Princess Anne’s little-known passion sees her make special visit to mark major anniversary

Princess Anne might be best known for her love of horse-riding but there’s another hobby she’s enjoyed regularly over the years…

Princess Anne's little-known passion revealed, seen here during the Royal London Yacht Club Champagne Party
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Princess Anne’s little-known passion saw her make her significant visit to Hampshire as she marked a major anniversary for one of her royal patronages.   

Many members of the extended Royal Family are known for their love of sport, from Prince William cheering on players as President of the Football Association to Kate Middleton’s new role as Patron of the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League. Whilst Princess Anne’s Olympic career saw her become the first British Royal Family member to compete in an Olympic Games back in 1976. However, horse riding isn’t her only hobby and Princess Anne’s little-known passion might come as a surprise to some fans as she's not publicly spoken of it so much in recent years.

Traveling to Hampshire on June 18, 2022, Princess Anne’s love of sailing shone through as she visited the Royal Lymington Yacht Club to attend their Centenary Regatta. 

The Queen’s daughter has been a Patron of the club since 1979 and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson. During her visit, she was introduced to the Club’s Flag officers, young sailors, and the organizers.

And the Princess Royal headed out on the water herself in a RIB to get a brilliant Regatta tour. According to the Club, Princess Anne even kept her yacht on the river nearby for a while in the years since she became Patron and has been a regular visitor over the years in her official capacity. 

Though her love of sailing might not be something fans have heard the Queen’s daughter, who is 17th in the royal line of succession, discuss much in recent years, Princess Anne’s secret passion has been a consistent presence in her life. She took part in the Club’s annual regatta herself back in 1992 and was pictured enthusiastically watching and cheering on the competitors during the sailing events at the 2012 London Olympics.

Princess Anne Sailing In The Royal Lymington Yacht Club's Annual Regatta

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence are understood to enjoy sailing around the west coast of Scotland. This is something she did once open up about during an enlightening interview with Yachting World back in 2014, where she revealed they especially love the Isle of Coll. 

“[I]t is pretty impressive at certain times of the year,” Princess Anne explained. “particularly up at the northern end, the Cairns of Coll. The northern end is rocky and the southern end is a bit more agricultural and there are lots of geese in the winter. Actually, winter is probably more entertaining – you get snipe and woodcock as well.”

Princess Anne attends Women's Laser Radials race on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games

(Image credit: Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

And Princess Anne’s passion for sailing doesn’t seem to have diminished since then. Last year, reported that she and her husband are believed to have undertaken a sailing trip in 2020 after her 70th birthday plans were allegedly canceled due to the pandemic. So whilst Princess Anne's Olympic career could mean many fans might think of her more as a horse-riding enthusiast, it's clear that sailing is a similarly beloved hobby.

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!