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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Princess Anne defends 'caring' Queen
Princess Anne with the Queen, in 2002
A young Princess Anne appreciated the Queen's role
Princess Anne has rounded on critics of the Queen who claim she is an uncaring mother.

In a BBC interview, the Princess Royal said her mother was as loving as any other.

Her comments are broadcast on a documentary series Queen and Country, starting on Wednesday, which features personal footage of the Royals and insights from Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

Princess Anne, 51, also said the Royal Family was a happy unit in which members enjoyed socialising with each other.

I think we all enjoy each other's company

Princess Anne

She said: "I simply don't believe that there is any evidence whatsoever to suggest that she wasn't caring. It just beggars belief."

Over the years, there have been suggestions in the press that the Queen was a distant or impersonal mother.

But the Princess Royal added: "We as children may have not been too demanding in the sense that we understand what the limitations were in time and the responsibilities placed on her as monarch in the things she had to do and the travels she had to make.

"But I don't believe any of us for a second thought she didn't care for us in exactly the same way as any other mother did.

Personal portrait

"I just think it extraordinary that anybody could construe that that might not be true."

The Princess gives a frank interview to William Shawcross, in which she talks about her childhood and dismisses any thoughts of tensions among the Royals.

She said: "Judging by some families, I think we are all on pretty good speaking terms after all this time and that's no mean achievement for quite a lot of families. I think we all enjoy each other's company."

But she admitted a film about the Royal Family in the 1960s put extra pressure on her as a child.
Princess Anne
Anne: felt royal pressures as a child

And she disliked the 1970s introduction of Royal walkabouts.

The series of four programmes offers a revealing and intimate portrayal of the Queen by some of those closest to her throughout her reign.

The first, to be screened on Wednesday, chronicles the Queen's relationship with her subjects, interspersing modern-day scenes with archive footage.

The other three programmes in the series offer a personal portrait of the Queen, her relationship with the Commonwealth and with the government.

BBC coverage

Personal footage of the Royal Family includes home movies shot by the Queen on board the Royal yacht Britannia, and the Queen Mother's 101st birthday celebrations.

Queen and Country is part of a huge range of programming devoted to the Jubilee by the BBC.

The corporation will provide almost blanket coverage of the celebrations during the Jubilee weekend of 1-4 June.

Those events will include street parties across Britain and two music concerts broadcast from the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

See also:

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