Princess Anne continues mother’s legacy of honoring the armed forces as she's the first royal to attend this unique service

Princess Anne is thought to be the first royal to attend this private service, in keeping with her celebrated lowkey nature

Princess Anne attended the lowkey service
(Image credit: Owen Humphreys - Pool / Getty Images)

Anne, the Princess Royal took part in an intimate, private ceremony honoring the 55th anniversary of the final Withdrawal from Aden. The last outpost of the British Empire, the Aden state of emergency is often considered a more forgotten conflict, and Anne’s taking part in the lowkey service has been hailed as an “honor” by those affected.

Paying tribute to the sacrifices of anyone serving in the forces was always deeply important to the late Queen, and it’s something her daughter, Anne, has taken on in her death.

The Court Circular explained that the Princess Royal attended the service near her home at Gatcombe Park. She traveled down to meet forgotten veterans of an often forgotten campaign.

The Service of Remembrance to commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Final Withdrawal from Aden was a private affair for veterans and their families. Members of the public could not attend the service at St Katherine's Church, Matson but the presence of Princess Anne was described as an “honor.”

Princess Anne attended the service and joined guests for lunch at a Best Western

(Image credit: Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images)

The anniversary marks the day 3,500 men of the British garrison in Aden were evacuated. The last outpost of the empire dissolved following an insurgency against British rule in the south of the Arabian Peninsula.

The last aircraft left at 1.30pm on November 29, 1967.

Around 200 soldiers were killed and 1,500 injured during the five year state of emergency leading up to the withdrawal.

The final garrison of 3,500 soldiers were airlifted to a massive naval fleet moored nearby.

Princess Anne, like the Queen before her, goes to great efforts to honor veterans

(Image credit: Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images)

Mr Compton, the veteran’s branch secretary, said, “It was only around 20 years after the Second World War so people did not think it was significant, but you can compare it to the withdrawal from Afghanistan."

The branch secretary of the Veterans Association described how it felt having Anne attend.

“From our point of view, it most certainly is [a big deal]. The Lord-Lieutenant often attends these services but I think this is the first time we have had a member of the Royal Family in person. It is an honor.“

As the spokesperson touched on, it’s thought to be the first time a royal has attended a service to honor those who died in Aden, formerly a protectorate of the British Empire in Yemen, now the capital of the Middle Eastern country.

Proving that she is comfortable without the royal airs and graces, Princess Anne went on to attend a lunch with servicemen and their families at a nearby Best Western afterwards.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

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