Bluff, gruff Princess Anne is nobodys fool and a jewel in the Crown


CAN we all just take a minute to salute the hardest-working, most-underrated and down-to-earth royal of them all.

Step forward Princess Anne.

She usually flies under the radar but Anne hit the headlines this week because of those squabbling Nato leaders who came round to her mums for dinner and a drink.

Princess Anne was also seen in conversation with The Queen while Donald Trump visited

Anne was spotted at Buckingham Palace huddled with world leaders including Canadian President Justin Trudeau, all apparently having a laugh at Donald Trumps expense.

No one is quite sure what was said, but Trump accused Trudeau of being two-faced, got the hump and flounced off early.

A shame. Because he is the very person who could have benefited greatly from Annes common-sense advice on how to conduct himself and behave with the dignity and decorum expected from a US president.

Earlier in the day, we saw Anne sharing a joke with the Queen just after Her Maj greeted Trump and First Lady Melania.

Princess Anne often manages to avoid the spotlight

In a clip that went viral, Anne was on the sidelines giving a shrug and looking a bit nonplussed, which many interpreted as a snub to the Trumps.

In fact her its just me was jokingly to let the Queen know that all the Nato leaders had duly been presented and royal duty was done. It was easy, breezy and so very natural in a room full of ill-at-ease diplomats, and very typical of our Princess Royal.

She doesnt suffer fools gladly and we can only imagine the sort of dressing down handed out to her younger brother Andrew.

Then theres the depiction of Anne in the third series of The Crown, which portrays her as a razor-sharp, independent, earthy young woman who paddles her own canoe and is nobodys fool.

Uncanny lookalike actress Erin Doherty perfectly captures the headstrong young princess, who comes across as easily the most likeable and normal royal.

I was surprised, however, that the series airbrushed out one of the most dramatic episodes of the Seventies.

In 1974 she was the intended victim of a kidnapper who stopped her car and shot her police protection officer. Anne was rescued by a member of the public.

Princess Anne has been through a few hardships even though you wouldn’t know it

She was only 23 and showed great strength of character, simply continuing on with her life as though nothing had happened.

Makers of The Crown chose instead to concentrate on Annes romantic life and the rather bizarre love quadrangle involving herself, brother Prince Charles, Camilla Shand and Andrew Parker Bowles.

Anne dated Andrew Parker Bowles, and in a memorable scene we see her in bed enjoying a Bloody Mary instead of a post-coital ciggie, while he struts around bare chested.

And, of course, Charles went out with Camilla.

Camilla and Andrew broke up with their royal lovers and went on to marry each other, but the relationship with Charles continued even after he married Princess Diana.

There was none of that messy angst when Anne briskly divorced her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, who was nicknamed Fog by Prince Charles who thought he was thick and wet.

Princess Anne is an asset to the Royal Family

She remained friends with Phillips, father of her children Peter and Zara and quietly got hitched to Timothy Laurence.

She gained her place in the 1976 British Olympic horse riding team on merit, after winning Sports Personality Of The Year five years earlier.

She firmly rejected any titles for her children and tried to bring them up away from the public eye to give them as stable and stress-free a childhood as possible.
As a result, both Peter and Zara have been able to have some degree of privacy, and lead very happy lives.

Anne isnt a touchy-feely royal in the mould of Princess Diana or Meghan. But she carries out more duties than any other members of her family, with many of them bordering on the dull.

She has given Save The Children a global platform and has been a tireless ambassador for other charities including the Carers Trust and Riding For The Disabled Association.

These arent glamorous causes, and dont attract glittering A-listers at red-carpet fundraising events.

Anyway, I reckon that is the sort of thing which would probably bring Anne out in hives.

At 69, Anne has an enviably trim figure and happily recycles outfits she wore in her thirties and forties.

She probably would read this with a snort of derision and a dismissive yelp of stuff and nonsense, but whether she likes it or not, our blunt and brusque Princess Anne is a priceless treasure, and a real asset to a Firm thats somewhat under siege.

Let’s all drag up magic

THIS week Im cover girl on the front of the utterly fabulous Attitude magazine.

You might not recognise me immediately as I have been given a drag makeover channelling Queen Elizabeth I, Vivienne Westwood, and Helena Bonham Carter in Alice In Wonderland.

Interestingly, it wasnt just on the outside that I looked different.

Something magical happened when my fairy godmothers from The Family Gorgeous (Cheddar Gorgeous, Lill, Anna Phylactic, TeTe Bang and Liquorice Black), who star in Channel 4s Drag SOS, got their hands on me and turned me into Morning Gloria.

It was as though the sassy, fearless rebel within me was suddenly unleashed.

I was working those cameras like RuPaul in fifth gear and striking poses I would never have dreamed possible.

All of my shyness and awkwardness flew out the door.

It was so incredibly liberating and I think every one of us should be given the chance to awaken our inner drag queen.

The world would be a far happier place.

Strictly heaven

A tub of chocolates helps signify festive season

I KNOW its time to get those Christmas cards written and posted because this weekend sees the semi-finals of both Strictly Come Dancing and Im A Celebrity.

Its too close to call on both of these juggernauts, but I will be enjoying the drama in front of a roaring fire with a glass of freezing cava and a jumbo tin of Quality Street.

My idea of absolute heaven.


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