King Charles' Role For Princess Anne At His First Opening Of Parliament Shows Their Bond

King Charles III's first State Opening of Parliament in November 2023 marked a historic occasion for the newly-appointed king and his younger sister, Princess Anne. As a testament to their close bond and a reward for the Princess Royal's steadfastness, King Charles appointed Princess Anne to the honorable role of Gold Stick-in-Waiting for the November ceremony.

The prestigious position originated as a personal bodyguard to the monarch, though the role adopted a solely ceremonial function since Queen Victoria's reign. The parliamentary event marks the second time Princess Anne has taken on the role — the first being at King Charles' historic coronation in May 2023. And although Anne attended many State Openings with her late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, this particular ceremony was the first time the Princess Royal entered the chamber alongside a reigning monarch.

"This is a fantastic addition by the King and further cements the Princess Royal's role as his most trusted lieutenant," a royal source told the Mirror ahead of the event.

Princess Anne's honorary title is a testament to her relationship with her brother

The position of Gold Stick is held by the Colonels of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals, both regiments of the British Army, and whoever is on duty at the time is referred to as Gold Stick-In-Waiting. Princess Anne was appointed Colonel of The Blues and Royals in September 1998, per The Gazette. However, King Charles III's coronation and State Opening of Parliament ceremonies were the first times the Princess Royal has been the official on duty.

A source told Daily Mail that Charles' decision to include his younger sister in the ceremonies was his way of "rewarding the Princess Royal for her loyalty and her unwavering devotion to duty above all else. The King values his sister as a trusted lieutenant, and this is the perfect example of such a relationship." Sources told the newspaper Princess Anne was "incredibly honored" by her brother's decision.

In addition to serving as the Gold Stick-in-Waiting, Princess Anne is a Counselor of State with her younger brother, Prince Edward. If Charles cannot perform his monarch duties due to illness or traveling abroad, Princess Anne will be able to take over his constitutional responsibilities through the Counsellors of State Act 2022 (via UK Legislation).