Princess Anne makes rare comments about sister-in-law Camilla who she’s ‘known off and on’ for years – and admits she’s not a ‘natural’ in the role of Queen but is ‘really good’ at it

Princess Anne praised her sister-in-law Queen Camilla for her ‘outstanding’ understanding of her royal role in a new documentary.

The Princess Royal, 73, honoured the Queen, 75, in the BBC film set to air on Boxing Day which followed King Charles in his Coronation year.

Featuring unseen behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews with key officials, family and senior royals, it captures the galloping pace of the last 12 months. 

King Charles’s younger sister, who is known for her protective role over the monarch, had warm words for the woman by his side as she spoke to the documentary.

She marvelled at Camilla’s willingness to get stuck into the role and her ability to adapt to what is required of her.

Princess Anne has praised Queen Camilla’s ‘outstanding’ ability to adapt to her role as Queen in a new documentary

Speaking in the documentary, Anne said: ‘I’ve known her a long time off and on. Her understanding of the role and how much difference it makes to the King has been absolutely outstanding.

‘This role is not something that she’d be a natural for but she does it really well. She provides that change of speed and tone, that’s equally important.’

Anne told the documentary that, despite a lifetime waiting in the wings, it was difficult for her brother to prepare himself completely for the moment he acceded to the throne. The documentary was written and co-produced for Oxford Films by the Mail’s own royal expert, Robert Hardman.

Elsewhere in the film, the late Queen’s only daughter revealed her mother had worried about dying in Balmoral because she feared it would be difficult to organise her funeral.

The Princess Royal noted she and Camilla have known each other 'off and on' for several years

The Princess Royal noted she and Camilla have known each other ‘off and on’ for several years 

But she was persuaded by her family that she should do what felt right, according to a documentary charting King Charles’s first year as monarch, to be shown on BBC One on Boxing Day.

In a moving segment, Anne talks about her mother’s death and how she felt when she saw the Imperial State Crown taken off the Queen’s coffin for the last time at St George’s Chapel at Windsor. ‘I rather weirdly felt a sense of relief – that’s it, finished,’ she said. ‘That responsibility being moved on.’

The Princess Royal, who remained exceptionally close to the late Queen throughout her life, also said: ‘I think there was a moment when she felt that it would be more difficult if she died at Balmoral.

‘I think we did try to persuade her that shouldn’t be part of the decision-making process.’

Many considered it fitting that the Queen died at Balmoral because she had such a deep love for the Scottish Highlands.

Shortly before her death in September last year, she was visited by Dr Iain Greenshields, the moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland, who said afterwards that she spoke of how it ‘gave her a great deal of peace and pleasure to be at Balmoral’.

The Princess Royal revealed that it was ‘pure serendipity’ that she was by the monarch’s side when she died. She explained that she had only stopped over at Balmoral Castle on her way back down south after spending a few days on Scotland’s West Coast.