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British RoyalsFeaturesInsightPrincess Anne and Family

Anne at 70: Save the Children UK

Princess Anne, Princess Royal
The Royal Family/ Save the Children/ Instagram still/ fair use

Today we’re looking at another one of The Princess Royal’s longest-standing charitable associations: Save the Children UK.

Princess Anne became President of Save the Children in 1970, one of her earliest associations. In that time, she has travelled extensively throughout the country and around the world on behalf of the organisation, visiting South Africa, Mozambique, The Gambia, Ethiopia, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Madagascar, The Philippines, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Speaking earlier this year to Vanity Fair for a cover story about her 70th birthday, Anne said: “It took me probably 10 years before I really felt confident enough to contribute to Save the Children’s public debates because you needed to understand how it works on the ground and that needed a very wide coverage. So, my early trips were really important.”

Anne’s work with Save the Children has been so widespread and effective that in 1990, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the President of Zambia.

Earlier this summer, the Princess recorded a video for social media of herself reading Thomas the Tank Engine in support of Save the Children’s COVID-19 appeal to provide basic necessities for those in need. She also regularly visits its charity shops and supports its other initiatives to help children around the world.

The Royal Family website noted that Save the Children is Anne’s earliest charity that she became involved in and that it has “given her great insight into the needs of children worldwide and an understanding of the issues affecting developing countries.”

Save the Children was founded in 1916 by sisters campaigning about support for children suffering from famine and malnutrition during the First World War and has bloomed since then into an international organisation that protects children and their rights. The organisation operates now in over 100 countries and leads the way “on tackling big problems like pneumonia, hunger and protecting children in war while ensuring each child’s unique needs are cared for,” according to its website.

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Anne became the organisation’s Patron in 2016, following The Queen stepping down from her role.

In a statement on the Save the Children website, Princess Anne wrote of her involvement, saying: “I am proud of my long association with Save the Children, and I am honoured to succeed Her Majesty as its Patron. It is an organisation that embodies a spirit of compassion, openness and excellence. Its values are an inspiration; its achievements, a source of hope for millions of children.     

“From significantly reducing malnutrition in some of the poorest parts of Bangladesh to sheltering, feeding and vaccinating the young people affected by the devastating winds and rain of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and ensuring children in the UK leave primary school reading competently and able to fulfill their potential, their efforts to ensure that every child survives to live a happy, healthy life are outstanding.”

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.