"Some of these things don’t work. You may need to go back to basics."

By Kimberly Truong
Updated Apr 15, 2020 @ 10:15 am
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Princess Anne has advice for the "younger generation" of royals: Don't forget the basics.

In a rare interview with Vanity Fair, the Queen's daughter discussed her life as a royal and her charity work, telling the magazine, "It’s not just about, Can I get a tick in the box for doing this? No, it’s about serving…. It comes from an example from both my parents’ way of working and where they saw their role being."

Princess Anne also said she worried about the younger royals being too hasty in changing up the royal family's approach to philanthropy, though she said it's understandable that they wouldn't necessarily look to older generations as a template.

Describing herself as "the boring old fuddy-duddy at the back," she told the magazine, "I don’t think this younger generation probably understands what I was doing in the past and it’s often true, isn’t it? You don’t necessarily look at the previous generation and say, 'Oh, you did that?' Or, 'You went there?' Nowadays, they’re much more looking for, 'Oh let’s do it a new way.' And I’m already at the stage, 'Please do not reinvent that particular wheel. We’ve been there, done that. Some of these things don’t work. You may need to go back to basics.'"

Princess Anne Younger Royals
Credit: WPA Pool/Getty Images

Elsewhere in the interview, Princess Anne also discussed her decision to break tradition by not to giving her children, Peter and Zara Tindall, HRH titles when they were born. (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also elected not to give baby Archie a title. and gave up their own HRH titles earlier this year.)

"I think it was probably easier for them, and I think most people would argue that there are downsides to having titles," she says. “So I think that was probably the right thing to do."

Princess Anne, who turns 70 this year, recently found a surge of popularity due to actress Erin Doherty's portrayal of her in The Crown, though a source told Vanity Fair she doesn't watch the show because she "has no interest in watching her life acted out onscreen."