Princess Anne had a very special role during her brother King Charles’ Coronation on Saturday, May 6. The King’s sister and the only daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth II, 72, was the only member of the royal family to arrive on horseback, as she holds the title of “Gold-Stick-in-Waiting” since 1998. The position dates back to the 15th century when two public servants— a Gold Stick and a Silver Stick — were ordered to stay close to the monarch for protection.
The Princess was dressed in her ornate military uniform as she followed right behind Charles and Camilla on horseback during the Coronation Procession. The parade featured 4,000 participants, one of the largest military ceremonial operations since the queen’s coronation in 1953, according to ABC News.
Ahead of the coronation, Anne opened up about her role, as well as how the rest of the Royal Family may feel about the coronation, in an interview with CBC, aired on May 1. “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,” she said. “So that is a role I was asked if I’d like to do for this coronation, so I said yes. Not least of all, it solves my dress problem.”
Anne’s joke about the dress is a reference to the fact that she’ll wear a military uniform, belonging to the regiment of the Blues and Royals. The regiment is the second highest regiment of the British army. Anne’s role as the Gold Stick in Waiting is also a very special part, dating back to the mid-1600s, when a courtier was tasked with defending King Henry VIII. The role has since become more ceremonial.
Earlier in the interview, Anne also opened up about how the members of the Royal Family hadn’t thought about a coronation for a very long time. “We’ve been very lucky. My mother was the queen for a very long time, and although you kind of know that this might happen, you don’t really think about it very much, not least of all, because the monarchy is about continuity,” she said.
At other points, the Princess Royal also revealed that she knows that becoming King has been something that her brother has had a very long time to consider, but it has still been something that the rest of the family has had to adjust to. Later, she also shared her thoughts on what her brother will be like as the monarch. “For my brother, this is something he’s been waiting for, and he’s probably spent more time thinking about it. For the rest of us, it’s more a question of, ‘Okay, we have to shift the way we support,'” she explained. “You know what you’re getting, because he’s been practicing for a bit, and I don’t think he’ll change. He has committed to his own level of service. That will remain true.”
The Coronation Service of Their Majesties The King Charles III and The Queen Consort will be attended by a congregation of more than 2,200 guests, including Members of the Royal Family, international representatives from over 200 countries, and approximately 100 Heads of State. The hand painted invitation, which was shared via the Royal’s Instagram, was sent to all guests. Notably absent among the guests will be US President Joe Biden, though his wife, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, attended, and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, who stayed in America with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
In the official announcement for the King’s coronation made back in October 2022, Buckingham Palace promised that the coronation would “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.” The Archbishop of Canterbury performed the official crowning of Charles with St Edward’s Crown and the crowning of Camila with Queen Mary’s Crown at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6.