The Princess Royal has said a slimmed-down monarchy does not sound like a good idea, adding that she thinks the suggestion was made when there were “a few more people around”.
In recent years, the royal family has shifted towards a more streamlined operation, focusing on those at the top of the line of succession.
The King himself is known to be in favour of a slimmed-down monarchy.
CBC chief correspondent Adrienne Arsenault raised the idea of a slimmed-down monarchy and said it is difficult to imagine how the 72-year-old princess would have the time to take on more work.
Anne replied: “Well, I think the ‘slimmed-down’ (monarchy) was said in a day when there were a few more people around to make that seem like a justifiable comment.”
When it was put to her that the world changes, Anne said: “It changes a bit. I mean, it doesn’t sound like a good idea from where I’m standing, I have to say. I’m not quite sure what else, you know, we can do.”
The royal family has gone through a lot of changes in recent years, with the deaths of both the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the decision taken by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to quit as working royals, and the Duke of York stepping down from public life after his disastrous Newsnight interview and furore over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
“I think it’s perfectly true that it is a moment where you need to have that discussion.
“But I would just underline that the monarchy provides, with the constitution, a degree of long-term stability that is actually quite hard to come by any other way.”
The princess was asked how the royal family deals with recent polling which suggested a drop in the percentage of people who want to see the monarchy continue.
“Well, we don’t in many respects need to deal with it, not least of all because it is the monarch that is the key to this, and the constitution that underpins the monarchy,” she said.
“We as a family see ourselves there to support that role. What we do, we hope, contributes to the monarchy and the way in which it can convey continuity, of not just interest, but of service, of understanding, the way that people in communities want to live their lives.
Speaking about what kind of King her brother will be, Anne said: “Well, you know what you’re getting, because he’s been practising for a bit, and I don’t think he’ll change.
“He is committed to his own level of service. That will remain true.”
It was put to the princess that she does not seem worried about the health or the longevity of the monarchy, and she replied: “I think you’re putting words into my mouth, as they say.”
She said she believes there is “genuine benefit from this particular arrangement, the constitutional monarchy, and I think it has good long-term benefits”, adding: “And that commitment to long term is what the monarchy stands for.”