Princess Anne ‘has sympathy’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle because the ‘new, young and glamorous’ royals face ‘pressure’ in the role which is ‘not easy’, a royal expert has revealed.
Robert Hardman, who interviewed the royal, 69, extensively for upcoming documentary Princess Royal: Anne at 70, told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘She explains that she’s rather glad she’s not setting off on this path today.’
Asked if she has ‘sympathy’ for Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, he said: ‘She does, and she talks about it.’
Robert went on: ‘She fully accepts that the media are especially interested in the new and young and glamorous and that does place added pressures and it’s not an easy role to play.’
Meanwhile he also revealed how the royal is conscious of added pressures for younger royals, explaining that ‘in her day, you didn’t have social media’.
Robert went on to explain how the Princess Royal had ‘clearly come to terms’ with the challenges and pressures of her role.
He added: ‘That was certainly part of the thinking in her decision not to give her own children titles.
‘And we had a long chat with them, they’re absolutely delightful, and they’re both very forthgoing on how grateful they are that they’ve been able to have as normal a life you can when your grandmother is the monarch.’
Meanwhile he also explained how Princess Anne had remained focused and dedicated to her royal duties throughout her life.
He said: ‘I think she was fairly straight forward in what she wanted to do. She didn’t want to be a fairytale princess. She wanted to be hands-on.
‘She wanted to make a difference, not simply to be figurehead.’
But he added that the Princess Royal also ‘never felt pressured’ to be a ‘force for change’.
His comments come as it emerged Prince Harry and Meghan will never resume official roles following the bombshell biography laying bare their rift with the Royal Family.
The couple have ‘torpedoed’ any chance of creating a new position with the help of the Queen and senior royals when their ‘trial period’ in the US ends, sources believe.
The book, which reveals their soured relationship with the monarchy in excruciating detail, is likely to scupper any hopes of renegotiating their royal duties when ‘Megxit’ is reviewed.
The revelations will also harm efforts to repair their rift with Harry’s brother William and sister-in-law Kate, it is feared.
A royal household source said: ‘The door will always be open to them as much-loved members of the family. But it’s hard to see how they can now salvage the new role they wanted as “hybrid” royals, running commercial careers alongside royal duties from the US.’
Another source told the Mail: ‘The review period has not yet been discussed but it doesn’t seem if there is any way of going back now. Some very private family matters have now been aired in public, seemingly with their blessing. That will be hurtful.’