Anne met with members of the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight yesterday, which was the prestigious club the Duke of Edinburgh was once admiral of. The Princess Royal was pictured smiling as she reminisced about sailing in her younger years, but her eyes appeared to be filled with sadness in official photos that were taken of her visit. She also looked tearful in one image where she was holding an umbrella.
During the event, the 70-year-old said she could “understand” why Philip visited the Cowes-based club, before adding that he “enjoyed coming down here”.
When asked by Royal Yacht Squadron commodore Jamie Sheldon if she had ever sailed on a Flying Fifteen, a sailboat designed by Uffa Fox, Anne replied: “I was considered a bit too young and a bit of a nuisance.
“I started really with Bloodhound (a yacht). I regressed to dinghy sailing for a bit, but then got a slightly bigger boat.
“Early memories, this was, days-out were great fun. Events here and events in Cowes, and Uffa’s dinners. All of that. I can understand why he was here regularly.
“Of course the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) used to have its meetings, summer meetings, used to be on Britannia during Cowes Week, all of that.”
The princess left the club on a motor yacht called “Warrior” around midday before arriving at Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Fishbourne.
She then unveiled a plaque marking the club’s 175th anniversary and signed its guestbook, as her parents had also done on July 26 1965.
As she signed the book, Anne said: “I haven’t done this for such a long time, I’ve forgotten how to do it.”
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A reduced choir of just four singers will feature during the service.
The guests will include all of the duke’s children and grandchildren and their spouses, the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret and three of Philip’s German relatives, the Hereditary Prince of Baden, Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Also invited is a close friend of the duke, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Penny, who was Philip’s carriage driving partner.
Prince Charles also appeared tearful today as he made an emotional visit to Marlborough House in central London to see floral tributes for Philip moved from the palace gates.
Charles and Camilla spent some time looking at the cards and notes with the flowers, which had words of support including one which read: “HRH A True Gentleman.
“Thank you for your devoted service to our country.
“We shall miss you.”