Princess Anne hospitalized, won't attend Memorial Day ceremony in St. John's

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends a reception after presenting the Queen's Anniversary Prizes for higher and further education for 2020-2022 during a ceremony at St James's Palace on February 17, 2022 in London, England. The Queen's Anniversary Prizes are awarded every two years to universities and colleges whose work has been judged to show excellence, innovation and impact in any field or discipline, and to be of a benefit to society, as well as the institutions themselves. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Princess Anne was injured at her Gatcombe Park estate on Sunday and is in hospital. She was scheduled to attend a July 1 ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the National War Memorial in St. John's. (Kirsty O'Connor/Getty Images)

Princess Anne — the colonel in chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment — will not be in the province next week for Memorial Day celebrations, after suffering head injuries at her country estate over the weekend.

The princess, who is also president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, was expected to be in St. John's on July 1 when the National War Memorial refurbishment is unveiled and an unknown soldier is entombed.

Instead, she's been hospitalized after what Buckingham Palace is referring to as "an incident."

"The Princess Royal has sustained minor injuries and concussion following an incident on the Gatcombe Park estate yesterday evening," said a statement from Buckingham Palace on Monday.

"Her Royal Highness remains in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, as a precautionary measure for observation and is expected to make a full and swift recovery."

The exact cause of the injury is unknown; however, it's understood to be consistent with a strike from a horse's head or legs.

Gatcombe Park is Princess Anne's residence, located in Gloucestershire, England.

Princess Anne's last visit to Newfoundland and Labrador came eight years ago, for the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beaumont-Hamel in 2016.

In a statement, Premier Andrew Furey said he was saddened to hear of Princess Anne's accident and that she would be unable to attend the ceremony.

"On behalf of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, I wish her a quick and healthy recovery" said Furey.

Corner Brook royal watcher Crystal Rose said she's disappointed the Princess won't be able to make her visit to Newfoundland.
Corner Brook royal watcher Crystal Rose says she's disappointed the princess won't be able to visit Newfoundland. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

Corner Brook royal watcher Crystal Rose said she was disappointed to hear the news. She had considered driving to St. John's to see Anne.

"I'm sure there's a lot of folks really disappointed that she won't be here for this important, historic occasion," she said. "I think they mean a lot to Newfoundlanders."

Rose said having a senior royal in attendance would have drawn eyes from around the globe to the event. She hopes Anne or other royals will be able to visit Newfoundland and Labrador again soon.

Download our free CBC News app to sign up for push alerts for CBC Newfoundland and Labrador. Click here to visit our landing page.