An emotional Princess Anne spoke today about her heartache as she left Balmoral after the death of the Queen, and recounted the “touching” moment she saw thousands of grieving Brits line the streets to say goodbye.
In a rare, candid interview, the stoic Princess Royal, 72, opened up about her relationship with her late mother and paid tribute to “the sheer number of people” who lined the streets from Balmoral to Edinburgh and later from London to Windsor following the Queen’s death.
The princess, who looked visibly moved as she escorted her mother’s coffin in a funeral procession last September, said she “picked up a lot” as she walked past mourners, adding that she “spotted people” who she knew along the way’.
She told Canada’s CBC News in a poignant interview: “It was such an amazing sight and it was more than that because it was really touching[to see]how people reacted and how they did things. …
“You would never miss the sheer number of people who showed up in the most extraordinary places, and the atmosphere it created.”
In a rare interview with Canada’s CBC News, Princess Anne opened up about her heartache at leaving Balmoral after the Queen’s death and recounted the “touching” moment that was mourned by thousands of Britons who lined the streets to say goodbye
Reflecting on the tens of thousands of mourners who lined the street to bid the Queen a final farewell, Princess Anne said it was a “touching” and “awe-inspiring place”.
In Glenfarg, a village in Perth and Kinross, horsemen lined the fields around the road where the Queen’s funeral procession passed
The Princess spoke of the number of people from rural communities across Scotland who brought out their ponies and horses with braided tails.
Tractors lined the street looking “tidy, everything clean,” which the grieving daughter described as “an amazing place.”
When asked how she felt the last time she left the Queen’s beloved Balmoral with her mother, she spoke of her own pain.
The princess said: “Leaving Balmoral was never easy but it was never easy either, I mean I was just as bad when I left as a kid.”
The Queen had chosen her only daughter to accompany the funeral procession as she saw Princess Anne take on what was perhaps the most difficult role after the monarch’s death.
Anne, who was accompanied by her 30-year-old husband Sir Timothy Laurence as she is driven in a Bentley behind the hearse, was visibly moved as she looked at members of the public who had come to pay their respects.
The mother and daughter had enjoyed a close bond, which was evident every time they were spotted together.
Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, was chosen by her mother to accompany the funeral procession on the six-hour journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh (pictured). Speaking of that day in September, she said it wasn’t ‘easy’
Throughout the interview, the princess also reflected on her exceptionally close relationship with her mother, the Queen (pictured at Royal Ascot in 2013).
Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, was chosen by the Queen to attend her coffin. She looked visibly upset as she walked past thousands of mourners
She fondly recalled the exceptionally close mother-daughter bond between her and the Queen, saying: “The relationship, if you’re lucky, will remain very similar throughout your life.”
Throughout the interview, the princess continued to reflect on the future of the British monarchy.
Speaking in defense of the monarchy, she insisted it continues to bring “long-term stability” and “goodness to Britain and the Commonwealth” and warned that it should not be slimmed down any further.
In recent years, since 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have stepped down from their jobs and Prince Andrew has been stripped of his Royal Highness, patronage and military affiliations by the late Queen.
Before becoming king, Charles advocated wanting fewer working members of the royal family and a cheaper, smaller institution.
During the interview, the princess defended the British monarchy and suggested there was no need to further “slim down” the royal family. Pictured: King Charles and Princess Anne in Aberdeenshire a week before their mother’s death
But the princess has hinted that the number of working members of the royal family is already small enough.
She said: “Well I think the ‘slimming down’ was said on a day when there were a few more people there. From my point of view, that doesn’t sound like a good idea, I would say. I’m not quite sure what else we can do.’
Adding her defense of the monarchy, which has faced a backlash in some Commonwealth countries like Australia and New Zealand in recent days, she said: “There will be one [conversations about relevance] overall. It’s not a conversation I would necessarily have.
“It’s absolutely true that there comes a moment when you need to have this discussion, but I just want to stress that the monarchy with the constitution offers a level of long-term stability that is really difficult to achieve any other way. ‘
When asked what kind of king her brother would be, the humorous princess joked, “Well you know what you’re getting because he’s practiced a bit and I don’t think he’s going to change.”
A new poll published in the Mail today shows most believe the king should apologize for historical links between the monarchy and slavery, for which Charles recently signaled his support.
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