Princess Anne’s blunt response in pre-wedding interview as she dismisses line of questioning in the most *her* way

Princess Anne’s blunt response came ahead of her marriage to Captain Mark Phillips as she was asked about her skillset as a ‘housewife’

Princess Anne's blunt response explained. Seen here she attends day 2 of Royal Ascot 2023
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Princess Anne’s blunt response in a pre-wedding interview with Captain Mark Phillips saw her dismiss a line of questioning in the most *her* way.  

Over the years fans have seen several members of the Royal Family get candid about their relationships, especially after becoming engaged. Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex both gave personal engagement interviews in 2010 and 2017 respectively. Decades earlier, Princess Anne took part in an equally memorable discussion. Ahead of Princess Anne’s first marriage to Captain Mark Phillips in November 1973, the senior royal and her husband-to-be were asked about their upcoming vows. 

During the enlightening interview the then-22-year-old Princess Royal was asked her opinion on whether she’d “make a good housewife” and if she could cook and sew. And Princess Anne’s blunt response after giving some details couldn’t have been more *her*.

Princess Anne with her fiancé, equestrian champion Mark Phillips

(Image credit: Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Pausing reflectively for a moment, the Princess Royal replied, “Well, that’s hardly up to me to say”, before later adding simply, “Yes, I’ve done a bit of cooking in my time.”

Princess Anne then gave another clipped reply after being asked whether she’d “like to cook” Captain Phillips’ breakfast in the morning before he went “off to work” once she became his wife.

“I can manage that. That’s easy. Especially when he’s eventing because he’s not going to get more than a cup of coffee,” the late Queen Elizabeth’s daughter answered. 

The interviewer continued, “Can you sew? Can you put on a button?”, leading to Princess Anne’s blunt response, “Yes, I’m not totally useless. I was quite well educated, one way or another.”

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, in Berlin for the Queen's Birthday Parade

(Image credit: Photo by Serge Lemoine/Getty Images)

It’s been claimed over the years that Princess Anne inherited Prince Philip’s “attitude” towards the press and she’s known for her dry wit and no-nonsense approach to royal life. Given the Princess Royal’s answers - in particular her quip about her education - during this 1973 interview, it seems that she was similarly practical and unfazed about her upcoming marriage. 

Princess Anne’s blunt response also highlighted her confidence in her own skills and suggested she wasn’t viewing marriage to Captain Phillips as a major challenge. Her answers also contrast massively with those given by the Princess of Wales during her and Prince William’s engagement interview with ITV's Tom Bradby in 2010.

The future Queen Consort was also asked about her future, though the focus of the conversation was more upon how she would approach being a royal rather than specifically Prince William’s wife. 

“It’s obviously nerve-wracking, because I don’t know the ropes, really. Williams’ obviously used to it. But, no, I’m willing to learn quickly and work hard”, she declared, as Prince William added encouragingly, “She’ll do really well”. 

Princess Anne was of course born a member of the Royal Family and so was likely more used to what would lie in store for her than Princess Catherine at that time. However, both pre-wedding interviews are certainly enlightening when it comes to the fascinating insights they provide into these senior royals.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!