In her role as Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Princess Anne will hold a Chancellor’s Dinner at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Wednesday. The Princess Royal has held the position since March 2011, having succeeded her father, Prince Philip, who stepped down from the role a year earlier. She has been busy carrying out engagements in Scotland since Tuesday, and in the coming days will officially open the new Lady Haig poppy factory in the capital city, plant a tree at Jubilee Wood in Holyrood Park, attend a Reception for Nurses and Midwives, and visit the WildGenes Laboratory at Edinburgh Zoo. The jam-packed week comes less than a month after Anne was revealed as the hardest-working royal of 2022, a title she has maintained since the year before.
The late Queen Elizabeth II and Duke Edinburgh’s only daughter attended the most royal engagements of any member of the Royal Family last year, according to a tally by Reboot SEO Company using the Court Circular. Anne carried out 214 engagements in total, topping the list.
Her brother King Charles III came in second place with 181 engagements over the past 12 months, followed by Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince William, Queen Consort Camilla, and then Kate, Princess of Wales.
Anne has long been praised for her dedication to the Firm and is admired both by the public and members of her family.
However, while the hardest-working royal title is often seen as an impressive accolade, Prince Harry has suggested that it comes as a result of obsessive competition among the royals.
READ MORE: History of Harry and Anne’s relationship and moment Princess Royal made her feelings clear
He said some royals included public interactions that were “mere blips” – the kinds of things he and William would not include — suggesting that the list was built on unreliable data and explaining both the Queen and his father would allocate how much time members of the Firm could work.
Harry said it was “grossly unfair” to be “publicly flogged for how much Pa” allowed him and William to do.
He also criticized the types of engagements that were recognized on the Court Circular, indicating that meaningful encounters were sometimes disregarded while more ostentatious events were praised.
Although the contents of the list were never openly discussed, the Prince claimed it was a constant source of “tension” within the family.
In his book and recent media interviews, the Prince has spoken candidly about the competitiveness and jealousy contained within the Royal Household.
According to Harry, William was not too pleased when he heard about his younger brother’s idea for the Invictus Games — an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick military personnel, both serving and veterans, that the Duke of Sussex launched in 2014.
In Spare, Harry suggested that the then-Duke of Cambridge had a jealous reaction, saying: “He appeared supremely irritated,” and claimed William complained it would drain funds from their foundation. Harry described his brother’s issue as “absurd” and blamed his reluctance on their sibling rivalry.
The brothers’ strained relationship is a recurring theme throughout the Duke’s memoir; Harry even refers to the Prince of Wales as his “beloved brother and archnemesis”.
Elsewhere, the Duke suggested that King Charles III and Queen Camilla were jealous of the younger royals, claiming the couple didn’t want William and Kate to get “loads of publicity”.
He also claimed that his father was concerned that Meghan Markle, his wife and a former Hollywood actress, would steal the limelight.
The topic of jealousy within the Royal Family has been touched on before, with Finding Freedom author Omid Scobie claiming the Firm is made up of various households that compete with each other. “There are different households: Clarence House, Kensington Palace, and Buckingham Palace,” Scobie told The Cut in 2020.
“Each one has the responsibility to look after the royal family members that they work for. These are the private aides, the communication staff, the courtiers. They’re the characters that work behind the scenes. Often, it’s a popularity contest: Members of the Royal Family are almost competing over coverage in the papers.”
His comments stand in contrast to the Royal Family we see today. In the wake of Harry’s memoir and explosive interviews, Charles, Camilla, Kate and William have put on a united front, seemingly standing together amid the Sussexes’ bombshells.
Spare is a memoir by Prince Harry which was released on January 10, 2023. It was ghostwritten by JR Moehringer and published by Penguin Random House. It is available game.