Princess Anne celebrates her 69th birthday today. The Princess Royal has hit headlines recently with her eco-friendly fashion recycling, still looking chic in outfits she has owned since the Eighties. Anne has won many fans over the years for the combination of her hardworking royal ethic and her straight-talking bluntness.
However, her trademark iciness did not make an ally of Cherie Blair, who had several frosty encounters with the Queen’s only daughter.
Speaking in 2019 Channel 5 documentary “Paxman on the Queen’s Children”, royal biographer Gyles Brandreth said: “When Cherie Blair first met her and said, you know, ‘Call me Cherie’, she [Princess Anne] said ‘No, I think it would be better if I called you Mrs Blair’.”
Biographer Peter Scott in his 2006 book “Tony and Cherie”, adds to the scene: “With that the princess turned on her heels and marched off to talk to someone else.”
According to Mr Scott, Cherie’s relationship with Princess Anne “went rapidly downhill and never really recovered” after that first 1997 meeting.
However, another ”major royal snub” from the princess happened a few years laters.
At the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002, Mrs Blair had another “unhappy meeting” with Anne.
Mr Scott writes: “There was ill-disguised contempt from some royals who believed the Blairs had muscled in on the event by going on an impromptu walkabout among the crowds in the Palace grounds.
“The Queen had introduced Cherie to her daughter Princess Anne.
READ MORE: Royal feud: Real reason the Queen’s children ‘aren’t close’ revealed
Mrs Blair’s run-ins with the Royal Family did not end there, as she reportedly “annoyed” the Queen and “mortified” the Queen Mother when she and Tony went on the customary Prime Minister’s trip to Balmoral.
However, Princess Anne has also shown a more fiery side to her temper.
2002 Channel 4 documentary “The Real Princess Anne” heard from former royal press secretary Robin Ludlow, who described how the princess was approached by reporters as she was about to compete in the equestrian arena.
Mr Ludlow said: “And this of course made her very cross, because she wasn’t there to talk about her private life and that’s when she started telling everybody to naff off.”
Daily Express royal reporter Ashley Walton and Daily Express royal photographer Steve Wood reflected on the iconic picture they took of the princess when she told them to “naff off”.
Mr Wood said: “It’s the ‘naff off’ picture, when she lost it and told me to ‘naff off’ and that created a storm.”
Mr Walton added: “The truth is, we made up the ‘naff’ word to cover up another word.”
The Princess Royal’s bad language does not seem to be reserved for royal correspondents, either.
In 2003, journalist Ryan Parry gained access to Buckingham Palace as a “fake footman”, and reported back on the Royal Family’s habits behind closed doors.
Speaking in 2015 documentary “Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm”, Mr Parry recalled how he was once told off for breaking china.
However, he claimed to have never got a dressing down like a fellow footman who fumbled a task he was assigned by Princess Anne.
Mr Parry said: “She looked at him and said: ‘you incompetent t***!’”