Princess Anne refuses to pay for sea view and opts for cheaper room


It's austerity Anne! Princess refuses to pay for sea view to save herself 40 'because it's nighttime anyway'

Those who like to keep a close eye on how our taxes are spent by the royal family will be pleased to hear that Princess Anne is counting the pennies.

The cost-conscious Princess Royal declined a room with a view when checking into a Scottish seaside hotel last week… because it was nighttime and would not be able to see a thing.

Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Tim Laurence, booked into a room at the four star Manor House Hotel in Oban in Argyll.

Room without a view: When Princess Anne checked into The Manor House Hotel in Ovan, Argyll, she chose one of the cheaper rooms

Room without a view: When Princess Anne checked into The Manor House Hotel in Ovan, Argyll, she chose one of the cheaper rooms

She had obviously enjoyed visiting the town less than six months ago to help mark the 200th anniversary of the Royal burgh.

But this visit – accompanied by two Royal bodyguards – was a private one.

A spokesman for the hotel said the princess had previously visited the premises to attend a reception but had never stayed before.

However when booking her room, the money conscious princess declined having a sea view – where current low season rates are up to 225 for dinner, bed and breakfast – and instead opted for a room at the back without the marine vista.

The bodyguards also took a room each.

Big fan of Scotland: Princess Anne was in Oban just six months ago, and her daughter, Zara, got married in Edinburgh last summer

Big fan of Scotland: Princess Anne was in Oban just six months ago, and her daughter, Zara, got married in Edinburgh last summer

The spokesman declined to say how much the princess paid but prices start at 185 for dinner, bed and breakfast.

'She did not want a sea view because she would be arriving at night and leaving early,' he said.

'She and her husband stayed one night and had dinner. She was very interested in the hotel and its history.

'It was a private visit and had been booked in advance. She did not sign the visitors’ book but seemed to enjoy her stay.'

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: 'It was an entirely private visit. She had no official engagements that day.'

The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Laurence – who retired from the navy last August – are keen sailors and keep a yacht at nearby at Ardfern on Loch Craignish in Argyll and Bute.

It is believed her visit was nothing to do with sailing but the couple did make a private trip to one of the nearby Hebridean islands last Thursday.

In August, the Princess Royal' trip to Oban also took her over the sea to Skye where she dropped in on an unsuspecting artist to buy her work.

The princess – on a private sailing holiday with Vice Admiral Laurence – visited to the Talla Dearg art gallery on the Isle Ornsay on Skye.

Artist Pam Carter at first failed to recognise the Royal pair when they entered her gallery.

What they were missing: The stunning sea view from the Manor House Hotel

What they were missing: The stunning sea view from the Manor House Hotel

Where they might have stayed: An example of a room without a sea view

Where they might have stayed: An example of a room without a sea view

'We chatted for quite a while and I
asked them if they had hired the yacht. Tim Laurence said it was theirs
and they had been doing this for 18 years. I joked that he must be a dab
hand at sailing,' she said at the time.

'It was only when the hotel manager came in later that I realised who I had been talking to.'

The princess and her husband bought a limited edition print of a view of the Isle of Rum – a souvenir of their sail. An assistant collected it later.

The princess is also known to be a keen 'lighthouse bagger.'

Price list: How much rooms cost at the Manor House Hotel depending on when you would like to stay

Price list: How much rooms cost at the Manor House Hotel depending on when you would like to stay

Anne, who is patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board, had her interest in lighthouses sparked at an early age.

Aged just five, Anne accompanied the Queen on a visit to Tiumpan Head on the Isle of Lewis. Prince Charles got to blow the foghorn, but it was the princess who seems to have been hooked.

Since then Anne has 'bagged' around half the 208 lighthouses in Scotland – her ambition is to see them all.

Her daughter, Zara, married rugby player Mike Tindall in Edinburgh in July.