Princess Anne used to ‘break out’ of school and try to escape her ‘lovely security officer’ for this British classic

The Princess Royal sneaked out of school ‘a few times’ with her friends and led the ‘loyal detective’ looking after her on a ‘bit of a dance’...

Princess Anne used to ‘break out’ of school, seen here attending the Braemar Highland Gathering
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Princess Anne used to “break out” of school and tried to escape her “lovely security officer” on a few occasions with her friends - all to enjoy a classic British dish.  

  • The Princess Royal’s classmate opened up in the Anne: The Princess Royal at 70 about their time at Benenden School in Kent.
  • It was revealed that they used to sneak out to the fish and chip shop and attempt to evade the “loyal detective” looking after Princess Anne. 
  • This royal news comes as we revealed King Charles' awkward comment as he met the UK Prime Minister.  

The Princess Royal has consistently been found to be one of the hardest working royals over the years and regularly attends important engagements and events across the UK and world. In 2020 in honor of her 70th birthday fans were treated to a unique insight into her life growing up in the Royal Family and her enduring dedication to her royal role. The documentary, Anne: The Princess Royal at 70 saw contributions from the Princess as well as some of her nearest and dearest, including two of the Queen’s grandchildren, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips. 

Though it was a school friend, The Honorable Sandra de Laszlo, that revealed one of the most surprising anecdotes about the Queen’s only daughter. It seems that Princess Anne used to “break out” of school to enjoy a delicious snack…

Princess Anne pictured in centre with fellow pupils during her first term at Benenden School

(Image credit: Photo by Bob Haswell/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

As revealed by the documentary’s narration, Princess Anne was just twelve when she “took the initiative” and asked the Queen if she could attend school outside the palace. Enrolling in 1963,  she became the first Princess to do so and lived and learnt alongside 300 other pupils at Benenden School in Kent. 

Although the pupils there reportedly initially believed that the Princess Royal might be a little reserved, she quickly became firm friends with a knight-knit group of girls.

“We were given encouragement to be as natural as possible with the Princess,” explained The Honorable Sandra de Laszlo. “The perception was that the Princess might be quite shy, but we had this group of friends and the Princess just rocked up and joined in.”

Princess Anne with fellow pupils at Benenden School in Kent

(Image credit: Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

It was then that Sandra revealed that on multiple occasions they'd left school and tried to "escape" Princess Anne's security officer to enjoy a British classic.

Sandra confessed, “There was a really lovely security officer and we did lead him a bit of a dance. It was rather fun to break out of school and go to the fish and chip shop. And trying to escape this loyal detective who was supposed to be looking after her and umm, anyway, we did that a few times.”

So it seems that Princess Anne, at least during her school years, enjoyed some delicious fish and chips, a far cry from the lighter meals that reports claim her mother the late Queen preferred to eat

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne, 1963

(Image credit: Photo by RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

And although the Princess Royal might’ve tried to “escape” a few times, when it came to her safety the narrator revealed that Scotland Yard had help from her classmates.

“There was possibly a general instruction not to talk to the press. The paparazzi did exist then. I don’t recall intrusion at school. But on the public road they were quite keen to photograph her,” Sandra said. “So there was a sense of looking after her.” 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.