The Truth About Princess Anne's Unique Royal Title

Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth's second child and only daughter, is unlikely to sit on the throne. However, she has a special role in the royal family. For starters, she has a very close relationship with both her mother and her brother Prince Charles, who is first in line to the throne. Her dedication goes well beyond offering moral support, though. In fact, she has a reputation for being a dedicated worker.

In 2021, the princess was dubbed the hardest-working royal. According to the Daily Mail, she earned the title by carrying out 387 royal engagements. That number bested Princes Charles, who carried out 385, his son Prince William (second in line for the throne), and her own mother. This wasn't an anomaly. The publication noted that Anne consistently takes on a heavy workload and is renowned for it.

Anne and her impressive dedication to duty haven't been overlooked by the queen, either. If you are not super knowledgeable about the royal family, you may not know about her very unique title. It's one that she's held for more than three decades, and it has a special meaning to the crown. Read on to learn more.

Princess Anne is currently the Princess Royal

In 1987, Queen Elizabeth graced Princess Anne with the title of Princess Royal, according to Hello! Magazine. The title is exceedingly rare (Anne is the seventh to hold it), but it has a storied history. Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express it originated in the 1600s under the role of King Charles I. He bestowed the honor to his oldest daughter, Mary. As the story goes, this all happened at his wife's urging. She came from the French court where it was custom for the king's oldest daughter to be known as Madame Royal.

Since its creation, MacMarthanne explained that the title is given as a gift to the oldest daughter of the ruling monarch. However, there are some rules that complicate the process. For starters, it is a lifelong appointment. That means that Anne will hold the title even if her mother passes away and is replaced on the throne. Additionally, the title is not a guarantee; it is usually earned. Hello! pointed out that it went unused for 22 years before Anne received it. She was gifted the honor because of her service to the crown, according to Express. 

Who is likely to be the eighth Princess Royal? Experts believe that it could go to Prince William's daughter, Princess Charlotte, if and when he ascends the throne. This is still only possible if Anne has died. If that is the case, the young royal could become the latest in a historic line.