms of their royal exit either, meaning that, for now, they are content with this single tie to the Royal Family.