Princess Anne Makes History at Queen’s Vigil: Find Out Why

Royal tradition Princess Anne made history while taking her place beside late mom Queen Elizabeth II‘s coffin during the Vigil of the Princes.

The Princess Royal, 72, became the first female member of the British royal family to “stand guard” during the traditional ceremony, which took place in Scotland on Monday, September 12. Anne wore her military uniform as she joined her three brothers — King Charles III, Prince Andrew Prince Edward, who the late queen shared with Prince Philip — for the vigil.

During the sad occasion, Anne represented the Royal Navy. She is the only female member of the royal family to have worn her uniform at official events.


Princess Anne
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Earlier on Monday, Anne and her siblings walked behind their mother’s coffin as it arrived at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. The foursome formed a line to follow the hearse in the procession from Holyroodhouse to the Cathedral before the vigil. Elizabeth’s coffin is set to remain at the cathedral until Tuesday, September 13, when it will be flown back to London as the U.K.’s mourning period continues.

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Thursday, September 8, that the queen “died peacefully” at age 96. As her doctors became more concerned about her health, her family rushed to Balmoral estate. Charles, 73, immediately assumed the throne following Elizabeth’s death.

While Anne has not made an official statement regarding the royal family’s loss, Charles issued an emotional tribute to Elizabeth on Thursday, one day before addressing the country for the first time as king.

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Queen Elizabeth II
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“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the former Prince of Wales said on Thursday. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

Charles added: “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”

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Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, King Charles III, Camilla, the Queen Consort, Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence attend a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the Life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh.
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The palace announced Sunday, September 11th that funeral procesions were underway. “Her Majesty the Queen’s coffin has left Balmoral,” a statement read. “Accompanied by the Princess Royal and Sir Timothy Laurence, the cortege will travel to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.”

Anne and her husband, aged 67, drove six hours from Elizabeth’s estate to Holyroodhouse. The coffin arrived adorned with flowers, and the royal standard from Scotland. Andrew, 62; Edward, 58; and his wife. Sophie, Countess Of WessexAnne curtsied to her casket as it passed.

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King Charles III, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew, follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II up the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland
Jon Super/AP/Shutterstock

The Olympian shared a strong bond and helped Elizabeth video chat during the coronavirus epidemic. ITV airedAnne: The Princess Royal at 70A clip of the queen trying to join a Webex conference in July 2020 went viral. It was a celebration of caregivers across the U.K.

“Can you see everybody? You should have six people on your screen,” Anne instructed the monarch, who replied that she could only see four participants. Her daughter quipped back, “You don’t need me. You know what I look like.”