A final goodbye. Princess Anne wore her ceremonial military uniform at the funeral of her late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The Princess Royal, 72, attended the service on Monday, September 19, at London’s Westminster Abbey alongside other members of the royal family, including brothers King Charles III, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. They all wore their military uniforms except for Andrew, 62, as he had been stripped of his royal titles in January.
Anne joined her brothers, son Peter Phillips and nephews Prince William and Prince Harry during Monday’s processional as they all accompanied the queen’s casket from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for her state memorial. Once the service concluded, Anne and her siblings walked side-by-side to Wellington Arch, which was led by Canadian Mounties on horseback.
Anne was the only daughter of Elizabeth and her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at 99. Days before her parents were reunited in their final resting place, the Olympian issued a heartfelt message revealing she was with her mother on the last day of her life.
“I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother’s life. It has been an honour 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,” Anne wrote in a statement shared via the royal family’s official Instagram account on Tuesday, September 13. “We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to each and every one who share our sense of loss.”
Alongside a smiling photo of the mother-daughter duo, Anne continued: “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. To my mother, The Queen, thank you.”
One day later, the princess joined her brothers during the royal procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where Elizabeth’s coffin laid in state before her funeral. Ahead of the queen’s arrival back to her London palace, Anne was present to view tributes in Balmoral, Scotland, where Elizabeth died at age 96 on September 8.
The late monarch’s coffin later left Balmoral accompanied by Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, whom she wed in 1992. The couple made the six-hour drive from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, where a processional to St Giles’ Cathedral took place. As she paid her respects to her late mother before the procession on September 11, Anne dipped into a curtsey in front of Elizabeth’s coffin.
Anne shared a sweet bond with the longest-reigning British monarch before her death. Elizabeth took her place as queen in 1952, when her daughter was just 2 years old, and remained in power for 70 years. Anne, now 16th in line for the throne, was with her mother when she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in June.
The equestrian was a champion for Her Royal Highness throughout her reign, even defending Elizabeth against critics who didn’t agree with her choice to remain with Prince William and Prince Harry in Scotland after the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
“I don’t think either of those two would’ve been able to cope had they been anywhere else,” Anne recalled in a 2017 interview with ITV, adding that being near family “was the only good thing that happened” to her nephews at the time. “I think my mother did exactly the right thing. I think it’s absolutely extraordinary that any right-minded parent should believe … [there] would have been an alternative to bring those children down here to London in all that hoo-ha. I just don’t know how you can think that would’ve been a better thing to do.”
More recently, Anne showed her sillier side during a video call with the queen amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Can you see everybody? You should have six people on your screen,” she asked Elizabeth in a clip from the ITV documentary Anne: The Princess Royal at 70, which aired in July 2020.
When Elizabeth replied that she could only see four participants, her daughter quipped back, “You don’t need me. You know what I look like.”