India Hicks wore Princess Anne’s “scratchy” underwear when she was a child.

India Hicks

India Hicks

The 53-year-old author – who is the granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten and the goddaughter of Prince Charles – has revealed she wore “hand-me-downs” from other members of the royal family when she was younger, including an old pair of “chill-proof thermal underwear” that previously belonged to the Princess Royal.

She said: “It was entirely practical stuff handed from the Queen to my aunt, to my mother. We all wore hand-me-downs.

“I remember my sister and I going through the bags. I was the last little recipient of Princess Anne's chill-proof thermal underwear, thank you very much.

“Actually, I'd like to correct myself. They weren't even thermal. They were wool, and very scratchy.”

India opened up about the knickers in a new documentary alongside her mother, Lady Pamela Hicks, which is titled ‘My Years With The Queen’ and explores Pamela’s long-lasting friendship with Queen Elizabeth II.

Pamela, 91, was one of the monarch’s bridesmaids when she tied the knot with Prince Philip – who is Pamela’s cousin – and the pair have stuck by one another through some tough times, including the passing of their respective fathers.

When Pamela’s father was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979, the Queen sent her private helicopter to pick up the children who were involved in the explosion.

Speaking in the documentary, Pamela recalled: “She asked me to tell her exactly what had happened because she adored my father. And then, silence. The Queen's emotions are all inside, always. She is very strong.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, India spoke of how strong and resilient the royal family are, especially after the assassination of her grandfather in the explosion which injured her aunt Patricia and killed her cousin, Nicholas Brabourne.

She said: “Both my mother and my aunt were extraordinary examples to the rest of the family - my aunt particularly, who so tragically lost her son [Nicholas].

“She said we will not live with bitterness. We will not live with regret. We will move our lives forward. That has been my mother's way, too: move on with compassion and humour.

“You are reminded how strong the human spirit is - and I think you see that very clearly from both my mother and the Queen. They are absolutely examples of how strong the human spirit is.”

‘My Years With The Queen’ airs on Thursday (01.04.21) at 9pm on ITV.