Princess Anne's secret passion revealed – and we guarantee it will surprise you

Who knew she was mad for them?

She's known for her love of horses, with Prince Philip famously joking in the past: "If it doesn't fart or eat hay then she isn't interested." But it seems Princess Anne has another passion that has been less documented in the public eye. It turns out the Queen's daughter is "mad" for lighthouses, as revealed on Thursday's episode of The One Show.

Presenter Matt Allwright filmed a segment with the Princess and her husband Timothy Laurence, as the couple embarked on a trip to inspect lighthouses around Scotland. Anne is patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board, an organisation that looks after 200 lighthouses dotted around Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Princess Anne is "mad" for lighthouses

"It turns out Princess Anne is mad for them," Matt said at the beginning of the segment. "It's a lifelong interest of hers." Speaking about the lighthouses she has seen, Anne said: "One of the first places we visited when I was really quite young was McArthurs Head in Islay, and they are fascinating places, and for a child they're great fun, to be honest."

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She added: "But then a lot of my early memories are seagoing and somehow lighthouses were always an interest. Not least of all because if you look at most of them in Scotland, they're built in the most amazing places. You think, 'How on earth did that get there?'"

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Anne, 68, admitted: "I don't tick them off to be honest. I think I've been to the ones that are the most fascinating. A lot of people think Bell Rock is the best, I think Skerryvore is the most beautiful lighthouse. And then the other one is the Flannans, which is the only place where there is a true mystery where all three lighthouse keepers disappeared, and nobody knows why."

The former Olympic equestrian has previously written about her passion for lighthouses in Ian Cowe's book, Scottish and Manx Lighthouses. She commented on the "remoteness and exceptional natural beauty" of the lighthouses featured in the book, adding that the structures are testament to the engineers' hard work.

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