A week after the end of royal mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Anne was spotted somewhere surprising. On Tuesday, the New York City Department of Transportation shared a photo of the princess riding the Staten Island Ferry.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t in town to see how the renovations are going on the boat that Pete Davidson and Colin Jost recently purchased. Instead, Anne’s visit to Staten Island took her to the National Lighthouse Museum, where she made an appearance in her role as honorary campaign chair for their Illuminating Future Generations fundraising campaign.
Over the last few decades, Anne has taken on a handful of patronages relating to lighthouses and marine safety, and she is actually a big fan in her spare time, too. In 2015, she wrote about her history as a lighthouse “bagger” and her quest to visit all the lighthouses in Scotland. In a press release from 2019, the museum called her “one of the great champions in the international lighthouse community.”
According to SILive, she arrived in Staten Island at around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, and the low-profile trip took place almost exactly 65 years after her parents, the late queen and Prince Philip visited the borough on a tour of the US. In a speech at the museum, she also spoke about the importance of lighthouses.
“I think lighthouses have been a particularly good way of educating people about the importance of maritime in all its formats,” she said. “It’s not just about trade, but the impact of what we do to the sea, and how we can look after it better, and the way in which it affects our lives.”
Anne’s trip to New York began with a Monday visit to a gala for the English Speaking Union of the United States, a member group of an international organization that sponsors programs to promote the English language in the US and around the world. Anne is the patron of the ESU of the Commonwealth, a role that was held by her mother from 1957 to 2018. Per Tatler, she also met with Emma Wade-Smith, the UK’s consul-general for the United States, and attended a gala dinner for the Gordonstoun American Foundation, which raises funds for the Scottish boarding school where her children were both students.
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