What You Need To Know About Princess Anne's Unusual Coronation Outfit

Princess Anne plays an indispensable role in the British monarchy, as evidenced by her repeatedly coming out on top as the royal who puts in the most appearances in a given year. On the fashion side, when she's out and about visiting the over 300 charities and military groups that she's affiliated with, Anne's known for sporting a style that's uniquely her own — and a reflection of her no-nonsense, straightforward personality. 

When it came to King Charles III's coronation, while there was a debate about whether Catherine, Princess of Wales would don a tiara or a flower headpiece, and what her gown would look like, Anne's outfit was an easy decision. In recognition of her hard work and support, the king chose his sister for the ceremonial role of Gold-Stick-in-Waiting at his coronation. "Gold Stick was the original close protection officer," the Princess Royal informed CBC News. Created in the Tudor era and then revised in 1678, the job takes its name from a gold and ebony staff that's carried in the ceremony. Anne was delighted by the honor and, as an added bonus, she told CBC News that it "solve[d] [her] dress problem."

On the big day, Anne's outfit impressed royal fans, with one multiple people commenting that she was "slaying" with her look (via Daily Mail). Here are the details behind Anne's coronation uniform.

Princess Anne wore her Blues and Royals uniform

As Gold-Stick-in-Waiting, Princess Anne looked impressive, and straight out of the history books, in her Colonel of the Blues and Royals military outfit. Anne's served as colonel of this cavalry regiment since 1998. When she arrived at the ceremony in a car, the Princess Royal topped off her look with an emerald green velvet cape for the Order of the Thistle — a top Scottish honor. Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the outfit was Anne's hat — an impressive black bicorn accented with a tall plume. The feather's added height proved to be a bit of a barrier for Prince Harry, who was seated behind his aunt during the service.

After the ceremony concluded, Anne removed the Thistle mantle to reveal a uniform of dark navy blue accented with brilliant red and gold braid. The princess also sported an impressive row of medals and a dazzling garter star. Anne was inducted into the prestigious Order of the Garter in 1994, and at the time, the princess broke tradition by asking Queen Elizabeth II to make her a knight rather than a lady. The two ranks are not equal, and Anne wanted to be the same as her brothers. 

As the procession left Westminster Abbey, Anne rode on horseback behind the monarch's Gold State Coach, heading up a group of 6,000 members of the military. With her striking uniform and notable equestrian skills, royal fans thought Anne won the coronation.

Anne wore the same outfit for Trooping the Color in 2022

Royal fans may have observed that Princess Anne's coronation outfit looked familiar. In June 2022, for Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, Anne also wore her Blues and Royals uniform as she rode in the procession in honor of her mother's birthday. Although she was wearing a white pair of pants instead of navy with a red stripe, her jacket and hat, complete with its upstanding red plume, were the same. 

Even when royal protocol isn't determining her choice of outfit, Anne's iconic outfits have been repeated for decades. The princess has worn a lilac purple coat half a dozen times since the 1980s, and another of Anne's coats, a pale blue with a furry collar and cuffs, goes back all the way to 1976. To breathe new life into an old piece, Anne ditched the massive '80s sleeves on a satin tie-waisted outfit, opting for a timeless straight sleeve. The princess also relies on durable fabrics, like Harris Tweed. "For me the point about it is that it looks exactly the same at the end of the day as it did at the beginning. Brilliant," Anne explained to Vanity Fair.

Anne's eco-friendly style is a perfect fit for her practical outlook. "I love how Princess Anne's approach to wearing and re-wearing is now the new norm in the fashion world," Virginia Chadwyck-Healey, a fashion writer and personal stylist, told The Telegraph. "Simple style goals that really stand the test of time."