PRINCESS ANNE was given a great honour by the University of London, but she had a less than enthusiastic reaction to it in a throwback interview.
The Princess Royal never attended university herself, reportedly believing it to be a “highly overrated pastime”. She instead became a full time royal aged 18, starting her now 51-year dedication to an endless cycle of royal engagements. However, the idea of university came back into her world, when the University of London made her their institution’s Chancellor.
Upon the retirement of the Queen Mother in 1981, Anne was voted to replace her by graduates of the university.
In an interview with Terry Wogan in 1985, she described her own appointment as “strange”.
She said: “It’s strange isn’t it, really? They were given a choice, that’s all I can say.”
Mr Wogan asked who she was up against, and she grinned, but refused to say.
Princess Anne was made Chancellor of the University of London in 1982 (Image: GETTY)
Princess Anne on ‘Wogan’ in 1985 (Image: YouTube – laduchesse)
Then she posed: “Don’t you think it’s a very good idea for a Chancellor of a university not to have been to university?
“Don’t you think it gives them a much better outlook, so they don’t get too introverted?”
Mr Wogan asked Anne how the faculty had received her, as a non-university person.
The princess replied: “Well, so far with great tolerance, although how long that will last I’m not sure.
Princess Anne refused to say who she had been up against (Image: YouTube – laduchesse)
“Certainly it’s been a great benefit to me, because I’ve learned all sorts of things in my visits to the various colleges, it’s been fascinating.”
Nevertheless, she seemed to remain as indifferent to university as ever, insisting that the fun her brothers Charles and Andrew enjoyed, she got from being in the Girl Guides.
She added that she felt many of her contemporaries were choosing to go to university “simply because it was university”, rather for any specific reason.
Meanwhile, by that age she had already been on royal visits with her mother, the Queen, and hoped to go on royal tours with her abroad too.
Terry Wogan asked Anne about her decision not to go to university (Image: YouTube – laduchesse)
She said: “I just felt like that was possibly more constructive from my point of view and more interesting than it would have been going to university.”
Mr Wogan joked that she was just after the “free trips”.
As well as being Chancellor of the University of London, Anne is also a Royal Honorary Colonel of the University of London OTC and the Honorary Air Commodore of its AIr Squadron.
In addition to her roles with the University of London, Anne was appointed Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in 2011, Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands in 2012 and Chancellor or Harper Adams University in 2013.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, presented Anne with an honorary degree in January (Image: YouTube – The Royal Family Channel)
She has four honorary degrees: Doctor of Laws from University of Regina in Canada, a Doctor of Law from Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, a Doctor of Science from Cranfield University and a Doctor of Laws from the University of Aberdeen.
These have been awarded to her due to her extensive charity work.
The last accolade was presented to her by her sister-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in January this year.
Camilla joked that there would be “no talk of rivalry” as she presented Anne the honorary degree, referring to the fact that they are both Chancellors of Scottish universities.
She added that she was not sure if there was a “collective noun for chancellors”.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK