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Philip enjoyed coming here, Princess Royal tells yacht club members

Luke Powell, PA
·2-min read

The Princess Royal reminisced about sailing in her younger years as she made her first in-person appearance at an official event since her father’s death.

Anne appeared in good spirits as she met with members of the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight on Wednesday – the prestigious club the Duke of Edinburgh was once admiral of.

The princess, 70, said she could “understand” why Philip visited the Cowes-based club, adding that he “enjoyed coming down here”.

Anne also spoke fondly of her “links” to Cowes and “early memories of sailing”.

Asked by Royal Yacht Squadron commodore Jamie Sheldon if she had ever sailed on a Flying Fifteen – a sailboat designed by Uffa Fox – Anne said: “I was considered a bit too young and a bit of a nuisance.

“I started really with Bloodhound (a yacht). I regressed to dinghy sailing for a bit, but then got a slightly bigger boat.”

She added: “Early memories, this was, days-out were great fun. Events here and events in Cowes, and Uffa’s dinners. All of that. I can understand why he was here regularly.

“Of course the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) used to have its meetings, summer meetings, used to be on Britannia during Cowes Week, all of that.”

Anne – the only daughter of the Queen and the duke – wore sunglasses, a navy blue jacket, black trousers, shoes, gloves and a black bag for the visit.

She smiled as she spoke with senior members of the club and young aspiring sailors.

Princess Royal
The Princess Royal signs the visitors book at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club (Ben Birchall/PA)

The princess left the club on a motor yacht called “Warrior” around midday before arriving at Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Fishbourne.

There, she unveiled a plaque marking the club’s 175th anniversary and signed its guestbook, as her parents had done on July 26 1965.

As she signed the book, while holding an umbrella in one hand, Anne said: “I haven’t done this for such a long time, I’ve forgotten how to do it.”

Her visit comes ahead of the duke’s funeral this Saturday at Windsor Castle.

Philip, who died aged 99 on Friday, was Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, patron of a number of clubs and president of the Royal Yachting Association.

It was announced at the weekend the monarchy and their households would observe two weeks of royal mourning with members of the royal family “continuing to undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances,” a royal official said.