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Princess Anne to miss major event for the second year running

The Queen's daughter was the first royal to compete in an Olympic Games

princess anne winter olympics
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Princess Royal will not attend the Beijing Winter Olympics next month, due to "COVID travel restriction difficulties".

The Queen's only daughter, 71, who became the first royal to compete in the Games in Montreal in 1976, is a member of the International Olympic Committee.  

READ: Mia Tindall steals the show at Cheltenham Racecourse with mum Zara Tindall

WATCH: Princess Anne wishes Team GB good luck ahead of Tokyo Olympics

On Saturday, a Buckingham Palace spokesman told The Telegraph: "The Princess Royal is disappointed she will not be able to attend the IOC meetings in Beijing ahead of the winter Olympics this year, nor the Games themselves. 

"This is due to the flight and Covid travel restriction difficulties in getting to and from the Games without losing too much of her busy work schedule at home.  

"Her Royal Highness sends her best wishes for the Games to the British athletes and supporting officials."

In December, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said no ministers will attend the Winter Olympics due to alleged human rights abuses in China, which Beijing strongly denies.

MORE: 10 sweet photos that show Princess Anne's close sibling bond with Prince Charles

MORE: When royals get caught up in the Olympic spirit - 12 fun photos

princess anne 1976 olympics© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Anne competing in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal

Last summer, Princess Anne sent a message of support to Team GB ahead of the Tokyo Olympics after being unable to travel to the Games in person. 

"I do remember from my own Olympic journey the anticipation and excitement of stepping onto the Olympic stage. But also the single-minded focus on what you need to do," she said in a video message. "I know that you have all worked incredibly hard for this moment, during the most challenging of times, and I hope you will find the Team GB environment a support and an inspiration for you.

"This is your Olympics. It will be different, but not in its importance to you. Savour it, and above all, enjoy it."

The Princess Royal's daughter, Zara Tindall, followed in her mother's footsteps and competed in the London 2012 Olympics. As a member of the Great Britain Eventing time, Zara won a silver medal, which was proudly presented to her by her mother.

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