PRINCESS ANNE has one of the most unique titles in the Royal Family as Princess Royal. So why did she have to wait 36 years before the Queen granted her the prestigious honour?

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Princess Anne was given a Princess title when she was born, as her mother would later ascend the throne as Queen Elizabeth II. But unlike her three brothers, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, Princess Anne did not get a new royal title on her wedding day. She also had to wait nearly four decades before the Queen eventually gifted her the Princess Royal title.

Why did Princess Anne not get a title when she married?

Princess Anne was the first of her four royal siblings to tie the knot when she married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.

Despite being the only daughter of the Queen, Princess Anne and her husband were not given new royal titles upon their marriage.

The Queen is thought to have offered Anne and Mark a title, but they are believed to have turned the offer down.


Princess Anne and Queen

Why Princess Anne waited 36 years for royal title from Queen (Image: GETTY)

Princess Anne holds the title of Princess Royal (Image: GETTY)
Why Princess Anne waited 36 years for royal title from Queen | Royal | News |

For this reason, Anne and Mark’s two children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, were born without royal titles too.

Under a Letters Patent issued by King George V in 1917, only the children of the monarch, and the grandchildren of the monarch through the male line, are eligible for Prince and Princess titles.

So as the grandchildren of the monarch through the female line, Peter and Zara were simply titled Master and Miss.

Sports star Zara has spoken warmly of her parent’s decision not to give them titles, telling The Times a few years ago: “I’m 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.”


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Princess Anne's daughter Zara Tindall on having no royal title


Why did Princess Anne get the Princess Royal title?

Like the Prince of Wales title, the Princess Royal title is very unique.

With its first use in the British Royal Family recorded in the 1600s, the Princess Royal title is normally given to the eldest daughter of the reigning sovereign.

The title is life-long, and the previous holder before Anne was Princess Mary, the sister of King George VI.

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The next holder of the Princess Royal title is likely to be Princess Charlotte (Image: GETTY)

When Princess Mary died in 1965, the title became vacant until it was given to Princess Anne in 1987.

When the Queen finally gave Anne the Princess Royal title, she was 36 years old.

The reason Anne had to wait for the title is due to the fact the Princess Royal title is not an automatic appointment.

The allocation of the Princess Royal title, much like the Prince of Wales title, is dependent on the whim of the monarch.


Will Zara Tindall be the next Princess Royal?

Although some royal titles pass down the male line, Princess Anne’s Princess Royal title will revert back to the Crown upon her death.

So the title will not be passed on to Anne’s only daughter, Zara Tindall.

The next holder of the Princess Royal title is likely to be Princess Charlotte, as one day she will be the only daughter of a King when Prince William ascends the throne.