Princess Anne is one royal we don’t get to hear much about.
The queen’s only daughter is famed for her straight-talking no-nonsense attitude.
And it was an attitude that was front and center on the British TV documentary (due to be shown on HBO next week) Queen of the World which screened last night to mixed reviews.
Although allegedly focused on the story of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s relations with the Commonwealth, a loose agglomeration of 53 countries, many of which are former British colonies, the program’s makers seemed far more interested in exclusive access to Meghan Markle, who was featured being reunited with her Givenchy wedding dress for the first time.
The rather tenuous connection between the dress and the Commonwealth was that Meghan’s veil was embroidered with 53 flowers, one from each Commonwealth country.
However, the show was comprehensively stolen by the royal family’s most uncompromising member. Princess Anne showed that she takes after her father, Prince Philip, when she told how she never shakes hands with the hoi polloi, as there are simply far, far too many of them—and then proceeded to pour bucketloads of scorn on the new generation of royalty’s style of crowd engagement.
“The theory was that you couldn’t shake hands with everybody, so don’t start,” she told the program of her hands-off policy, “I kind of stick with that, but I noticed others don’t. It’s become a shaking-hands exercise rather than a walkabout.”
And don’t get her started on selfies: “People don’t believe they’ve experienced the event unless they’ve taken a photograph,” she said. “I either don’t bother or just say, ‘I suggest you put that down.’”
Meghan, meanwhile, was seen arriving at the Royal Collection—the family’s art collection—where she showed she is adapting well to royal life by not batting an eyelid as she was greeted by a curtsying curator.
Meghan said that the idea of acknowledging the Commonwealth nations on her 15-foot wedding veil was hers, and that she raised it with Givenchy designer Claire Waight Keller.
“It’s such an exciting time for us especially with Harry’s role as youth ambassador for the Commonwealth and the travel that we intend to do and the work in all those specifically in all those different territories.
“Which is why it was so important to have some sort of example of that present with us on the day. Fifty-three countries, oh my goodness... it will keep us busy!
“It was important for me, especially now being a part of the royal family, to have all 53 of the Commonwealth countries incorporated,” Meghan said. “We knew we wanted it to be really delicate and then at that point I just said ‘I trust her implicitly’ with what she did, and I didn’t see it really until the morning of. So this is my first time seeing it laid like this!”
Meghan also told, in a newly Anglicized accent, how she asked for a patch of blue fabric from the outfit she wore on her first date with Harry to be stitched into her wedding gown, “That was my something blue,” she said, which the curator gushed was “the most romantic thing” ever.