Forever in her heart. Princess AnneFollowing her death at the age of 96, Elizabeth II was honored with a touching tribute.
“I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother’s life. It was an honor and a privilege to be there for her final journeys. Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting,” the Princess Royal, 72, wrote in a statement shared via the royal family’s Instagram account on Tuesday, September 13. “We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who share our sense of loss.”
The post featured a smiling photo featuring the mother-daughter couple. “We may have been reminded how much of her presence and contribution to our national identity we took for granted. I am also so grateful for the support and understanding offered to my dear brother Charles as he accepts the added responsibilities of The Monarch,” Anne continued. “To my mother, The Queen, thank you.”
The Olympian broke her silence less than one week after her mother’s death at her Balmoral home in Scotland. Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday, September 8, that Her Majesty’s medical team was worried about her health. “Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” the statement read, hours before she passed away. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
As funeral preparations got underway during the U.K.’s official mourning period, Anne shared another emotional moment with her siblings, curtsying to Elizabeth’s coffin as it arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sunday, September 11.
Three months before her death, the queen was celebrated in June for her 70-year tenure on the British throne. This was followed by a four day Platinum Jubilee celebration in London. The historic celebrations began with Elizabeth from Buckingham Palace’s balcony during the Trooping the Colour.
Anne was among many family members present to toast the queen’s service. After riding alongside the British troops, she met her mother on the balcony and took in the rest of this parade. While Elizabeth later missed several events due to feeling some “discomfort” at Trooping the Colour, she made a surprise appearance at the Jubilee Pageant. The sovereign waved to the onlookers from the palace balcony.
The queen also had the opportunity to meet Prince Harry Meghan Markle‘s daughter, Lilbet, during the Jubilee. Lili was named for Elizabeth, whose nickname from late husband Prince Philip was “Lilibet.” (She was born in June 2021.)
Before her death, Anne had a close relationship with the late royal. The princess, who was the only daughter of Elizabeth, and the late Duke Edinburgh, died in April 2021, at the age of 99.
The princess is known for her sharp tongue and quick wit, just like her father. She also has a strong work ethic, which was inspired by the hard work of the queen during her reign as the longest-reigning sovereign in U.K history.
“It’s not just about, ‘Can I get a tick in the box for doing this?’ No, it’s about serving …. It comes from an example from both my parents’ way of working and where they saw their role being,” Anne told Vanity FairApril 2020: About her desire to give back her country. “I mean, my father served. It was a direct form of service, you could argue. And the queen’s [actions] have been a lifelong service in a slightly different way, but they both have that perspective of service which is about working with people.”
The Princess Royal, who shares children Peter Phillips Zara Tindall with her ex-husband, Mark Phillips, joked that she doesn’t think “retirement is quite the same” for her as for others, noting she had no plans to stop working anytime soon — again following in her mother’s footsteps.
“Most people would say we’re very lucky not to be in that situation because you wouldn’t want to just stop. It is, to a large extent, the choice of the organizations you’re involved with and whether they feel you’re still relevant,” she told the outlet. “But I think both my father and my mother have, quite rightly, made decisions about, you know, ‘I can’t spend enough time doing this and we need to find somebody else to do it,’ because it makes sense. I have to admit they continued being there for a lot longer than I had in mind, but we’ll see.”
As a young girl, Anne bonded with the late monarch over their love of horses, which continued throughout Elizabeth’s life. Anne was the first royal equestrian to compete in the Olympics. Mother and daughter were often photographed riding side-by-side. The passion for horses was passed down to Anne’s daughter.
The couple remained close to the end. Anne helped Anne navigate video calls in July 2020 during the coronavirus epidemic. When Elizabeth’s husband of 73 years was admitted to the hospital in February 2021 to undergo heart surgery, the queen leaned on “her loved ones for support,” including her daughter three sons, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince EdwardA source said that he was told by Use At the time.
Two months later, an insider said Use that Elizabeth was “heartbroken” over the loss of Philip who had been by her side since they tied the knot in November 1947. Charles and Anne were their eldest children when the couple married. She became queen in 1953.
The four children of the late monarchs, eight grandchildren, as well as 12 great-grandchildren, are still living.