Princess Anne’s hilarious elevator anecdote proves things don’t always go ‘quite according to plan’ for Royal Family

Princess Anne once recalled an unforgettable journey to a royal engagement with her parents that is totally surprising…

Princess Anne's hilarious elevator anecdote revealed, seen here attending The Epsom Derby
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Princess Anne’s hilarious elevator anecdote proved things don’t always go ‘quite according to plan’ for the Royal Family.  


Over the past few years the Princess Royal has consistently been the hardest working royal in light of the huge number of engagements she carries out, both in the UK and abroad. It was shortly before her 19th birthday in 1969 that Princess Anne accompanied her late parents the Queen and Prince Philip on a state visit to Austria and from there her dedication to representing the country abroad continued to shine through. Princess Anne spoke about first undertaking engagements on the 2020 documentary, Anne: The Princess Royal at 70. 

And it seems that despite some perhaps thinking otherwise, the royals learn on the job as Princess Anne’s hilarious elevator anecdote was shared with viewers…

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Princess Anne on an official visit to Austria

(Image credit: Photo by Terry Disney/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“People talk about being trained to become a member of the Royal Family,” the Princess Royal said, briefly closing her eyes, seemingly a little exasperated. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, there is no such thing. It’s just learning by experience. But it hardly ever does go quite according to plan. You have to learn that.” 

She went on to explain, “One that sticks in my mind about going up in a lift. There was the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Lady-in-Waiting and me. We were all dressed for quite a smart do somewhere and we went from the ground floor - we were only supposed to be going two stories! - and it went up to about the 19th floor.”

It was then, the King’s sister revealed the rather surprising sight that met their eyes when the elevator doors finally opened as they were joined by a complete stranger. 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the Braemar Highland Gathering

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

“This chap got in thinking he was going for a, you know, a spa treatment,” she said, laughing as she recalled the hilarious occurrence. “He was slightly surprised…” 

This was one of several rather surprising stories told by and about the Princess Royal in this enlightening documentary, which also saw her former classmate explain that Princess Anne used to “break out” of school to go to the fish and chip shop. Whilst Princess Anne's way of seeking out people at the back of Holyroodhouse garden parties was also revealed. 

Throughout the documentary her hard-working nature and down-to-earth sense of humor also came shining through - something also captured in Princess Anne’s hilarious elevator anecdote. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh watch the Shropshire Diamond Jubilee Pageant

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

And it seems that whilst she learnt by experience and came to appreciate how things don’t always go quite as planned at engagements, her parents apparently sometimes *hoped* things wouldn’t always be so perfect. 

Getting candid about his grandparents’ sense of fun in the BBC’s Prince Philip documentary last year, Prince Harry explained, “My grandpa has a very good sense of humor, and he enjoys playing practical jokes, he enjoys teasing, and he loved things going wrong."

"Both my grandparents love that, because you can imagine they live a life where everything has to go right the whole time, so when things go wrong, they both chuckle an awful lot. Everyone else gets mortally embarrassed, but they love it,” he declared.

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six 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.