She is an expert horsewoman and competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
She one of the hardest working members of the royal family.
But yet these accomplishments pale in comparison to one dress worn twice in 27 years. Princess Anne might have now wished that she'd kept it in the closet. Fashion has now threatened to overtake all of her hard work. All the years spent trying to work hard for crown and country. Becoming known as a clotheshorse, albeit an economical one, as opposed to being recognized for her hard work. She must be shaking her head.
Despite earning plaudits for wearing the same outfit, and fitting in to it, people still criticized her lack of imagination with accessorizing. Anne has never been known for her fashion sense. She never had the glamour of her mother circa 1950's, wasn't in the same league as Diana. And probably couldn't care less; which shows.
"Poor Princess Anne..she's eighteen and nobody thinks she's a pretty girl.." as one woman's fashion magazine commented at the time. Princess Anne would never fit the fairy-tale princess mould, regardless of the lack of options the royal family had at the time. It took Diana to fill that void. Princess Anne must have breathed a sigh of relief. There is then a sense of irony that fashion plate Diana would eventually want the focus taken off her own clothes in favor of serious causes. But that would be a decade later. In that time Anne had been working, behind the scenes, on her own causes for over 20 years, namely Save the Children. Had she looked like Diana we might have even heard about it.
It's nothing new for royal women to recycle outfits. Camilla was recently seen in the same outfit she wore on 60th and 61st birthdays. Look at the Queen's fashions over the last 30 years and you'd find some old favorites trotted out time and again. She may not have been the most fashionable person, but her clothes have never detracted from who she is or the work she does. Her regal personage transcends fashion. She has even inspired designers the Autumn/Winter Dolce & Gabbana Collection. And in 2007 she named one of the world's most glamorous women by British Vogue Magazine. All while never catering to the fickle fashionistas. Something Princess Anne can only dream about.
The Princess now treads a fine line between being a fashion icon and being a hard working royal. She can be one or the other, but it seems not both. Will she risk it again?
Royal watchers and fickle fashionistas await her choice.
© Marilyn Braun 2008
In Royal Fashion
Royal Profile: The Princess Royal
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