Princess Anne has said a slimmed-down monarchy does not sound like a good idea, adding that she thinks the suggestion was made when there were "a few more people around."
In recent years, the royal family has shifted towards a more streamlined operation, focusing on those at the top of the line of succession and King Charles himself is known to be in favour of a slimmed-down monarchy.
However, the Princess Royal disagreed with her elder brother, as she shared her view during an interview with Canadian public broadcaster CBC.
CBC chief correspondent Adrienne Arsenault raised the idea of a slimmed-down monarchy and said it is difficult to imagine how the 72-year-old princess would have the time to take on more work.
Anne replied: “Well, I think the ‘slimmed-down’ [monarchy] was said in a day when there were a few more people around to make that seem like a justifiable comment.”
When it was put to her that the world changes, Anne said: “It changes a bit. I mean, it doesn’t sound like a good idea from where I’m standing, I have to say. I’m not quite sure what else, you know, we can do.”
The royal family has gone through a lot of changes in recent years, including the deaths of both the late Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip.
There have also been three members of the royal family who stepped down from their working roles, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle departing the UK and relocating to America, and Prince Andrew stepping down following after his disastrous Newsnight interview and public backlash over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Anne was asked if there are “conversations about relevance”, and she replied: “There will be, everywhere. It’s not a conversation that I would necessarily have.
“I think it’s perfectly true that it is a moment where you need to have that discussion.
“But I would just underline that the monarchy provides, with the constitution, a degree of long-term stability that is actually quite hard to come by any other way.”
The princess was then asked how the royal family deals with recent polling which suggested a drop in the percentage of people who want to see the monarchy continue.
“Well, we don’t in many respects need to deal with it, not least of all because it is the monarch that is the key to this, and the constitution that underpins the monarchy,” she said.
“We as a family see ourselves there to support that role. What we do, we hope, contributes to the monarchy and the way in which it can convey continuity, of not just interest, but of service, of understanding, the way that people in communities want to live their lives.
“And I think so often we get the chance to see communities and the people who do things really well and are very generous with their time in a way that, if you look at the media, you tend not to get that impression,” she said.
It was put to the princess that she does not seem worried about the health or the longevity of the monarchy, and she replied: “I think you’re putting words into my mouth, as they say.”
She said she believes there is “genuine benefit from this particular arrangement, the constitutional monarchy, and I think it has good long-term benefits”, adding: “And that commitment to long term is what the monarchy stands for.”
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