Princess Anne takes on extra outstanding function in assist of brother | Princess Anne

She is only 16th in line for the throne but her place as the late Queen’s second-eldest child has, after the death of her mother, given the Princess Royal an elevated role in the British monarchy.

As her elder brother grapples with his new role as King Charles III, Princess Anne has already taken on a central place in the period of mourning with the emotional task of accompanying her mother’s coffin on the various stages of its final journey.

Accompanied by her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, she traveled behind the Queen’s hearse, showing her grief on the solemn six-hour journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh on Sunday.

She will also accompany her mother’s coffin on the RAF flight from Scotland to London alongside Laurence and the Very Rev Prof David Fergusson, who served as the most senior of 10 chaplains personally chosen by the Queen.

Some see the public-facing role as a mark of the importance she will have in the new look monarchy, acting as wise counsel and confidante to her elder brother as he takes on the huge responsibilities of the crown.

While there is speculation that the Queen’s second-eldest child and only daughter may get an elevated title in addition to her title as Princess Royal, her importance in the court of Charles is assured.

As she made plain in a previously unseen interview shown by ITV on Sunday night, she will all carry the baton for the Queen.

Anne said her mother led by example, and her children followed her lead by “watching and learning”.

She told ITV: “There is no manual, in that respect: it was about listening, and it was about learning, not making assumptions and certainly not throwing your weight around.”

New title or not, Anne and the King are said to be extremely close – they are just 21 months apart in age, with a 10- and 14-year gap between the Queen’s only daughter and her third and fourth children, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Choosing not to attend university, Anne devoted her working life to charities and is consistently ranked as one of the hardest-working royals, taking on yet more duties in the past year owing to her mother”s ill health.

This July alone, she had 36 royal engagements scheduled, and in 2021 she carried out 387 engagements, two more than her elder brother.

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She is involved with hundreds of charities and has been patron of Save the Children for more than 50 years.

She is also admired in some quarters among those who support a slimmed-down royal family for the fact that her children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, were encouraged to live as normal a life as possible with no royal titles.

“I am very lucky that both my parents decided to not use the title and we grew up and did all the things that gave us the opportunity to do,” Zara, an accomplished equestrian and Olympic medalist, told the Times in 2015.

The princess broke the royal mold by becoming a competitive equestrian, debuting in public competition at the age of 11 and in 1971 becoming the first British royal to win a European gold medal, winning the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award later that year.

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