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Princess Anne's classmate reveals her rebellious streak at school

The Queen's only daughter turns 70 next month

princess anne young
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
26 July 2020
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It sounds like Princess Anne had a bit of a rebellious streak at school. The Princess Royal's classmate, Sandra de Laszlo, has shared some entertaining anecdotes about her time at school with Anne, in an ITV documentary that will air next week.

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"There was a really lovely security officer and we did lead him a bit of a dance," Sandra admitted in the programme, Anne: The Princess Royal at 70. "It was rather fun to break out of school and go to the fish and chip shop and try to escape this loyal detective who was supposed to be looking after her."

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Sandra added of her royal school friend: "And, anyway we did that a few times. She was a very normal teenager. She was sensible and fun."

MORE: The Queen's birth stories of her children Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward

Sandra also spoke about the attention the Queen's daughter gained from the press during her time boarding at Benenden School. Anne was the first daughter of a monarch to be educated outside of palace walls aged 13.

princess anne at school© Photo: Getty Images

Anne pictured outside church during her time at school

"There was a… possibly a general instruction not to talk to the press. But the paparazzi did exist then," Sandra revealed. "I don't recall intrusion at school but on the public road they were quite keen to photograph her. So there was a sense of looking after her.

"We were given encouragement to be as natural as possible with, with the Princess. The perception was that the Princess might be quite shy, but we had a, this group of friends and the Princess… erm, just popped up and joined in."

In the documentary, which is being released to mark Anne's milestone 70th birthday next month, the Princess Royal opened up about how she was "one of the girls". She was treated the same way as her fellow classmates, at the request of the Queen.

princess anne headmistress© Photo: Rex

Anne reunited with her old headmistress Miss Betty Clarke

"I did volunteer to go to school. I have to say. And I was thrilled. School was much more interesting," said Anne, who was previously home-schooled by a governess.

"For me of course, it was education at a different level," she added. "And the fact that you were doing it with a group of people, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. And I got on very well with our Headmistress, Miss [E B Clarke]. But most people were terrified of her.

"We used to have quite interesting conversations and she was fascinating. Didn't happen all that often but I was always intrigued by what people were so frightened of [laughs]."

Anne: The Princess Royal at 70 airs on Wednesday 29 July at 9pm on ITV.

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