She is the only female member of the royal family to walk behind the Queen's coffin and join the vigil.
One of the final wishes of the late Queen Elizabeth II was for her daughter, Princess Anne, and highlighted the close bond they shared. The Queen asked for Princess Anne to be an integral part of her funeral and take on an important role in carrying her coffin. This not only established Princess Anne's status within the family but also helped King Charles III as he balanced his sorrow with his new responsibilities, according to Geo TV.
This last wish is quite reminiscent of when the late Queen herself became an important pillar in her father King George VI's final journey from Sandringham in 1952, BBC reported. While nobody asks to become the reigning sovereign in the backdrop of a family death, it is what King Charles III has had to come to terms with. With Princess Anne being there to support him, the family displayed remarkable strength and togetherness in this time of national mourning.
The Princess Royal was present during the Queen’s last 24 hours, as described in her statement made on Instagram. She wrote, “I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother’s life. It has been an honor and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys. Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.” She added, “We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who shares our sense of loss. 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.” She concluded this heartfelt message by saying, “To my mother, The Queen, thank you.”
At the queen’s funeral, Princess Anne watched her elder brother in his military uniform tear up as he saw his mother laid to rest. Just before that, he had witnessed the late Queen’s oak carriage being transferred into the gun carriage which was the carriage used by her parents before moving through Parliament Square. After the King, along came Prince William of Wales, and the Duke of Sussex. Following them swiftly were the Princess of Wales and Duchess of Sussex and the newly appointed King’s brother Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who also appeared to be crying.
The Princess could be seen looking at her elder brother in concern as he has had to shoulder some big responsibilities in these past few days. With 2,000 people singing hymns in the abbey where the coffin was placed, it was difficult for the King to get his bearings, and he was often left unable to sing through the hymns. Clutching his sword and orb often tightly, he was left looking downcast at the funeral. He expressed his love for all the people he was able to visit in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, all of whom have shown their love for the Queen.
Anne, Princess Royal, has been a significant part of the funerary events. Apart from being the only female member of the royal family to walk behind the Queen's coffin, Princess Anne was also the first female royal to join the Vigil of the Princes, PEOPLE reported. Her relationship with the Queen will be forever remembered. The Queen is buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel with her husband Prince Philip, father King George VI, mother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and sister Princess Margaret.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Jeff J Mitchell