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Why King Charles III’s Sister Princess Anne Was the Only Royal Riding Horseback During Coronation

Why King Charles IIIs Sister Princess Anne Was the 1 Royal Riding Horseback During Coronation
Princess Anne Ash Knotek/Shutterstock

Riding solo! King Charles III arrived in a golden carriage his coronation on Saturday, May 6, — but his sister, Anne, Princess Royal, was the one who had fans talking as she exited the ceremony on horseback.

King Charles III Coronation

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Anne, 72, was the only royal who traveled from Westminster Abbey on Saturday back to Buckingham Palace after her brother Charles, 74, was crowned the king of England and the Commonwealth.

“I have a role as the Colonel of the Blues and Royals in the Household Cavalry regiment as Gold-Stick [in Waiting]. And Gold Stick was the original close protection officer,” Anne told Canada’s CBC News of her part in the historic event during a Monday, May 1, interview. “So that is a role I was asked if I’d like to do for this coronation, so I said ‘yes.’”

She joked that there was an added perk to the position. “Not least of all, it solves my dress problem,” the princess added.

Princess Anne Through the Years

Related: Princess Anne Through the Years

Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter’s original mode of transportation came as a result of her role as the Gold-Stick-in-Waiting, which she’s held since 1998. The position originated with two officers — a Gold Stick and a Silver Stick — who were tasted with protecting the monarch.

“The tradition of this role dates back to the 15th century, where two rods, one gold and one silver, would be placed by the monarch to protect them from danger,” according to the BBC. “These roles are now only really used for such royal events, like the coronation, and is typically held by the Colonels of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals.”

On Saturday, Anne was tasked with guarding her older sibling as he made his way back to Buckingham Palace following his lengthy coronation ceremony. As the sovereign was driven to the palace in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, the princess rode horseback behind him as an added line of protection.

The Princess Royal was in charge of leading 6,000 armed services personnel through the city as fans watched and hoped to get a glimpse of the new king.

Ahead of the Coronation Procession, Anne was one of the many royal family members who witnessed Charles’ being crowned at Westminster Abbey firsthand. She was spotted chatting with her nephew Prince Harry, who Us Weekly confirmed arrived in town on Friday, May 5, to witness his father’s big moment.

Anne was all smiles as she sat in front of Harry, 38, who was located in the third row of the church. (The Duke of Sussex’s wife, Meghan Markle, opted to stay in the U.S. with their children, Archie, 4, and Lili, 23, as the event fell on Archie’s birthday.)

Princess Anne and More Royal Family Attend King Charles Coronation

Related: Princess Anne and More Royal Family Attend King Charles’ Coronation: Photos

The prince, who hasn’t been a working royal since 2020, was seated next to his cousins Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice and their respective husbands, Jack Brooksbank and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

Charles’ sister and his youngest brother, Prince Edward, were seen in the second row. Their other sibling, Prince Andrew, made an appearance at the coronation but was seated a few rows back amid his disassociation with the royals following his 2019 sexual assault scandal.

Andrew, 64, was stripped of his royal titles after Virginia Giuffre accused him in 2019 of sexually assaulting her as a teen. The Duke of York denied the allegations and settled the case out of court in February 2022.

Harry was later noticeably absent from the Buckingham Palace balcony as Charles chose to keep the group to the “senior working royals,” which meant Prince William and Princess Kate and their three children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

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