Why is Princess Anne called the Princess Royal? The reason behind her regal title and why it won't change following Queen Elizabeth II's death

Princess Anne has been known as Anne, Princess Royal, since 1987

Why is Princess Anne called the Princess Royal? The simple reason behind her regal title
(Image credit: Getty)

Princess Anne will keep her official title of Princess Royal following the death of her mother, Queen Elizabeth II, while other members of the royal family including her brothers King Charles and Prince Edward, will all receive new regal monikers.

Princess Anne has been formally known as Anne, Princess Royal, for over 30 years, and despite a major reshuffling of names and titles for her closest relatives, the 72-year-old's regal moniker remains protected now her brother is King. 

The Queen's death on Thursday, September 8, has introduced new titles for multiple members of the Royal Family, as the British monarchy's line of succession sees its first shift in over 70 years. 

As the eldest of Queen Elizabeth II's children, Charles has automatically succeeded her as sovereign and will now be called King Charles III. His wife, formally known as Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will subsequently become Camilla, Queen-Consort (a promotion that was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II herself on her Platinum Jubilee year). 

Charles' youngest brother, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, has inherited the title of the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. 

King Charles III views floral tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles III 

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Sophie, who has gone by the Countess of Wessex since marrying Edward in 1999, will therefore now be known as the Duchess of Edinburgh. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton, who have been the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since their royal wedding in 2011, have also inherited new titles. They will now be called the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall, as well as the Prince and Princess of Wales. Their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, will therefore replace their old surname, 'Cambridge' with 'Wales'. 

Princess Anne, however, will continue to be called Anne, Princess Royal following her mother's death. Queen Elizabeth II granted her only daughter the title on June 1, 1987, when she was just 37 years old. It had previously been held by six others, with Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, being the last member of the Royal Family to use it before her death in 1965. 

Why is Princess Anne called the Princess Royal? 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal attends the Braemar Highland Gathering

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

The reason behind Princess Anne's title remaining unchanged is fairly simple – tradition. 

British monarchs have been awarding their eldest daughters the style 'Princess Royal' since the 1600s, with Princess Mary, the daughter of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, being the first royal to receive the moniker. 

Once a female royal has the title of 'Princess Royal', it stays for life - even if she gets married. It's not obligatory, however, and not all British princesses have been privileged with the title. 

The next likely candidate would be Princess Charlotte, who is the eldest and only daughter of the future King, Prince William.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.