Mike Tindall has revealed that the royal family have been forced to scale back celebrations for the Princess Royal’s 70th birthday this weekend because of Covid-19.
The former England rugby star, who is married to Anne’s daughter Zara, said they had planned to mark the milestone in Scotland but now alternative arrangements are being made.
However, he refused to divulge what celebrations are being planned – in case his mother-in-law is unaware.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s only daughter turns 70 on Saturday and it is likely a birthday gathering had been planned at the royal family’s Balmoral estate in Scotland, where the head of state is spending the summer with Philip.
Speaking on BBC’s The One Show on Tuesday night, Tindall said: “We did have plans – it would’ve been up in Scotland – but obviously with Covid and Aberdeen being locked down a bit, I think everything’s been scaled back a little bit.
“It’s a shame. I’m sure we’ll do something as a family to celebrate her 70 amazing years, she’s just an incredible woman in terms of how much work she can get through in the year.
“We will be doing something, as yet I don’t know whether she knows – so my lips are sealed.”
Anne is famed for her hard work and no-nonsense approach to life and, like the rest of the nation, has been coping with life under lockdown.
Despite the limitations of Covid-19, Anne’s milestone has been marked by a TV documentary and she has also guest-edited Country Life magazine.
In the ITV film, the princess suggested that social media is adding to the pressures already faced by younger members of the royal family, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Anne was followed by film-makers for more than a year to make the programme, which featured unseen family footage and conversations with her children, Peter Phillips and Zara, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.
Speaking about the younger members of the monarchy, she said: “The pressure that is applied to the younger members of the family is always worse, because that’s what the media is interested in and that’s, you know, hard sometimes to deal with.”
Anne also said she hoped her legacy would be the passing-on of her knowledge and experience.
When she guest-edited Country Life, the princess paid tribute to her parents for instilling in her a lifelong love of nature.
Anne also wrote about holding an HGV licence, how she hates fly-tipping, and sees herself when she writes about rural affairs as a “classic Jack of all trades”.
She wrote: “I was equally fortunate that both my parents had a love and understanding of the natural world through their own experiences.”
The princess – christened Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise – was born at Clarence House on August 15 1950 and is the younger sister of the Prince of Wales.
She married her first husband, fellow horseman Captain Mark Phillips, in 1973.
The couple survived a kidnapping attempt the following year and had two children – Peter, born in 1977, and, four years later, Zara, a silver medal-winning Olympic horsewoman.
Anne decided her children would not have royal titles.
The princess married her second husband, Sir Tim, in a low-key ceremony in 1992, after her first marriage ended in divorce after 19 years.
A keen equestrian, she was voted the BBC’s Sports Personality of 1971 and went on to represent Great Britain at the 1976 Montreal Games as a member of the British three-day event team.
She is president of the British Olympic Association, a member of the International Olympic Committee and took part in London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
In the documentary to mark her birthday, her son was asked to sum her up and replied: “Well, you know what, tenacious, I think, is a pretty good word to sum her up.”