Princess Anne is reportedly set to have a major and special role at the Coronation of her older brother, King Charles, next month. The Princess Royal is set to be Charles' Gold-Stick-in-Waiting, who is entrusted with the monarch's personal safety.
Following the service at Westminster Abbey on May 6, Anne will follow King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla's carriage on horseback and will lead a procession of armed forces personnel, which will number 6,000, The Mirror has revealed. The tradition dates back to the 15th century, where two rods made of gold and silver would be placed by the monarch to protect them from danger.
The role is now typically only used during ceremonial or state occasions, with the role of Gold Stick being held jointly by the Colonels of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, while the role of Silver Stick is held by the Commander of the Household Cavalry.
The news left one royal observer, historian Marlene Koenig, shedding a "few tears" as she posted on Twitter: "Oh this is so lovely. A few tears right now because the late queen would be so chuffed. I think Anne may have been the 1st to curtsey to Charles after MD pronounced the queen was dead."
Speaking exclusively to HELLO! about how special the role would be for Anne, Marlene said: "It is significant that the King wants his sister in this position which means she will be in uniform for the coronation.
"She was the first woman ever to be named Colonel of the Blues and Royals making her the first woman to be Gold Stick in waiting. Anne has this role in the Trooping. Not completely unexpected, but very sweet."
Anne isn't the only royal who will be playing a major part in the ceremony, as Charles' grandson, Prince George, will serve as one of His Majesty's pages of honour. The pages will carry the long trains of the King and Queen Consort's ceremonial robes and will form part of the procession through the nave of Westminster Abbey.
Page of Honour is a role usually granted to teenage sons of the nobility and they take part in major ceremonies involving the monarch, including coronations and the State Opening of Parliament.
Traditionally they wear a scarlet frock coat with gold trimmings over a white satin waistcoat, breeches and hose, white gloves, black buckled shoes and a lace cravat and ruffles.
The coronation service on Saturday 6 May will be followed by the Big Lunch and a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle on Sunday 7 May. Bank Holiday Monday has been billed as The Big Help, a campaign which aims to encourage people to volunteer in their local community.
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