Prince Philip’s royal tradition Princess Anne chose to uphold with her children - but none of her brothers did!

Prince Philip’s royal tradition was something his sons chose not to continue with their children but Princess Anne's kids enjoyed it

Prince Philip’s royal tradition continued by Princess Anne with her kids revealed. Seen here are Prince Philip and Princess Anne at different occasions
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Prince Philip’s royal tradition is something Princess Anne chose to uphold with her children when none of her brothers did.

Over the years much has been made of Princess Anne’s bond with her father, with some suggesting that she inherited Prince Philip’s “attitude” and no-nonsense approach. They were understood to have been close and she was the only one of the late Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth’s children to have upheld Prince Philip’s tradition with her kids, after not being able to do it for herself. In 1963 the Princess Royal became the first British royal woman to attend school when she started at Benenden. 

At the time she couldn't follow in her father’s footsteps and go to Gordonstoun school in Scotland as it wasn’t co-educational. But this later changed and both of Princess Anne's children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, were educated there.

Prince Philip wearing the uniform of the Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, alongside his daughter, Princess Anne

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This could be seen as continuing Prince Philip’s tradition as the Scottish boarding school was his alma mater and he’s reported to have thoroughly enjoyed his years there. All three of his sons went on to attend Gordonstoun too, perhaps indicating exactly how much of a valuable experience the Duke of Edinburgh found it to want his sons to have it too.

However, none of the rest of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren went there, so if it weren’t for Peter and Zara, this royal educational tradition would have completely faded away in this generation. It’s not known why King Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward’s children didn’t attend Gordonstoun, though His Majesty in particular is often reported to have had a difficult time at the school.

Prince Charles greets Robert Chew, the headmaster of Gordonstoun School, on his first day as a pupil

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Although he later declared in a speech in 1975 that he was “lucky” to have gone there as it “taught [him] a great deal about [himself]” and how to “accept challenges and take the initiative”.

Despite this more positive remark, though, Prince William and Prince Harry were both educated at Eton College after Ludgrove School. Meanwhile, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie went to St George’s Ascot and Marlborough respectively and Lady Louise Windsor was educated at St George’s School Windsor Castle and her brother James has apparently gone to school in Berkshire too.

This makes Princess Anne’s decision to uphold Prince Philip’s royal tradition unique and it’s perhaps one that Zara and Peter had a say in too. Either way, they certainly seemed to appreciate their time at Gordonstoun as Zara shared back in 2018 that she “loved school” and that whilst she did get “homesick”, Peter looked out for her.

Zara and Peter Phillips at their school, Gordonstoun

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“I loved school, I loved sport and being with my mates all the time,” she said, as per, before adding, “You do get homesick, but I had so much fun, and Pete was very protective. All his friends were too. They kept me out of trouble.”

So it seems that she and Peter had fun upholding Prince Philip’s royal tradition by attending Gordonstoun. Following his death, the school posted a touching tribute to their "oldest alumnus" who joined the year the school was founded.

“More than anything, he understood and was hugely supportive of Gordonstoun’s educational ethos, of not only fulfilling academic potential but also of developing life skills through experiences outside the classroom, including sailing and community service," the declared. "We are immensely grateful for his support over the years and his presence and support in the school’s life will be sorely missed.”

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!