The Princess Royal’s 70th birthday has been marked with the release of three official photographs to celebrate the milestone.
Anne is known for her no-nonsense approach to life and tenacious attitude but in the images she is pictured smiling and looking relaxed at her Gatcombe Park home in Gloucestershire.
Wearing a Maureen Baker evening dress and Sue Palmer bolero jacket, the Queen’s only daughter looks stylish as she poses for celebrated photographer John Swannell and smiles broadly while sat in a chair.
Swannell has taken photographs of everyone from Diana, Princess of Wales and her sons and the Queen’s official Diamond Jubilee portrait in 2012 to Tony Blair, Sir Michael Caine and Sir Elton John.
In another picture the princess looks directly at the camera, with a hint of a smile on her lips, wearing a Sue Palmer emerald green dress and a gold ribbon knot brooch, set with 12 diamonds.
The images were taken in late February a few weeks before the coronavirus lockdown, and in the final picture Anne is dressed more causally for the outdoor setting, where she poses under a tree and looks off into the distance.
To mark her birthday the princess has been awarded Army and RAF promotions in recognition of her “invaluable contribution and commitment to the military”, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.
Anne is now a General in the British Army and an Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force, promotions which bring her rank in the two services into line with her position as an Admiral in the Royal Navy.
Senior members of the royal family receive promotions to mark milestone birthdays and the Queen has approved the move.
Anne celebrates her 70th birthday on Saturday and her son-in-law Mike Tindall has already revealed Covid-19 and the recent spike of cases in Aberdeen have meant plans to mark the day have been scaled back.
The former England rugby star, who is married to Anne’s daughter Zara, said alternative arrangements were being made.
Speaking earlier this week on BBC’s The One Show, 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.”
It is thought Anne is in Scotland like the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh who traditionally spend the summer at Balmoral.
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.
In 1994, The Princess Royal was appointed by The Queen to the Order of the Garter – the most senior Order of Chivalry, created by King Edward III and inspired by the Knights of King Arthur.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) August 12, 2020
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.”
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.”