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Princess Anne becomes first royal to return to duties in 2024

The Princess Royal is often the hardest-working royal


Princess Anne in teal outfit© Samir Hussein
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
January 4, 2024
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Once again, Princess Anne proved to be the hardest-working royal of 2023 as she carried out 457 engagements during the year, and she's wasted no time in keeping this record as on Thursday she became the first royal to return to duty.

The Princess Royal headed to the Oxford Farming Conference in her role as Honourary President of the organisation and the 73-year-old delivered a speech as the conference closed out its second day. Crediton Milling, who attended the conference shared that during her speech Anne emphasised how "farming as a family enterprise understands long-term value".

WATCH: Princess Anne delights onlookers during royal engagement

The royal has a big trip coming up later in the month, as it was confirmed that she and husband Sir Timothy Laurence would head overseas to Sri Lanka to participate in events connected with the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the UK. Anne will be in the Asian nation from 10 to 12 January.

Anne will undertake engagements and meet local communities and faith groups in the capital Colombo, the city of Kandy in the centre of Sri Lanka, and Jaffna on the northern tip of the country, the palace said. The Princess will also meet Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe during her stay.

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Anne previously visited Sri Lanka in 1995 where she visited projects set up by Save The Children. King Charles, then Prince of Wales, also attended the 50th anniversary of Independence Day in Sri Lanka in 1998.

Speaking about Anne's work ethic, HELLO!'s Royal Editor Emily Nash says: "Princess Anne is once again the hardest working royal in terms of the number of royal engagements carried out, closely followed by the King, who has also had to deal with his daily red boxes since becoming monarch. But it's hard to compare their output with that of the younger royals because their approach to royal engagements is quite different.

The Princess Royal attending the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. P© Joe Giddens - PA Images
Princess Anne is regularly the hardest-working royal

"William and Kate, for example, are focusing on longer term projects with the aim of making a longer term difference to society. Either way, Anne’s dedication to her duties and her work ethic are remarkable, especially given she is long past the average retirement age."

MORE: Princess Anne makes King Charles laugh out loud after revealing cheeky nickname for him

PHOTOS: Princess Anne twins with husband Sir Timothy Laurence in matching £115 gifts from King Charles

Majesty Magazine's Managing Editor, Joe Little, told HELLO!: "The Princess Royal, with more than half-a-century of duty and experience under her belt, is regarded by her brother the King as the ultimate pair of safe hands. "Her no-nonsense attitude and work ethic, which even in her 70s shows no signing of waning, has won her a lot of praise – not that she would seek it – from the media and the public over the years."

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