Princess Anne blasts health and safety culture as she warns excessive rules are hindering children’s decision-making
- Aged 69, she expressed surprise that helmets are not compulsory at skate park
- She blasted excessive rules for hindering youngsters’ decision-making
- An avid equestrian herself, the Princess Royal was hospitalised in 1964 aged 14
Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate
Health and safety culture is doing children more harm than good, Princess Anne said today.
She blasted excessive rules and regulations for hindering youngsters’ decision-making, particularly in ‘risky’ sports.
The famously outspoken royal admitted that as the Scottish Rugby Union’s patron she protested against extra padding being sewn into players’ shirts.
‘I did say to Scottish rugby’s doctor, please don’t do that because it’ll only make them hit each other harder,’ she told The Daily Telegraph.
‘One of the things that all sports have to come to terms with is the risk element,’ she added.
An avid equestrian herself, the Princess Royal was hospitalised in 1964 aged 14 when she hurt her hand falling off her horse.
Now, aged 69, she expressed surprise that helmets are not compulsory after visiting a skate park in Corby.
The Princess Royal was hospitalised in 1964 aged 14 when she hurt her hand falling off her horse but would not give up her passion. Here she races at the Royal Ascot 1972
‘I thought that was interesting because it makes it their responsibility,’ she said.
‘If you don’t allow children to assess their own risk-taking abilities, they never really learn, so they then go off and do things, which inherently they’re not good enough to do, but somebody has said health and safety has said this is OK, and they’ve got no way of judging on their own whether or not they’ve got the skills to do it.’
Here princess Anne can be seen falling from her horse after a jump at the Rushall Horse Trials in Wiltshire in April 1975
During the interview, in support of the children’s rugby charity Wooden Spoon, for which she is patron, the princess also urged charities to step back from a total focus on arts projects.
She said: ‘In all big cities you tend to get areas which focus more on arts and crafts and theatre – but that doesn’t apply to everybody.
‘It’s just the way – like Tetbury is full of antiques shops.
‘Why do you all want to be there? It’s a mystery to me.
‘But it doesn’t mean to say that everybody who comes from Tetbury is an antiques dealer.’
Britain’s Prince George of Cambridge, Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Britain’s Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Britain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal, and Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave after the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England