Princess Anne had to 'stake out' her role in family says Nicholl
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Anne is preparing to travel abroad next month to France. She will meet the senior representative of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Buckingham Palace has announced. Anne is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and will hold meetings with officials working on the various sporting events.
She has had a long association with the Olympics since she won a place to compete in the 1976 Montreal Olympics as a three-day eventer.
The visit will be just one in a number of duties the royal carries out in the next month, having become known as one of the hardest-working members of the family.
A lifetime of engagements, Anne has also attended countless events within the Royal Family like birthdays, dinners and weddings.
So, when Princess Diana refused to attend the christening of her newborn daughter Zara, Anne hit the roof.
The intense confrontation was recounted by royal author Ingrid Seward in her 1995 book, ‘Prince Edward’.
Delving into the complicated relationships between warring members of the family, she wrote: “Such occasions are a cornerstone of the Royal Family’s routine, and essential part of the theatricality of their brand of monarchy; a moment when the whole family is on parade.
“It would never have occurred to Edward or any of his family not to turn out for one.
“Diana, however, chose not to attend.
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“She had been telling friends beforehand that she had no intention of going but, rather through a failure of manners or courage, it was not until 48 hours before the actual ceremony that she telephoned Princess Anne to inform her that she would not be there.
“Her excuse was that she was too busy preparing for the wedding ball that was being held in her honour that night.
“The tone of Anne’s response would have chilled the Arctic.”
Later on, it was widely reported that Diana chose not to go because she knew Camilla Parker Bowles would be in attendance.
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Camilla’s former husband, Andrew, had a past with Anne and was made Zara’s godfather.
This brief love interest in the early Seventies reportedly made Camilla “furious”.
It eventually led to her meeting Prince Charles, who she would go on to marry in 2005 — but not before his turbulent relationship with Diana.
Around the time of Zara’s christening — just months before Diana’s wedding — Charles gifted Camilla the now famous bracelet inscribed with the initial “F” and “G”.
These were the first letters of the nicknames they had for each other.
It is something that would stick with Diana for the duration of her marriage until divorcing Charles in 1996.
Ms Seward noted: “While the other [members of the Royal Family] were prepared to give Diana the benefit of the doubt, Anne was not.
“Self-contained and matter-of-fact to the point of ruthlessness, she had no sympathy for Diana’s temperamental maundering.”
Meanwhile, during her trip that will last from October 3 to 4, Anne, who is patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, will also meet those involved in the Rugby World Cup France 2023.
And, to mark the 75th anniversary of Unesco, she will meet several recent laureates and prize winners of the Unesco-L’Oreal Women in Science Programme.
The programme recognises researchers who are working to overcome global challenges.
This week, she and other members of the Royal Family turned out in force for the Chelsea Flower Show preview day as the event prepared to launch its first ever autumn edition after the traditional spring date was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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