Princess Anne’s prestigious role restored to her by King Charles

Princess Anne's prestigious role was one she once held during the Queen's reign and she's now reportedly received it again from the King

Princess Anne’s prestigious role restored. Seen here as she departs after the National Service of Thanksgiving
(Image credit: Photo by Daniel Leal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Princess Anne’s prestigious role she once held during Queen Elizabeth’s reign has been restored to her by King Charles.  

The Princess Royal has regularly been the hardest working royal in recent years, taking  on huge numbers of engagements and visits. She’s been invaluable as a working member of the Royal Family and now Princess Anne’s prestigious role she once held has supposedly been restored to her. According to reports, the bill to appoint Princess Anne and Prince Edward as two additional Counselors of State to King Charles was given Royal Assent and became law on December 6, 2022. 

If so, then this is hugely significant for the Princess Royal and a lovely sign of the King’s respect for her. Until the recent request which could be seen to have been King Charles’ first major move as monarch, legally four of the Counselors of State were determined by where someone is in the royal line of succession.

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales and Princess Anne, The Princess Royal attend the Braemar Highland Games

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

As revealed by the official Royal Family website, Counselors of State include the monarch’s spouse - in this case Camilla the Queen Consort - as well as the first four royals in line to the British throne as long as they’re over 21. These are Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice, who all remain Counselors to the King too. 

When she was younger the Princess Royal is understood to have been a Counselor of State to her late mother the Queen. However as the Royal Family welcomed new arrivals she was pushed further down the line of succession and Princess Anne is 16th in line currently. This is because she was born when a law was still in place that prioritized male heirs over female heirs. 

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Princess Anne, Princess Royal attend Christmas Day Church service

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Her younger brother Prince Edward was also a Counselor of State to Queen Elizabeth before both he and Princess Anne fell outside the first four adult royals in the line of succession. Now many years later the Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex have been restored to this prestigious role.  

As reported by Vanity Fair, King Charles even remarked upon how they’d held the role before in a message that was read out in the House of Lords. 

This said he would be “most content, should Parliament see fit, for the number of people who may be called upon to act as Counselors of State under the terms of the Regency Acts 1937 to 1953 to be increased to include my sister and brother—the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex and Forfar - both of whom have previously undertaken this role.” 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal visits The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists

(Image credit: Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images via Getty)

Counselors of State are hugely important to the monarch as they have the authority to carry out the majority of the Sovereign’s official duties. These include signing routine documents, attending Privy Council meetings and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the UK. They are appointed to act in His Majesty’s place if he’s temporarily unable to undertake his duties due to circumstances like him being ill or abroad.

King Charles' decision to appoint Princess Anne and Prince Edward alongside his existing Counselors of State showcases his trust in them and their ability to support him during his reign. 

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!