PRINCESS ANNE had a rather low opinion of her sisters-in-law Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson – and reportedly made an absolutely scathing remark about them behind their backs.
Anne thought Diana and Sarah – affectionately known as Fergie – were “lessening the stature of the royal family”, according to Daily Express royal photographer Steve Wood. Mr Wood, who worked with the royals for many years, spoke to the 2002 Channel 4 documentary ‘The Real Princess Anne’s about Anne’s relationship with the new royals that burst onto the scene in the Eighties. He claimed Anne thought they were “too tabloid” and said she was irritated by how they stole the limelight.
The royal photographer said: “[Anne] was extremely annoyed when Diana became centre of stage and then Fergie became centre of stage for a while.
“She said about them behind their backs several times – ‘those girls’,” the last phrase said sneeringly.
This scathing way of referring to Diana and Fergie was likely Anne’s way of expressing her opinion without actually saying it.
She disliked the way her brothers’ wives were splashed across the newspapers, no matter what they did, while her hard work was sidelined.
Princess Anne reportedly sneered at Diana and Fergie (Image: GETTY)
Princess Diana and Princess Anne snapped together (Image: GETTY)
In the early Eighties, the Princess of Wales had taken the world by storm and suddenly the Princess Royal was “old news”.
Ashley Walton, former Daily Express royal reporter, explained they took their eyes off Anne when Diana came on the scene.
He said: “We dropped her like a hot potato!”
Meanwhile, plenty of people were comparing Anne’s rather “business-like” attitude to royal engagements to Diana’s personal touch.
Princess Anne and Fergie in a carriage (Image: GETTY)
Princess Anne addressing the audience at an awards dinner to raise money for Save The Children (Image: GETTY)
Princess Anne in Gambia working as a patron for Save The Children in 1984 (Image: GETTY)
Diana had started doing charity work with the Red Cross, meaning similar work to what Anne did with Save the Children.
The media started suggesting that Anne should take a leaf out of her book, which made Anne furious.
According to royal reporter for The Sun, Harry Arnold, she complained she never got any recognition for her work, despite clocking up around twice as many engagements as Diana.
She reportedly told a colleague: “I work hard every day. I am never in the paper, no one ever thanks me.
princess diana anne remembrance day (Image: MIRRORPIX)
The royals on the balcony (Image: GETTY)
“All she has to do is show up.”
However, this was not surprising as Anne’s relationship with the media had always been tense.
She was extremely dismissive of the press, not unlike her father Prince Philip, whereas Diana was a natural and worked with the press photographers to get the best pictures.
Royal biographer Penny Junor said: “There was Diana on the one hand, who was incredibly touchy-feely, who hugged children, who put children on her lap, who even kissed people – grown up people in public.
Attending an event together in 1991 (Image: MIRRORPIX)
“And there was Anne, not touching anyone, not playing up to the cameras at all.
“She does seem to be very business-like. But she gets the work done.”
It was not just Anne who felt overshadowed though – even Prince Charles felt like Diana was hogging the world’s attention.
After years of being the golden boy, he was now married to someone the press found far more interesting.
Both Diana and and Fergie eventually divorced their princes (Image: GETTY)
Princess Anne and Diana chatting to The Queen mother at a film premiere in 1985 (Image: GETTY)
Mr Wood said: “Diana swept the world. Diana became the highest publishing picture anywhere.”
According to the 2017 Channel 4 documentary ‘The Royal House of Windsor’, part of what Charles liked about Camilla Parker Bowles was that she was happy to remain in the background.
Royal biographer Christopher Wilson suggested on the programme that Camilla “just wanted a bit of fun” and never expected their relationship to be made public.
As the narrator said: “Like the Queen Mother, she gave him unconditional love. Unlike Diana, she was happy to remain in the shadows, not stealing the limelight.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK