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As she turns 60, Princess Anne is busy as ever

By Raphael G. Satter
Associated Press / August 14, 2010

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LONDON — Britain’s Princess Anne is turning 60, and the hard-working royal says she has no intention of slowing down.

An avid horse rider who represented her country at the 1976 Olympics, Anne is still heavily invested in sport, serving on London’s 2012 Olympic organizing committee.

It’s one of the 200 or so charities and organizations she’s involved with, and when asked in a television interview whether she felt like cutting back, she referred to her famously energetic mother, 84-year-old Queen Elizabeth II.

“Look around at the members of my family who are considerably older than me and tell me whether you think they have set an example which suggests that I might,’’ she said in an interview with the BBC timed to coincide with her birthday tomorrow. “Some of it is in the genes.’’

Anne’s official title is The Princess Royal, but she cultivates a no-nonsense public image and took the unusual step of not conferring royal status upon her children, Peter, 32, and Zara, 29. Both were also interviewed as part of the program.

Zara, who like her mother is an accomplished equestrian, could participate in the 2012 Games. Anne told the BBC she would be pleased if her daughter qualified.

She also spoke about her own career as a professional rider, and arched her eyebrows when an interviewer asked her about her reputation for competitiveness.

“I wouldn’t define it like that,’’ she said, saying what others saw as competitiveness was in fact frustration with her own horsemanship.

“What annoyed was not doing it very well,’’ she said. “In my day you were the person to blame, not the horse.’’

Anne is due to spend her birthday with her second husband, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence.

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