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6 of Princess Anne's funniest moments

The Queen's daughter has a wicked sense of humour!

princess anne laughing
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
August 16, 2022
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Princess Anne has many guises - she is an Olympian, a down-to-earth family matriarch who rejected royal titles for her children, a frugal country woman with a passion for anything equine, and a punctilious public servant. She is also consistently named as Britain's hardest-working royal.

MORE: The Queen shares touching tribute to Princess Anne for this special reason

Anne has a reputation for her quick wit and droll sense of humour, and in honour of her 72nd birthday on Monday, HELLO! takes a look back at some of the Princess Royal's funniest moments so far…

WATCH: Princess Anne shrugs to the Queen during Donald Trump's state visit

Princess Anne's hilarious video call with the Queen

During the pandemic, the Queen got to grips with video calls with a little help from her daughter. The monarch and Princess Anne took part in a video call to support the nation's carers during National Carers' Week in 2020.

READ: Why Princess Anne got to wear a tiara before her wedding day

In the footage, Her Majesty's Assistant Private Secretary Tom Laing-Baker can be heard introducing her, as Anne smiles and says: "Good morning at Windsor." Appearing on the screen, the Queen said: "Good morning. I'm very glad to have been able to join you."

princess anne queen carers trust© Buckingham Palace

The Queen and Princess Anne during their joint video call in 2020

Anne then tries to give her royal mother a rundown of how to use the video call, asking her: "Can you see everybody? You should have six people on your screen," to which she replies: "Yes, well I can see four anyway!"

The Princess Royal then joked: "Actually, you don't need me. You know what I look like!"

The fashion faux-pas

Every year, the royal family gather at Sandringham for Christmas, and a key part of their day is attending the 11am service at St Mary's Magdalene Church. All those in attendance are impeccably dressed – but in 2019, Princess Anne and her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cornwall, suffered an amusing faux-pas! 

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princess anne camilla

Anne and Camilla pictured on Christmas Day in 2019

The two ladies both arrived at church wearing very similar shades of purple – furthermore, they had both chosen dress coats, similar hats and long black boots. Luckily, they both took it in good humour. Anne was photographed looking Camilla up and down, before laughing the coincidence off.

Donald Trump's visit

The Princess Royal inadvertently made headlines during Donald Trump's 2019 state visit to Britain, when she was caught on camera seemingly being scolded by her mother, the Queen. A clip showed the monarch greeting guests at a reception held at Buckingham Palace. Anne could be seen standing off to one side – and in the video, the Queen turns towards her only daughter and appears to gesture to her to join the receiving line.

Princess Anne responds by widening her arms out and shrugging. The clip quickly went viral on Twitter, with one fan writing. "Princess Anne is the Queen of Shade. She is all of us." However, it was later revealed that Anne had shrugged and told her mother, "It's just me" to signal there were no more dignitaries for her to greet. Gesturing behind her to members of the royal household, she added: "And this lot."

Her retirement from eventing

Princess Anne is known for her equestrian talents; she won two silver medals and a gold at the European Eventing Championships, and was the first member of the British royal family to compete in the Olympic Games. 

MORE: 8 royal marriages that have ended in divorce

princess anne eventing

The Princess was an accomplished equestrian

But she has another string to add to her bow. Asked about her achievements following her decision to retire from eventing, she quipped, "I got them more lavatories."

Being mistaken for her brother, Prince Charles

One of Anne's finest moments came in 2012, when she was mistaken for her older brother, Prince Charles. While attending the Young Advocates for Agriculture debate, Anne was introduced by speaker David Bolton as Her Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales. 

The smiling Princess could be seen looking incredulous, before rolling her eyes at his mistake. "It's the excitement!" he told the royal, who quickly retorted: "There's a worry!"

MORE: The Queen's touching gesture to man who saved Princess Anne's life revealed

WATCH: Princess Anne has the best reaction as she is mistaken for Prince Charles

Anne later recounted another case of mistaken identity in her speech. "My brother tells a story of having visited an elderly care home in Scotland, and at the time he was in a kilt," she shared. "And he actually heard, when he was engaged in conversation down the other end, an old lady saying, 'Is that the Princess Royal?'" As the laughter starts to subside, she concludes: "Thought it was quite funny. And I am wearing trousers today!"

The kidnapping attempt

Princess Anne's cool and calm demeanour was never more evident than in 1974 when she was the subject of a kidnapping attempt. Then just 23, Anne was on her way to Buckingham Palace with her then-husband Captain Mark Phillips after a film screening when their maroon Rolls Royce was waylaid on the Mall by a white Ford Escort.

Her bodyguard was shot in the shoulder by Ian Ball, before he approached the vehicle and ordered Anne to get out, or he'd shoot. "Not bloody likely!" Anne retorted. She later told an inquiry: "I nearly lost my temper with him. But I knew that if I did, I should hit him and he would shoot me."

MORE: Princess Anne enjoys granny duty as Mia and Lena join Mike and Zara Tindall at horse trials

princess anne mark phillips

Princess Anne with her first husband, Mark Phillips

Anne further spoke about the 1974 incident in an interview with Michael Parkinson. "We had a sort of discussion about where or where not we were going to go," she recalled to laughter from the audience. "Well, he said I had to go with him - I can't remember why," she added facetiously, before turning to her husband Mark. "You were quite obstinate about it," he added. "I said I didn't think I wanted to go," the Princess said with a smile. "I was scrupulously polite, because I thought, silly to be too rude at that stage."

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