Princess Anne’s rare royal title that might be passed on to great-niece Princess Charlotte

Princess Anne is one of only seven British royal women to be honored in this way

Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the Lord Mayor's Banquet at the Guildhall during a State visit by the King and Queen of Spain on July 13, 2017 in London, England
(Image credit: Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Princess Anne is the seventh British royal woman to be granted a rare royal title, though it’s thought that it could one day be passed on to her great-niece Princess Charlotte. 

Princess Anne might be the Queen’s only daughter, but she is often thought of by royal fans as one of the most down-to-earth members of the Royal Family. Just last week, Princess Anne was observed straying from royal etiquette rules in a rare moment filmed inside her Gatcombe Park home. This insightful interview appearance came on what would have been her late father Prince Philip’s 100th birthday and was met with praise from royal fans.

Whilst earlier this year, Princess Anne was found to be the most hard working royal of 2020, continuing to carry out her royal duties safely throughout the challenging time of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a prominent royal, it’s thought that Princess Anne is also included in the Queen’s so-called new “Firm of Eight” members of the Royal Family who will reportedly make public appearances together.

Amongst the other royal relatives thought to be part of this group is her nephew, Prince William. The Duke of Cambridge will one day be king and is following in the Queen's footsteps as he prepares for his future role. Though it's his daughter, Princess Charlotte, who might one day inherit Princess Anne’s rarest royal title of all.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends an event celebrating 200 years of Henry Poole banking with Coutts, and the book launch of 'Henry Poole & Co: The First Tailor of Savile Row' on September 12, 2019

(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Gentleman's Journal)

In 1987 at the age of 37, Princess Anne was granted the title Princess Royal by the Queen. Until then, she had been known simply as HRH The Princess Anne, as is customary given her position as one of the Queen's four children. She is the seventh Princess Royal in the British monarchy, following on from Princess Mary, who was the Queen’s aunt. Traditionally this rare royal title is one carried by the monarch’s eldest daughter. 

This means that when Prince William ascends to the throne in the future, though his only daughter Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will lose one royal family title, Charlotte could become Princess Royal instead. However, it’s not necessarily as simple as some royal fans might imagine as this rare royal title comes with certain conditions.

As royal expert Duncan Larcombe previously explained to "It is a title that remains for life, so Princess Charlotte will have to wait at least until the death of the current Princess Royal”. 

Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Britain's Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave after the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk

(Image credit: Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Though it would be a great honor to have this title bestowed upon her, even after Princess Anne’s sad passing in the future, Princess Charlotte is not guaranteed to be made Princess Royal straight away. In fact, it will be completely up to the then-King William when and if he will grant her this significant title. 

"Princess Anne had to wait until 1987 before her mother the Queen bestowed the title of Princess Royal on her, even though the title had been vacant since 1965," Duncan revealed. 

Princess Anne, Prince William and their families are thought to be close, with Anne's daughter Zara Tindall recently making sure she didn't upstage Princess Charlotte on her 6th birthday. And it seems it might be quite some time before Princess Charlotte potentially becomes the eighth Princess Royal in British history. 

However, the privilege of carrying such a rare title and the memory of Princess Anne holding it before her will likely be incredibly meaningful for her.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.