People Princess Anne Reportedly Can't Stand

Listen to those who have met her, and it seems that "princess" is just one of the many titles borne by Queen Elizabeth II's only daughter, Anne. Vogue writes that she's quite possibly the coolest of the royal family, and she's definitely one of the hardest-working of the royals, perhaps in the history of the line. A good number of her hundreds of public appearances — many of which benefit charities — go under the radar, and when Vanity Fair interviewed her in 2020, they noted that her police escort got more attention than she did.

She's lauded for being the royal with a natural way with people, and for being a charming conversationalist who can relate to anyone, anywhere. One longtime employee of the royal family summed her up like this: "She's a gem. Truly one of the nicest and most hardworking of them all." Any negativity surrounding her tends to come from her deep determination to have at least something of a private life, and the lengths she's gone to in order to try to ensure that are worthy of respect.

Princess Anne has worked with countless charities and organizations and met scores of political leaders, cultural icons, and intellectual giants. She's renowned for greeting everyone — whether it's the leader of a NATO nation or a perfectly ordinary, everyday person — with a manner that puts even the most nervous at ease, so that raises a question: Is there anyone she really just can't stand? Yes — and just who those people are is pretty surprising.

Princess Diana

Princess Diana may have an enduring popularity, and may continue to hold a special place in countless hearts as "the people's princess." But according to those closest to Princess Anne, she thought Diana was in no way, shape, or form the sort of royal who should be setting an example for anyone. 

When a fictionalized version of Anne made her appearance in the hit show "The Crown," Vanity Fair took a look to see if there was any truth to the conflict between the two. It turned out that the show downplayed the dislike, which royal experts say was rooted in Diana's outgoing personality, reputation as a fashionista, and love of the spotlight. Richard Kay is a longtime reporter on the royals, and he summed up the conflict like this: "[Anne] did not have time for Diana. ... She didn't like the way she went about her duty and the way she used the cameras and the media to promote herself, in her eyes. ... Anne had a much more traditional approach to monarchy and royal duty."

Diana's attempts at forming a relationship with Anne were reportedly rebuffed, and things didn't get better after Diana's marriage to Charles. In 2022, Newsweek reported that an old clip had resurfaced, in which Anne was asked about Diana and gruffly replied, "What about Diana? I don't know, you tell me." The reporter clarified they were interested in knowing more about the boy Diana had just given birth to. "I didn't know she'd had one. ... Oh, good," Anne said. 

Cherie Blair

Some people just get off on the wrong foot, and according to Cherie Blair's memoir, "Speaking for Myself," that's exactly what happened when she met Princess Anne. Vanity Fair shared the encounter, which started when Anne met the wife of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. When Anne called her "Mrs. Blair" and she responded with "Please call me Cherie," Anne bristled: "I'd rather not. It's not the way I've been brought up."

Blair's response? "What a shame." Ouch. Blair biographer Peter Scott recounted the incident in his book as well (via Express), saying that Anne simply turned around and walked away — and that it set the tone for the rest of their relationship. In 2002 — five years later — they met again at Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, and when the queen tried to introduce them, Anne turned her back and walked away without a word. Matters weren't helped any when Blair made sure to point out, "That b**** completely blanked me."

It's entirely possible that Anne's dislike for Cherie Blair also wasn't helped by Blair's vocal dislike for other royals. From humiliating moments with Princess Margaret to declaring that she hated the Queen's beloved corgis (via Express) to claiming she was allergic to the royal residence at Balmoral, it's safe to say that Blair didn't go out of her way to observe royal niceties... which would have understandably rubbed the Princess Royal the wrong way. 

Meghan Markle

It's no secret that royal newcomer Meghan Markle is incredibly polarizing. When body language experts looked at how she seemed to relate to various members of the family, they noted (via Express) that Anne's response to her was a distant one. That came with a disclaimer that Anne was often aloof, but other reports of their interactions leave little doubt about what the Princess Royal really thought of Markle.

Birmingham Live shared some thoughts from royal expert Neil Sean, who said that when Markle first got serious about wanting to be a royal, she asked Anne for advice. At the time, Anne did counsel her: She advised that becoming a member of the royal family was a full-time job, stressed the importance of charity work, and told Markle that when she lent her name to something, that wasn't enough — she needed to get involved. Sean went on to say that Markle absolutely didn't follow through, and it soured Anne on the would-be princess. He explained: "Meghan left her meeting with Princess Anne dumbfounded. ... And Princess Anne always knew that Meghan would have a very short shelf-life in the world of the British monarchy."

He wasn't the only one to speak about Anne's dislike of Markle. According to Lady Colin Campbell (via the Mirror), Anne had warned Harry not to marry her. She cited numerous concerns, which Campbell says were "all... based upon conduct and character. ... she couldn't stand Meghan's constant, 'uh, uh, me, me, me, me.'"

Reporters and photographers

According to the Express, Kate Middleton and Princess Anne paid a 2022 visit to the joint headquarters of two of the organizations they patronize — respectively, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives. When reporters got together to compare notes, they realized that they had all the details on what the Duchess was wearing, but nothing on the Princess's clothing choices. The reason? "Nobody had the guts to actually ask."

