It has been 35 years
since the Queen made her only daughter the Princess Royal in
June 1987, but did you know that Princess Anne’s royal title is very rare?
The 71-year-old is only the
seventh person to have held the title of Princess Royal since its establishment
by Charles I for his daughter, Princess Mary, in 1642.
While the title is
traditionally bestowed upon the eldest daughter of the sovereign, it is not
automatic. The last Princess Royal before Anne was Princess Mary, the only
daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, who died in 1965. The title remained
vacant for 22 years before the Queen bestowed it upon Princess Anne on 13 June
Princess Charlotte could inherit the title of Princess Royal
The title is held for life, even
if the holder outlives her parent the monarch, which is why King George VI was
unable to create his eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, the Princess Royal,
because her aunt, Princess Mary, was in possession of the title at the time.
Similarly, if Princess Anne is
still using the title when her nephew, Prince William, ascends the throne,
he will not be able to bestow it upon his daughter, Princess Charlotte.
Anne at Royal Ascot in 1987 just days after she was made Princess Royal
Princess Anne married her
first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, in 1973 and the pair share two
children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips.
The couple separated in 1989
and finalised their divorce three years later. Anne went on to wed Vice Admiral
Sir Timothy Laurence in 1992 and the couple reside at the Princess’ Gloucester
home, Gatcombe Park.
Anne is grandmother to Peter
and his former wife Autumn’s daughters, Savannah,11, and Isla, nine, as well as
Zara and Mike Tindall’s three children, Mia, eight, Lena, three, and