Princess Anne to make royal history after 'taking over Prince Harry's military role' - report

The Princess Royal will become the first female captain-general of the Royal Marines

Princess Anne is set to take over the Duke of Sussex's role to become the first female captain-general of the Royal Marines, according to reports. The Princess Royal, 69, is expected to add to her military appointments when her nephew, Prince Harry, officially steps back as a senior member of the royal family this spring, The Sunday Times reports.

The Queen's daughter is associated with 65 military organisations and Her Majesty is reportedly expected to announce the new appointment soon. Harry has held the role as captain-general of the Royal Marines for two years, taking over from the Duke of Edinburgh in December 2017, when Prince Philip retired from royal duties.

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Philip carried out his last public engagement with the Royal Marines in 2017

Princess Anne is often named as one of the hardest-working royals, having carried out 506 engagements in 2019, according to Tim O'Donovan, who compiles an annual tally from the Court Circular for The Times. The Prince of Wales' topped last year's list after attending 521 engagements, putting him in front of his younger sister.

The Princess Royal attended the International Rugby Match between Scotland and England at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh on Saturday, in her role as Patron of the Scottish Rugby Union. She was accompanied by her husband Sir Timothy Laurence.

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Anne at the rugby match in Scotland

Buckingham Palace released a statement in January about the Sussexes' future after Harry and Meghan's shock decision. It said: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties. With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty."

The statement continued: "The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home. Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly funded security. This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020."

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