In Depth

Princess Anne: five things you didn’t know

Queen’s only daughter filmed with world leaders ‘mocking Donald Trump’

Princes Anne has been caught on camera apparently joining in poking fun at Donald Trump during a Buckingham Palace reception for Nato leaders on Tuesday.

Leaked footage shows Boris Johnson jokingly asking French President Emmanuel Macron why he was late, to which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that “he was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top” - an apparent reference to the US leader, who is known for his long, rambling addresses to the press.

Trudeau is later heard adding: “You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor!” Princess Anne joins in the conversation, but what she says isn’t picked up on the video.

Trump isn’t mentioned by name in the clip, but earlier in the day had taken part in a 40-minute press conference that had originally been billed as a five-minute photocall.

In a separate video of the reception, Anne also appeared to be chastised by the Queen for not greeting the US leader and his wife, Melania - but merely shrugs in response.

As commentators have repeatedly pointed out, Princess Anne is full of surprises. Here are five things you may not know about her:

Helped thwart a would-be kidnapper

In March 1974, Princess Anne and her then-husband Captain Mark Phillips were being driven down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace when a Ford Escort cut in front of them, forcing their vehicle to stop.

A man - later named as unemployed labourer Ian Ball - got out of the car and walked towards the Royal’s limousine with two handguns before shouting: “Open or I’ll shoot!”

Anne’s bodyguard and chauffeur were shot as they tried to protect her, as Smithsonian magazine reports. Ball then grabbed the Princess and ordered her out of the car at gunpoint - to which she responded: “Not bloody likely!”

A police officer and journalist were also shot at the scene, before a former boxer called Ronald Russell snuck up on Ball and punched him, enabling police to finally overpower the would-be kidnapper.

Ball was later found to be suffering from mental illness, and has been in secure mental health facilities since the attack.

Gender unverified

Princess Anne competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, riding the Queen’s horse Goodwill in the equestrian three-day event.

However, she is one of the few Olympians not to have the completed the “gender verification” tests that were mandatory until 2000. “She was exempt on the grounds of ‘royal courtesy’,” according to The Telegraph.

Doesn’t shake hands

Unlike most high-profile figures, Anne chooses not shake hands with members of the public when out and about.

“The theory was that you couldn’t shake hands with everybody, so don’t start,” she explained in 2018 documentary Queen of the World. “So I kind of stick with that, but I noticed others don’t.

“It's not for me to say that it's wrong, but I think the initial concept was that it was patently absurd to start shaking hands. And it seems to me that it's become a shaking hands exercise rather than a walkabout.”

A plain speaker

Anne has developed a reputation for having a no-nonsense attitude.

When asked how she felt about the birth of her great-nephew Prince George in 2013, the Princess replied: “Well, it’s nothing to do with me.”

Criminal record

Princess Anne became the first member of the Royal Family to be convicted of a criminal offence when she was fined £500 under the Dangerous Dogs Act in 2002. The Royal, who was also ordered to pay £500 compensation, was walking her two English bull terriers in Windsor Great Park when one of the animals bit two boys, aged 12 and seven.


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