RYA President HRH The Princess Royal today made her first in-person appearance at an official event since the death of her father, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, meeting with members of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes and the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Fishbourne, Isle of Wight.
The Princess spoke fondly of her "early memories of sailing with her father" at the Royal Yacht Squadron and took time to speak to senior members and a group of aspiring young sailors.
Asked by Club Commodore Jamie Sheldon about the vessels she had sailed on, Princess Anne said: "I started really with Bloodhound (a yacht). I then regressed to dinghy sailing for a bit."
Princess Anne smiled as she spoke with some of the younger sailors and asked about their sailing experience.
The Princess then left the Royal Yacht Squadron on board "Warrior", before arriving at Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Fishbourne, where Commodore Chris Rickman and RYA Chair Chris Preston joined the welcoming party.
Commenting on the royal visit, Chris Preston said: “It was an honour to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club during her visit to the Isle of Wight today. The club has a distinguished and colourful history, built up over 175 years, and a thriving youth section and it is very much a community club. The Princess showed great interest in the club's history and activities including the staging of the 1908 Olympic Yacht races."
The Princess Royal’s visit to the island comes ahead of the Duke's funeral this Saturday at Windsor Castle. Prince Philip, who passed away aged 99 on Friday, was Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, patron of a number of clubs and served as President of the Royal Yachting Association for many years.
It was announced at the weekend that the royals and their households would observe two weeks of mourning, with members of the royal family "continuing to undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances", according to a royal official.
HRH The Princess Royal signs the visitors’ book at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club: credit PA