Why Princess Anne dressed differently from other royal ladies at Trooping the Colour

The Princess Royal rode down The Mall on horseback

Princess Anne donned her full military uniform to attend her mother the Queen's Birthday Parade in London on Thursday – but do you know why she was dressed differently from the other royal ladies?

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As Colonel of the Blues and Royals, the 71-year-old royal donned her full regalia to travel on horseback down The Mall, joined by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards regiment. Once they arrived at Horse Guards Parade, Prince Charles is expected to take the salute and inspect the Troops of the Household Division on his mother's behalf.

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The trio proudly wore the Collars of the Order of the Garter and Sash of the Order of the Thistle, with the Princess Royal looking smart in her bicorn hat, jodhpurs and riding boots.

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Onlookers might be wondering why Anne was the only female member of the royal family to wear a uniform. Royals with military and naval connections have worn military dress on state occasions since the 19th century. The Princess is patron of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity as well as being Commodore-in-Chief for Portsmouth.

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Although she hasn't actually served in the military like her brothers Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, she is an honorary Rear Admiral.

Princess Anne wore her military uniform for the Queen's Birthday Parade

She carries out hundreds of engagements with her military patronages and affiliations every year and usually tops the hardest working royal list.

Meanwhile, other members of the royal family travelled to Horse Guards Parade in carriages, including the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children.

 
 

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and the Princess Royal's husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, shared another carriage.

The military spectacle involved more than 1,200 officers and soldiers and 240 horses from the Household Division putting on a display of pageantry. Hundreds of army musicians also added to the festivities as the colour was trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.

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The Queen, accompanied by members of the royal family, will later return to the Balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force.

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