Princess Anne has ''never been a city girl''.

The 70-year-old royal was born in London but always preferred staying at her family's Windsor Castle residence, rather than in Buckingham Palace.

She said: ''I've never been a city girl.

''I may have been born within the sound of Bow Bells, but definitely never my scene. London was to me school days.

''I did lessons in London and then because the weekends were at Windsor [Castle] and Windsor has a farm - mostly dairy, but there were pigs and chickens as well - my background in that sense was always on the farm.''

''Because I rode from no age, you saw every part of the farm and spent a lot of time down there, and there were people good enough to explain what they were doing; or just out of fun to explore, collect eggs, see piglets.

''All of that was very much part of my programme. There was never a question of living in London. It was not a world for me.''

Instead, Anne made her home at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire and she has enjoyed being confined there with her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, over the last few months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She told Australian Woman's Weekly magazine: ''I haven't been anywhere for three months, so in many respects it's been a joy because you miss the place, particularly in the spring.

''It's absolutely lovely. The bluebells. I've ridden all the way through.''

Anne's granddaughters, daughter Zara and her husband Mike Tindall's girls Mia, six, and two-year-old Lena, and son Peter and estranged wife Autumn's two children Savannah, nine, and Isla, eight, live nearby so have made visits to join the princess on her daily rides.

She said: ''They do occasionally come over. It gives them a change of scenery and a bit more water to play in.''

Both Zara and Peter - whose father is Anne's first husband Captain Mark Phillips - grew up on the estate and the princess thinks they were ''lucky'' to have a childhood on a farm.

She said: ''I think on the whole you're very lucky if you can have children growing up on farms.

''They have more time to themselves; there's an expectation that they will actually go out and enjoy themselves on their own. You don't watch them every minute of the day. That is quite important.

''You also get to understand that if you have livestock and animals, that is part of the deal, you look after them. They're not just a radish! If you want one, you have to look after it. So ponies, dogs, whatever... that's all part of the deal... You have to try to get the message across that you have to work hard to keep a place like this.''