Princess Anne known as Olympics committee member 'stupidest particular person …

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Princess Anne is widely regarded as one of the hardest working, no-nonsense members of the Royal Family, however even she made a blunder while working on the 2012 London Olympics.

Speaking in an ITV documentary to mark the 70th birthday of the Princess Royal, World Athletics President Seb Coe recalled the moment Anne didn’t realise her microphone was on as she branded someone “the most stupid person in world sport.”

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Princess Anne called Olympics committee member 'stupidest person …

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Speaking on Anne: The Princess Royal at 70, Coe reflected on his time working with Princess Anne on the London Olympics.


Calling the gaffe one of his “favourite moments”, he said: “I do remember after a rather long winded interjection by one of the committee members she’d actually forgot to turn her microphone off.”

Princess Anne called Olympics committee member 'stupidest person …

Princess Anne speaking at the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony (Getty Imagse)

“She managed to utter the immortal words: ‘I think this person is probably the most stupid person in world sport.’ And this echoed around the room.”

Rather than succumbing to embarrassment, Coe continued that “she never flinched.” He said, “It was as though it never happened, and we just moved on.”

It isn’t the first time that a hot mic has caught a member of the Royal Family off guard. Prince Charles famously branded BBC journalist Nicholas Witchell “awful” without realising microphones had picked up his comment.

As Witchell asked Prince William about his father’s then-upcoming wedding to Camilla, Prince Charles muttered: “Bloody people. I can’t bear that man. He’s so awful. He really is.”

(Getty Images)

Princess Anne’s role in the London Olympics was a crucial one, according to numerous people who worked with her on the high profile sporting tournament. Coe praised her “bandwidth of experience” and said she was “uncompromising and very loyal.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, also said in the documentary: “She was absolutely integral to our winning the Olympics in 2005, then did a huge job with the British Olympics Association.”

Princess Anne competing in the Olympics with her horse Goodwill (Getty Images)

Princess Anne was heavily involved in the Olympics at the time as Director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, drawing on her own experiences as a former Olympian.

The keen horse rider competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games in a three-day equestrian event (she previously won gold and silver medals at the European Three Day Event Championships), though she suffered a nasty fall during her Olympics outing.

“It was a slightly novel entrance for everybody. I was just amazed to be included,” she said. Anne was concussed after her fall and said at the time she couldn’t remember the rest of the course.

Princess Anne awarding her daughter Zara Tindall a silver Olympic medal in 2012 (Getty Images)

Her daughter, Zara Tindall, would go on to compete in the 2012 Olympics in the exact same event as her mother. Team GB won silver and Princess Anne had the honour of giving her daughter the medal, a moment Tindall recalled as “pretty special” in the documentary.

“You can’t really ever explain that feeling. [Princess Anne] very much knows what it takes to achieve and to win [an Olympic medal],” she said.