Princess Anne made history when she participated in the symbolic watch over her mother Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin. The late Queen’s four children performed the Vigil of the Princes and stood guard around the coffin at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh.
72-year-old Princess Anne’s participation in the vigil marked the first time a woman took part in the sombre royal tradition. Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 and the Vigil of the Princes took place on September 12.
During the Vigil of the Princes, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, and Prince Andrew joined the Royal Company of Archers for around 10 minutes to symbolically stand guard around the coffin.
Princess Anne: Vigil Of The Princes
This is the third time a Vigil of the Princes has been held, the first vigil was held following the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather, King George V in 1936. The second vigil was held after the Queen Mother’s funeral procession in 2002.
King Charles III stood vigil near the head of the coffin and was wearing a kilt. Princess Anne and Prince Edward wore their military uniforms, and Prince Andrew was wearing a suit. The Duke of York Prince Andrew was stripped of his military titles before he settled a civil sexual abuse case in the United States.
The Princess Royal represented the Royal Navy during the vigil and is the only woman in the royal family to wear her uniform on state occasions. Earlier that day, Princess Anne and her siblings walked behind Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin as it arrived at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin is set to remain at the cathedral until September 13, when it will be flown back to London as the United Kingdom’s mourning period continues. The funeral processions had begun on September 11, and the Queen’s coffin left Balmoral and travelled to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
The coffin was adorned with flowers and the royal standard of Scotland, Princess Anne curtsies to the casket as it passed by.