Why Princess Anne is only female royal walking in Queens procession

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin travelled in a procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh on 12 September.

Her Majesty's four children – King Charles III, 73, Princess Anne, 72, Prince Andrew, 62, and Prince Edward, 58 – all followed on foot behind her coffin in the procession.

Princess Anne was the only female royal not in a vehicle, with Queen Consort Camilla and Sophie, Countess of Wessex both following behind in a car.

The 72 year old walked behind the coffin as she is the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, followed a few steps behind.

The Queen's coffin was draped with the Royal Standard in Scotland along with a thoughtful wreath made up of flowers from the Balmoral estate.

The hearse was flanked by a Bearer Party found by The Royal Regiment of Scotland and The King’s Body Guard for Scotland.

Once inside the cathedral, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward each positioned themselves in one corner of the casket to "stand guard" for the Vigil of the Princes ceremony.

The Princess Royal is the first woman to ever take part in the ceremony, which has until now always been carried out by the male members of the Royal Family.

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She was seen in uniform while keeping completely silent, much like her brothers, with her head bowed by her mother's coffin.

Queen Elizabeth II's four children were seen standing alongside four suited members of the Royal Company of Archers, who were dressed in long-feathered hats and armed with arrows and quivers.

Her Majesty's coffin will remain at St Giles' Cathedral until 13 September, when it will then be flown back to London accompanied by Princess Anne.

It will then travel in procession on a Gun Carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery to the Palace of Westminster, where she will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days.

The Queen will remain here until 6.30am on Monday September 19, when the coffin will be taken to Westminster Abbey for her state funeral.

Members of the public wanting to pay their respects will be able to from 5pm on 12 September until 3pm on 13 September.

In London, members of the public will be able to file past the coffin at Westminster Hall from 5pm on Wednesday 14 September until 6.30am on Monday 19 September.

This week, OK! celebrates the life of Her Majesty the Queen with a commemorative special in honour of Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Be sure to pick up your copy.


  • King Charles will get to celebrate two birthdays now he has taken the throne

  • Sophie Wessex comforts Princess Anne as Queen's coffin carried into Holyroodhouse

  • Princess Anne looks sombre as she's seen for first time since Queen's death

  • Zara Tindall wipes away tears as she's joined by Royals at Balmoral church service

  • Share your tributes and special memories of Queen Elizabeth II

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