Why was Princess Anne the only female royal not on the balconies on Remembrance Sunday?

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Princess Anne was among several senior members of the Royal Family in attendance at this year’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph. Royal watchers were quick to note Princess Anne did not stand among the female members of her family, but instead beside male royals including her brothers Prince Charles and Prince Edward and her nephew Prince William. So why exactly was she not standing with Queen Elizabeth II?

Members of the Royal Family paid tribute to soldiers who sacrificed their lives in conflicts today (November 8) at the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph.

The National Service of Remembrance was scaled back this year to ensure social distancing measures could be observed.

In addition, the service was closed off to the public for the first time in order to ensure public health and safety.

Several senior members of the Royal Family, politicians and personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force attended today’s service.

Today royal fans saw the Royal Family back together for the first time in several months.

The Queen, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence watched from the Whitehall balconies while the solemn service took place.

They watched as Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Edward, Princess Anne and the Duke of Kent commemorated the fallen servicemen and women.

Why did Princess Anne not stand on the balcony with other female royals?

Since 2012, the Princess Royal has held the rank of Admiral but since 1974 Her Royal Highness has held the appointment of Chief Commandant of the Women’s Royal Naval Service.

This appointment was renamed Chief Commandant of Women in the Royal Navy in 1993, following the amalgamation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service into the Royal Navy.

On Remembrance Sunday, Princess Anne stands with other members of her family with official military titles to lay a wreath in honour of the Women’s Royal Navy service.

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Anne was due to be promoted early this year, but it was deferred.

She was promoted in August to coincide with her 70th birthday.

Traditionally, senior royals are treated as military members and receive promotions as they get older.

In addition, Princess Anne’s position enables her to ride on horseback during the Trooping of the Colour parade, where many other royals instead ride in a carriage.

Other members of the Royal Family lay the following wreaths:

  • Prince Charles on behalf of the Queen.
  • Captain James Barry of the Intelligence Corp on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • Prince Charles on his own behalf.
  • Prince William on his own behalf.
  • Prince Edward on his own behalf.
  • Princess Anne on her own behalf.
  • The Duke of Kent on his own behalf.

Royal observers were also quick to note the Queen stood apart from Kate, Camilla, Sophie and Timothy.

Each member of the Royal Family stood two metres apart from the one other as they shared a balcony.

But the Queen was standing two metres from a lady-in-waiting rather than another member of the Royal Family.

The reason for this was simply because the royals are grouped together in order of precedence.

Typically the Queen would have been beside Camilla and Kate, but with the current social distancing rules, it was impossible to fit all of the royals on one balcony.

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