The sexist rule that prevents Princess Anne from stepping in for the Queen makes the UK look like a 'backward sexist country'

There is a sexist rule that prevents Princess Anne from stepping in for the Queen

sexist rule that prevents Princess Anne
(Image credit: Ben A. Pruchnie / Stringer / Getty Images)

There is a  sexist rule that prevents Princess Anne from being a Councilor of State and instead honors Prince Andrew and Prince Harry in this pivotal role.


Despite being the Queen's second child, Princess Anne is 15th in line to the throne. This is because of a sexist royal rule that means women are placed in the royal line of succession after their younger brothers. This rule has now been changed for future royals meaning Princess Charlotte is ahead of Prince Louis in line for the throne, but the old rule is still in place for Princess Anne.

This means that when it comes to selecting who will be Councellors of State—a royal role that allows those closest in the line of succession to step in for the Queen—Prince Andrew and Prince Harry are next in line and not the Princess Royal.

Columnist Libby Purves writes for the Times (opens in new tab) that the royals are ignoring Anne 'at their peril,' as she argues that the rules should be changed to allow Anne to have a more suitable position.

"We have had female premiers, ministers and leaders in every field; the science and business logistics of vaccine creation and rollout were largely owed to brilliant women. We are not a backward sexist country," said the royal commentator. 

"But in this royal area we are starting to look that way, a respected Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year is officially backed by counsellors including a discredited sleazy playboy and a petulant transatlantic psychobabbler, neglecting a dutiful daughter senior to both of them," said Libby as she compared Princess Anne to Prince Andrew and Prince Harry,

The royal commentator added, "It feels particularly raw because the Princess Royal is a clean bright gem in the battered family tiara. The hardest working in actual engagements, she is also properly engaged with her charities."

Princess Anne

(Image credit: Tim Graham / Contributor / Getty Images)

The royal commentator concluded by suggesting that following Prince Philip's death in 2021, the role of counselor of state should have been given to the Princess Royal.

"You would certainly think that the role of counselor of state would have been quietly returned to Anne when the Duke of Edinburgh died, while a sensible royal house retired Andrew and Harry from it. It might yet happen. It ought to," she said.

Previously, the Queen has been urged to change the line of succession as fans have claimed that Princess Anne ‘would make a far better monarch’ than her brothers. Despite outcry from fans, Buckingham Palace has not yet announced that there will be any changes to this sexist rule that prevents Princess Anne from taking on more responsibilities.

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.