According to 2005 biography “Tony & Cherie: A Special Relationship” by author Paul Scott, the former Prime Minister’s wife was an ardent anti-monarchist. After meeting for the first time in 1997, her relationship with Princess Anne “went rapidly downhill and never really recovered”, sparking heightened tensions with the entire royal family. In 2019 Channel 5 documentary “Paxman on the Queen’s Children”, royal correspondent Gyles Brandreth recalled their first meeting at Balmoral Castle, which is what reportedly started the feud between the two ladies.
Mr Brandreth said: “When Cherie Blair first met her and said, you know, ‘call me Cherie’, she [Princess Anne] said ‘no, I think it would be better if I called you Mrs Blair’. “
According to author Paul Scott, it was clear after this that Princess Anne did not particularly like Mrs Blair but the “major royal snub” happened a few years laters.
At the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002, the Blairs are said to have irritated the royal family with an unscheduled walkabout.
When Mrs Blair saw Princess Anne, she said hello to her but, according to Mr Scott, the Queen’s daughter turned her back without saying a word.
In his book, Mr Scott claims that a furious Mrs Blair is said to have responded to the gesture by saying: “That b**** completely blanked me.”
“Tony & Cherie: A Special Relationship” is a biography that looks at how the Blairs survived life in Downing Street with all its stresses and strains.
Author Paul Scott is a former senior national newspaper executive who was granted special access to well-placed sources during Mr Blair’s premiership.
In the book, Mr Scott noted how the Blairs never enjoyed their annual visit to Balmoral Castle, the Scottish holiday retreat of the royal family, as they thought it was “cold and draughty”.
However, he adds that while Mr Blair still behaved in an appropriate manner, his wife never attempted to disguise her irritation.
Mrs Blair reportedly hated the Balmoral rituals, including the strict dress code for women and the obligatory curtsey to the Queen.
She also never liked to be around the monarch’s dogs, as Mr Scott claimed she suffered from an allergic reaction to fur.
Quoting insiders, the author said: “Every time Mrs Blair walks into the place her eyes bulge, go red and begin to water.
“She comes out in red blotches and her nose runs constantly.
“By the time she leaves she has lost her voice completely. It is pure torture for her.”