Princess Anne teases rare treat for fans and the touching summer tradition started with Zara

The notoriously private Princess Anne welcomes thousands to her home each summer for a special reason

Princess Anne enjoys the annual festival alongside her grandchildren
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Princess Anne is known for many things – not least her tireless work ethic. However, the Princess Royal has always been one member of the Royal Family who sets a clear boundary between her public duties and her private life, very rarely sharing glimpses inside her home. But, every summer, she invites thousands of like-minded fans to her private estate for a reason near to her heart.

While the younger royals including Prince William and Kate Middleton are making steps to modernize the Royal Family, ushering in a new social media strategy that gives behind-the-scenes access like never before, other royals like to keep some things private.

Princess Anne is one such royal. While she might be known as the hardest working member, popping up here, there, and everywhere (usually re-wearing clothes that are decades old, proving she’s a master of sustainable style!), the Princess Royal very rarely offers fans a look into her personal life.

Take Gatcombe Park, the estate Anne shares with her daughter Zara Tindall and son-in-law, Mike.

Princess Anne loves strolling around Gatcombe Park during the Eventing Festival

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

We know they have a relaxed affair at Christmas there – though with a pungent food not quite to everyone’s taste – and we know that some fans wanted the Princess to “de-clutter” her living room after sharing a rare snap, but Anne keeps her family home relatively off limits. With one major exception.

Each summer, the Princess Royal invites thousands of like-minded individuals to Gatcombe Park for the Festival of British Eventing.

Eventing - sometimes referred to as Horse Trials - originally evolved from the training and selection of cavalry horses. Now, each summer,  three different equestrian disciplines - dressage, show jumping, and cross country – are performed and judged in a spectacular display.

As well as testing the next crop of equestrian stars, the festival offers a shopping village and plenty of family-friendly entertainment, which is why it’s not so rare to catch a glimpse of Princess Anne strolling around the shops with her grandchildren.

Anne is no doubt hoping her life-long love for horses will pass on to her grandchildren as it did with her own daughter.

The Princess Royal was the first member of the Royal Family to have competed in the Olympic Games when she rode The Queen's horse, Goodwill, in the equestrian three-day event at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

She also competed in multiple European Three-Day Event Championships, winning a gold medal in 1971 and silver in both the individual and team disciplines in 1975.

Princess Anne has been welcoming the festival at her home for decades

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Zara followed in her mother's footsteps by competing in the same equestrian three-day event at the 2012 London Olympics, winning a silver medal for Team GB.

The medal was presented to her by her mother.

This year, the event will take place from Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August 7. For people in the UK, tickets are available to book online.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.