Princess Anne Shares the Practical Reason She Accepted Her Coronation Role: 'Solves My Dress Problem'

The Princess Royal had a lighthearted reply about why she decided to carry out her duties as Gold-Stick-in-Waiting at King Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Princess Anne has just the outfit for King Charles' coronation — her uniform!

The Princess Royal, 72, spoke about the special role she'll play in the procession on her elder brother's crowning day — and its surprise bonus! – in a rare interview with CBC News that aired Monday night.

"Is there something we should be looking for, for those of us watching us during the coronation? Some of the details are yet to be released," CBC chief correspondent Adrienne Arsenault asked her guest during the sit-down filmed at St. James's Palace in London.

"No, I'm waiting to be told. I haven't asked too many questions," Princess Anne replied with a laugh. "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. 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."

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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

While what many members of the royal family will wear to the coronation remains to be seen, the Princess Royal will likely reach into her closet for her uniform. The prestigious Gold Stick position, which Princess Anne has held since 1998, dates back to the 15th century when two officers — a Gold Stick and a Silver Stick — kept close to the monarch to protect them from harm.

Anne (a lifelong equestrian and Olympic rider!) will ride on horseback behind King Charles and Queen Camilla's carriage following their coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6. She will then lead 6,000 armed services personnel through the streets of London.

The procession, which will also include other members of the royal family, will travel back to Buckingham Palace, where select family members will appear on the balcony and greet the cheering crowds below.

Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty
Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty

Related:Princess Anne Says a Slimmed-Down Monarchy 'Doesn't Sound Like a Good Idea from Where I'm Standing'

Princess Anne last participated in a royal parade on horseback for the Trooping the Colour parade during Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. There, she rode beside her nephew Prince William in the traditional cavalcade.

Dedicated to duty, Princess Anne typically takes the title each year as the hardest-working royal, having attended the most royal engagements of any member of the royal family in 2022 with 214 events. Arsenault pointed out that the Gold Stick's close protection roots made for an "interesting metaphor" as Anne supports the King and crown, "in terms of carrying forward some of the continuity."

"It'll be different, the whole service will be different in many respects," the royal replied, referencing the Queen's coronation in 1953. "He was just old enough to have gone to my mother's coronation. I don't know what his impressions were. I was not allowed to go, probably quite rightly, at that stage of my career," laughed Anne, who was 2 at the last crowning ceremony. "It could have been way more trouble than it was worth."

Topical Press Agency/Getty Images The Queen Mother, Prince Charles and Princess Margaret
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images The Queen Mother, Prince Charles and Princess Margaret

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More seriously, she reflected, "There is so much in that service which you really have to do, that is fundamentally important, and is the meaning of the coronation in every way. It's not just a big ceremony. It is a very essential part of the responsibilities of the crown."

In December, Anne and her younger brother Prince Edward received a new royal responsibility and officially became Counsellors of State. The classification means the royals can carry out constitutional duties for King Charles if he is abroad or unwell.

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