Princess Anne insisted on changing ancient tradition to have same status as her brothers


PRINCESS ANNE once insisted on changing an ancient tradition to make sure she had the same status as her brothers.

Princess Anne was given a warm welcome as she embarked on the latest leg of her Southern Hemisphere tour. The Princess Royal is in Papua New Guinea as part of year round celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. On a visit to a boarding school for girls, she was greeted by students in traditional dress before being presented with flowers.

Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, landed in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea’s capital, on Monday evening after a weekend of engagements in Australia.

The princess has been named the most hard-working royal, and last year her schedule got even busier after she took on more duties for the Queen than any other member of the Royal Family.

For decades, Her Majesty had done the majority investiture ceremonies, where UK citizens receive awards including knighthoods, but amid coronavirus concerns and issues surrounding the monarch’s health, Anne stepped up to take on the majority of the ceremonies.

Just last week, the princess knighted Sir Jonathan Pryce for services to acting and charity.

Princess Anne, Charles, Andrew and Edward

Anne wanted to have the same status as her brothers. (Image: Getty Images)

Anne in Papua New Guinea

Anne is in Papua New Guinea to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. (Image: SGT Tristan Kennedy/Australian Department of Defence via Getty Images)

But what some may not know is that Anne is actually a Knight herself.

The Royal Family has plenty of traditional titles to pass around.

One of them is the Order of the Garter which was created by King Edward III in 1348, after he had been inspired by King Arthur’s legendary Knights of the Round Table.

The reigning monarch is able to appoint both men and women to this order, making them either Knights or Ladies of the Garter.

Anne at Sydney's Easter Show

Anne visited Australia over the weekend. (Image: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Traditionally, Anne would have been appointed a Lady of the Garter, but when the time came, she requested to become a Knight.

This distinction was made because Ladies of the Garter didn’t have the same status as their male counterparts.

While Knights became “companions”, Ladies did not.

This remained the same throughout the 20th century, but was changed in 1987 by Queen Elizabeth II so that it became possible to install “Ladies Companion of the Garter”.

Queen during Order of the Garter ceremony

The Queen is Sovereign of the Order of the Garter. (Image: Chris Jackson – WPA Pool /Getty Images)

However, Anne chose to become a Knight of the Garter as to be held in the same rank as her brothers.

In 1994, The Princess Royal was appointed by the Queen to the Order of the Garter as a Knight.

The Order of the Garter is the most senior order of chivalry in the UK and membership is traditionally granted in recognition of outstanding public service, national contribution or personal service to the Queen.

Membership is limited to the Queen and Prince Charles as well as only 24 living members at one time.

Princess Anne in plumed hat during procession for Order of the Garter

Princess Anne in plumed hat during procession for Order of the Garter. (Image: Ken Goff/Getty Images)

The Queen is Sovereign of the Order of the Garter while the Prince of Wales is Royal Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter.

Most members of the Royal Family do not count towards the limited 24 and are instead appointed as Royal Knights and Ladies Companions rather than Knights and Ladies Companions.

This year, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was appointed a member of the ancient Order of the Garter.

Before then, Prince William was the last Royal Family member to be inducted into the order in 2006.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Princess Anne, Princess Royal

All of the Queen’s children are Knights of the Garter. (Image: Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

At the same time, former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Lady Mary Peters, a former athlete, were awarded Britain’s highest honour.  

Since her Order of the Garter ceremony in 1994, Anne has proved herself to be worthy of the honour.

Last year, she narrowly beat her brother Charles for the top spot as 2021’s busiest royal.  

The Times reader Tim O’Donovan has compiled the number of royal engagements completed by each working royal every year for decades.

Princess Anne in Australia

Princess Anne will return from her Royal Tour on Wednesday. (Image: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

His analysis showed that Anne completed a staggering 387 official engagements in 2021.

During her current tour, the princess has received praise for her dedication to her royal duties.

One fan declared: “The Princess Royal is fantastic and becoming so much like her mum.”

While another described Anne as an “absolute legend”.


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