Why Princess Anne was missing from the royal Christmas Day walkabout in Sandringham

The Princess Royal didn't join other members of the Royal Family for the church service on Christmas Day

Princess Anne
(Image credit: Getty)

The royals took part in their first Christmas Day walkabout since 2019 this year, but you may have noticed that Princess Anne was missing from the event.

Princess Anne is understood to have had a cold, making her unable to attend the Christmas Day walkabout. 

Princess Anne also missed out on Princess Kate's carol concert earlier this month, where she paid tribute to the Queen, though this was not related to illness.

A scheduling conflict meant that Anne couldn't join her family members at the service. Instead, the Princess Royal attended the London International Horse Show at ExCel London.

It's hardly surprising that Princess Anne, who lives at Gatcombe Park, had a scheduling issue as for the second year running, she has been named the most hardworking royal.

Princess Anne

(Image credit: Getty)

While she is one of the oldest members of the Royal Family at 72, the Princess Royal is showing no signs of slowing down and attended a whopping 214 yearly royal engagements in 2022. July was her busiest month, with the Princess carrying out an amazing 24 engagements.

And aside from her hectic schedule, Princess Anne was even at her mother the Queen's side when she passed away (opens in new tab).

King Charles III came in second place with 181 engagements, most of which have been newly appointed since the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex came in third with 143 events, while his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex placed fourth with138 events.

The Prince of Wales came in fifth, taking part in 126, and the Princess of Wales was slightly further down the list in ninth place, having taken part in 90 royal engagements.

Princess Anne recently celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary to her second husband Timothy Laurence. And a jewellery expert has revealed why Princess Anne's second engagement ring is almost identical to her first.

Princess Anne

(Image credit: Getty)

She received a sapphire ring from her first husband Mark Phillips whom she went on to marry and have two children, Zara Tindall (opens in new tab) and Peter Phillips. But they divorced in 1992 after 19 years of marriage.

The Princess Royal remarried, with husband Timothy Laurence, on 12th December 1992 and Timothy also presented Princess Anne with a sapphire ring when they got engaged. 

And Jewellery expert Maxwell Stone, of UK retailer Steven Stone (opens in new tab), has revealed what this shows about Princess Anne as a person. He said, “It’s interesting that Princess Anne received sapphire engagement rings rather than traditional diamond rings. Blue sapphires are often linked to people who are respectful, loyal, hardworking, and honest, which only makes these rings even more special, and suggests that this could have meant something to Princess Anne."

He continued, "Princess Diana also famously had a blue sapphire ring, which is now in the hands of Kate Middleton, whilst Queen Elizabeth II was frequently seen sporting the gemstone on her famous brooches." 

Robyn Morris
Entertainment writer - contributor

Robyn is a freelance celebrity journalist with ten years experience in the industry. While studying for a degree in Media and Cultural Studies at London College of Communication, she did internships at Now and Heat magazines. After graduating, she landed a job at Star magazine, where she worked her way up to features editor. She then worked at Future as Deputy Celebrity Content Director across Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home magazines.