As King Charles carried out his first State Opening of Parliament today the moment was full of pomp and pageantry as well as historical significance. And it was not lost on many that the King made sure to include his stalwart younger sister Princess Anne in the proceedings, having her reprise her important coronation role of the Gold Stick in Waiting.
The Princess Royal joined the procession to Westminster from Buckingham Palace, traveling behind the King and Queen in the State Landau carriage. Buckingham Palace said that she was in attendance as Gold Stick in Waiting, a position that functions as a ceremonial bodyguard to the sovereign and is considered an honor.
It is the role that she performed at the coronation, telling Canada’s CBC News ahead of that event, "I have a role as the Colonel of the Blues and Royals in the Household Cavalry regiment as Gold Stick [in Waiting]. And Gold Stick was the original close protection officer. So that is a role I was asked if I'd like to do for this coronation, so I said yes. Not least of all, it solves my dress problem.”
The Princess Royal wore the uniform of the Colonel of the Blues and Royals—a role she has held since 1998. The Palace said today that the Princess last took part in the State Opening of Parliament in 1985, accompanying her mother Queen Elizabeth. She was also photographed at the event in 2015. Managing Editor of Majesty Magazine, Joe Little, told T&C that the decision to include her this year “underlines the respect her eldest brother, the King, has for her and her role as a senior member of the royal family.”
Charles and Anne are less than two years apart in age and grew up side by side, with their mother becoming sovereign when they were aged three and one. Anne has long been one of the hardest-working royals and at the age of 73 continues to carry out a busy program of royal engagements in support of her brother as well as being patron of several charities.
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