Comments by the Princess Royal, who is 16th in line to the British throne and is considered to be one of the hardest-working royals, were made during a wide-ranging interview Monday.
In the years before Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the royal family’s advisers had been promoting the idea of a slimmed-down monarchy that saw senior family members like Charles and Camilla as well as the Prince and Princess of Wales take on more duties.
“Well, I think the ‘slimmed-down’ [comment] was said in a day when there were a few more people around … [to] make that seem like a justifiable comment,” Anne told CBC News’ Adrienne Arsenault.
“It doesn’t sound like a good idea from where I’m standing, I would say. I’m not quite sure what else we can do.”
As well as the Queen’s death, which came a few months after her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died, the royal family has been rocked by Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex stepping away from their royal duties in 2020 and Prince Andrew’s ties to disgraced financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Her comments come just days before the United Kingdom celebrates King Charles III’s coronation on Saturday.
Anne, who will be at the coronation, said she was asked to fulfill her role as the Colonel of the Blues and Royals in the Household Cavalry Regiment. “I said yes, not least of all it solves my dress problem,” she quipped.
Heir to the throne for seven decades, Charles will be officially crowned in a magnificent and deeply religious ceremony on Saturday while thousands will gather at Westminster Abbey and the surrounding streets of central London to take in a glorious display of British pageantry.
When asked how her brother will reign, 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, and that will remain true.”
Still, there are some doubts surrounding the continued relevancy of the monarchy, particularly in Commonwealth countries such as Canada, where CBC is broadcast.
“It’s not a conversation that I would necessarily have,” Anne said. “I think it’s perfectly true that it is a moment when 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.”
Anne added: “I believe that there is genuine benefit from this particular arrangement, the constitutional monarchy … has good long term benefits and that commitment to long term is what the monarch stands for.”
Sign up for CNN’s Royal News, a weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on the royal family, what they are up to in public and what’s happening behind palace walls.