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Zara Tindall brutally shut down by Princess Anne: ‘It was a short conversation!’

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The Princess Royal is one of the hardest working royals in terms of her dedication to engagements, routinely topping the annual list for most engagements, being only just pipped by her brother Prince Charles last year. As Anne approaches 70, many might have expected her to slow down a bit, perhaps by passing some of her responsibilities down to the younger generation of royals. However, she seems to have no intention of slowing down and Zara insisted that, while they have tried having that conversation with her, it doesn’t last long.

Zara, 39, and her brother Peter Phillips, 42, were interviewed for the ITV documentary ‘Anne: The Princess Royal at 70’.

When asked whether they had tried to get their mother to slow down, Zara joked: “I mean, good luck!”

Then she admitted: “We would try and then it would be a very short conversation.”

Both Anne’s children expressed their amazement at how much their mother still does, with Zara claiming her brain is like a “sponge”.

he said: “She’s like a sponge, it’s unbelievable the information that is stored in her brain.

“It’s incredible. It’s quite annoying as well.”

Peter agreed: “It is quite annoying, yes.”

Both delivered their light-hearted compliment in a dry, deadpan manner.

Anne’s former private secretary, Captain Sir Nicholas Wright RN seemed to agree with their analysis, emphasising how Anne would read her daily briefs very carefully.

He said: “We had to send her programmes, her briefs, her speeches ‒ and God help me if there was something missing.

“She would read with a really sharp eye.

“And I remember once ‒ I’ve never forgotten it ‒ she said, ‘Private secretary, what normally comes after 16?’

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“And I knew then that page 17 of the brief was missing.”

According to Anne’s programme manager, she attends around 500 engagements each year.

Nevertheless, she still finds the time to read up on all the charities and organisations she visits, so that she can engage in meaningful conversations about their work.

Anne explained in the documentary: “The organisations have backstories that are quite useful to know.

“So that’s the length of time people have been involved, the impact of what it does etc.”

Anne’s Lady in Waiting, The Hon Madeleine Louloudis, noted how Anne manages to keep up her energy all day.

She described how the Princess Royal gives everyone she is meeting the same amount of attention, whether she meets them when she is fresh at the beginning of the day, or whether it is when she is towards the end of her duties that day.

Zara added that, when they all lived together at Gatcombe Park, Anne would arrive home after a long day of royal duties and immediately go to do farm work.

She said: “I remember when we were living at Gatcombe, she would come home from engagements and she would be in exactly what she was wearing and her make-up on and stuff ‒ put her wellie boots and coat on and go to do her chickens and get her eggs.”

In a poll done by the Daily Mirror, in which people voted for their favourite royal, Anne was the sixth most popular royal and Zara was seventh.

It is believed that Anne’s dedication to royal life is being reflected in her popularity, while Zara’s relatability is what endears people to her.

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