Princess Anne has revealed she "hated" taking part in royal walkabouts as a teenager, joking that it was "hardly the sort of thing you would volunteer to do". The Queen's only daughter, now 67, was opening up about her royal life in a new documentary for the BBC, The Queen: Her Commonwealth Story, in which she spoke about her mother and official duties.
Sir William Heseltine, the Queen's former private secretary, described in the documentary how he helped introduce walkabouts, prompting Anne to say: "We hated them, can you imagine as teenagers? Hardly the sort of thing you would volunteer to do. It gets easier but can you imagine? How many people enjoy walking into a room full of people you've never met before and then try a street."
"We hated them, can you imagine as teenagers?" Princess Anne said of royal walkabouts
Laughing, the Princess Royal added: "I don't think many youngsters would volunteer to do that." She continued: "Nowadays of course there are so many cameras you can't see the people, especially those who insist on using their iPads to do that, they haven't even got any heads, so that changes the crowd structure a bit."
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The documentary, which aired on Monday night, was presented by George Alagiah and examined the Queen's position as a female head of state, who is highly respected by male Commonwealth leaders.
Anne noted: "Her length of time in (her) position and her ability to listen and talk to those leaders is virtually unique. She's been in that situation of being an honorary man for a very long time. You know people get used to the fact maybe you can have a conversation about things which they otherwise wouldn't talk to women about."
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Despite Anne admitting that she hated walkabouts in her younger years, the mother-of-two is one of the most hard-working members of the royal family. Last year, Anne was crowned the busiest royal, carrying out a total of 455 domestic engagements. She undertook a further 85 engagements abroad adding up to a total of 540. These included official visits, opening ceremonies, sports events, concerts and charity events. Reception, lunches, dinner banquets and investitures were also taken into account.