Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Royal Fashion Consciousness: Princess Anne Takes a Stand Against Fast Fashion, Showcasing a Decade-Old Pair of Sunglasses in Sri Lanka

Royal Fashion Consciousness: Princess Anne Takes a Stand Against Fast Fashion, Showcasing a Decade-Old Pair of Sunglasses in Sri Lanka
Monday, 15 January 2024 01:24

Renowned for her pragmatic and economical approach to fashion, the Princess Royal, at 73, continues to champion sustainability. During her recent visit to Sri Lanka, she turned heads by donning a pair of sunglasses that have been a steadfast part of her wardrobe for over a decade, emblematic of her commitment to recycling.

In an interview concluding her three-day visit, Princess Anne took a bold stand against the rampant culture of fast fashion. Reflecting on her tour of the MAS Active factory, a long-time manufacturer for Marks & Spencer, she voiced concerns about the environmental impact of mass-produced garments, particularly the ubiquitous T-shirts. Contemplating the aftermath of their disposal, she remarked, "What do you do with them next? Nobody really thought that one through, and they are going to have to think about that sort of thing in the future. You think about how much is going into landfill.

As the president of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, Princess Anne pondered the possibility of returning to traditional tailoring methods. She questioned the shift from structured fashion, where tailors and dressmakers played a pivotal role, to today's era of instant fashion that often leads to disposability. Suggesting a reacquisition of skills and a focus on materials capable of enduring multiple fashion cycles, she pondered, "Whether we’ve got to relearn those skills, go back and say ‘actually, we need materials that can do more than one evolution of fashion…’”

Throughout her Sri Lanka sojourn, the Princess, also president of the British Olympic Association, showcased her commitment to longevity in clothing. Wearing her beloved Team GB Adidas sunglasses gifted during the 2012 London Olympics, she emphasized the importance of durability. Given to her by the British cycling team, these sunglasses have become a staple in her wardrobe, symbolizing her belief that quality items should withstand the test of time.

In a world often captivated by trends and ephemeral styles, Princess Anne, akin to her elder brother, underscores the significance of a garment's enduring lifespan. Her choice of the same pair of sunglasses over the years exemplifies not just a personal preference but a broader ethos of sustainability. As the "hardest working Royal," Princess Anne's actions speak volumes about her commitment to responsible fashion and a reevaluation of our disposable clothing culture.

During her insightful sojourn in Sri Lanka, Princess Anne, when questioned about her formidable workload, portrayed herself as the vigilant "eyes and ears" of the monarchy. Undeterred by the demands of her role, she expressed unwavering commitment to traversing the country, offering support to those tirelessly contributing to commendable endeavors.

The culmination of her three-day expedition unfolded with vibrant hues and cultural resonance on a Friday to remember. At Vajira Pillayar Kovil, a temple in Colombo, the Princess was adorned with flower garlands and vivid silk shawls, immersed in a Hindu blessing. A moment of symbolic significance occurred as Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, her husband at 68, was granted the opportunity to dispel misfortune and invite better fortunes by smashing a coconut to the ground. The ambiance resonated with cultural richness as they ventured outside to feed sacred cows, revered beings in Hinduism, the Princess engaging with the animals as they indulged in vegetation.

The visit to a temple marked a poignant shift in tone after the Princess's initial visit to a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery, a poignant engagement given her recent assumption of the organization's presidency. At the meticulously maintained Jawatta Cemetery, Princess Anne paid homage to service personnel from Sri Lanka and Commonwealth nations, particularly those who had served during the Second World War. A solemn service of remembrance unfolded, featuring an excerpt from the poem "For the Fallen" and the haunting melody of the Last Post played by a bugler. The profound silence during the minute's observance was a poignant tribute.

In a gesture of deep reverence, Princess Anne laid a wreath of poppies with a handwritten card bearing the timeless tribute: "We will remember them," signed with her regal moniker, "Anne." Her role as the president of CWGC, succeeding the Duke of Kent, was announced during the previous Remembrance weekend, marking a significant transition for an organization led by the Duke since 1970. Adding another layer of distinction, the King was revealed as its inaugural patron, solidifying the Royal Family's enduring commitment to honoring the sacrifice of servicemen and women.

As Princess Anne concludes her impactful journey in Sri Lanka, her multifaceted role as the vigilant "eyes and ears" of the monarchy becomes more apparent than ever. Beyond the glamorous facade, she stands as a dedicated supporter, traversing the nation to acknowledge and bolster those engaged in commendable pursuits.

The vivid culmination of her visit, marked by vibrant cultural exchanges at Vajira Pillayar Kovil, reflected the Princess's willingness to immerse herself in local traditions. From coconut-smashing rituals to feeding sacred cows, each moment was a testament to her respect for and engagement with diverse customs.

The juxtaposition of her temple visit with the solemnity of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery underscored the depth of her responsibilities. As the newly appointed president of CWGC, succeeding a long-standing legacy, Princess Anne brought a fresh perspective to the commemoration of service personnel. The poignant service of remembrance at Jawatta Cemetery, with its haunting Last Post and the laying of a wreath adorned with a handwritten tribute, "We will remember them," revealed her deep reverence for those who sacrificed during times of conflict.

In assuming the mantle of CWGC leadership, Princess Anne not only upholds a cherished tradition but also signals a continuity of commitment within the Royal Family. The announcement of the King as the organization's inaugural patron further cements their dedication to preserving the memory of those who have served.

As the Princess bids farewell to Sri Lanka, her journey stands as a poignant blend of cultural appreciation, solemn remembrance, and a steadfast commitment to her royal duties. Through her actions and words, she leaves an indelible mark, reinforcing the enduring values of respect, remembrance, and responsibility within the Royal Family.


Akhil (Singer)
Wednesday, 17 April 2024