Jayne Fincher is an award-winning photographer and the author of several bestselling books about the royal family, and is among those who have felt Princess Anne's wrath. In fact, the International Business Times says that one incident with Fincher — and other photographers — may have fostered Anne's dislike of the press. Fincher recalled that it had happened at the Burghley Horse Show, and Anne not only fell from her horse, but she ended up being dumped into an extremely muddy lake. "We were all click click clicking away, giggling our heads off. ... if looks could have killed, we would all have been dead instantly."

Anne reportedly despised her title as princess being more important than her achievements in the equestrian world, and it was another fall that same year that led to her telling photographers to "naff off." The remark became infamous, and it was all over headlines when it happened. It wasn't until years later that photographer Steve Wood revealed (via Express) that they'd made up the "naff off" comment — what Anne had actually said was much worse and completely unprintable.

Sarah Ferguson

Every so often, the world gets a reminder that the royals are, underneath all that glitz and glamor, real people with real feelings... and real failings. Sarah Ferguson has always had something of an odd relationship with her now ex-husband, the disgraced Prince Andrew. According to The Telegraph, they've continued to live together in spite of being divorced for more than three decades — and it seems as though she was never a favorite sister-in-law to Princess Anne.

Royal photographer Steve Wood has picked up some things, spending so much time around the family. According to what he said in 2002 (via Express), Anne was no more of a fan of Ferguson than she was of Diana, for much the same reason. "[Anne] was extremely annoyed when Diana became center of stage, and then Fergie became center of stage for a while. She said about them behind their backs several times — 'those girls.'"

Anne — in spite of her constant hard work, and the fact that she regularly booked more than twice the outreach events and engagements that even Diana did — was vastly outshined by both Diana and Ferguson. And that, agreed royal reporter Harry Arnold, was at the heart of Anne's dislike. She was once overheard to say, "I work hard every day. I am never in the paper, no one ever thanks me."

Camilla Parker Bowles

Camilla Parker Bowles has always had a complicated relationship with the royal family, and that extends to Princess Anne.

Prince Charles biographer Sally Bedell Smith says (via Town & Country) that when Princess Anne divorced in 1992, there were rumors that infidelity was at the root of the split — and one of the names mentioned alongside Anne's was Camilla's first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles. Whatever really happened behind closed doors is unclear, but what is known is that he's the godfather of Anne's daughter, and they're frequently seen attending equestrian events together.

Her kinship, however, didn't seem to extend to Camilla — at least, not at first. According to body language expert Judi James (via Express), photos of Anne and Camilla show Anne positioning herself to push Camilla out of the closeness of the royal inner circle. Author Penny Junor agrees, saying (via The News) that Camilla was initially put off by Anne's prickly standoffishness with her, and the memory of whatever happened between Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles always hung in the air. But it's worth noting that relationships change over time, and in the years following Camilla's marriage to Anne's brother, Charles, the two women seem to have resolved at least some of their disagreements and now conduct themselves in a way that suggests friendship.

Members of the International Olympic Committee

One of the many roles Princess Anne fills is a seat on the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Alongside her are other royals, representatives from the military, former Olympians, and a who's-who list of sporting celebrities. It hasn't always been smooth sailing, though, and although there are no names available, there are clearly some people on the committee that Anne just can't stand.

In 1998, The New York Times reported on allegations that some committee members were more than happy to take bribes when it came time to vote on which cities would be chosen to host the Olympics. That was very loudly condemned by Anne in the following months, and according to the BBC, she wanted anyone corrupt out of the IOC, with the chairman of the British Olympic Association saying, "The Princess Royal wants to put its own house in order."

Fast forward to 2021, and it became very clear that Anne still had a major beef with IOC members who survived the scandal. Anne — who is a former Olympian herself — was credited with playing a major role in setting up London's 2012 games. According to an ITV documentary (via the Mirror), it was during the 2012 organizational meetings that Anne made a comment before turning her microphone off. After an unnamed committee member gave something of a speech, she said, "I think this person is probably the most stupid person in world sport."

Donald Trump and that viral shrug

No conversation about people whom Princess Anne dislikes would be complete without touching on that infamous incident with the royal family and Donald Trump. First, what the video showed, and what happened afterward: Cosmopolitan reports that words like "legend" were brought out to describe Princess Anne after a video started circulating that showed her mother in a reception line to greet several NATO leaders. Among them was Trump, and as he stood there, the queen looked to Anne, who shrugged. Low-key shade, or something else?

As much as the viral response to the video wanted to either praise or condemn Anne for seeming to make her dislike of Trump pretty obvious, it turns out that's not what happened at all. According to the Press Association's Laura Elston, the queen was looking toward Anne to see who was coming up to her after Trump. He was last in line, and Anne's shrug was accompanied by her saying, "It's just me!"

In another incident, Anne was said to have been seen standing with a group of world leaders and laughing behind Trump's back. Insiders explained to Vanity Fair that the story had horrified her: "She has always been careful not to be seen to be political in any way. She is also incredibly respectful, so any suggestion that she would laugh at anyone behind their backs was quite upsetting for her."