Why is Zara Tindall not a princess? The real reason Princess Anne's daughter doesn't hold a title

Zara Tindall was never given 'princess' status, despite being the daughter of Princess Anne and the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II

Why is Zara Tindall not a Princess? The real reason Princess Anne's daughter doesn't hold a title revealed
(Image credit: Getty)

Zara Tindall does not hold a royal title despite being the Queen's granddaughter and it's not just because of tradition. 

As the late Queen Elizabeth II's eldest granddaughter, one might assume that Zara Tindall would have an HRH title. 

Her maternal cousins, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were both given regal statuses when they were born, as were Prince William and Prince Harry. Zara's mother, The Princess Royal, has also been a princess since birth. Even the youngest of the Queen's grandchildren, Louise and James, are formally known as Lady and Viscount Severn, respectively. 

But despite being surrounded by these noble rankers, Zara, 41, has never received a royal moniker herself. Her older brother, Peter Phillips, also doesn't use a royal title.

Why is Zara Tindall not a Princess?

Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips do not have royal titles 

(Image credit: Getty)

With Zara living at Princess Anne's royal estate of Gatcombe Park and frequently appearing at high-profile royal events, it's no wonder that this missing title has left some fans confused. It might surprise people, even more, to learn that the British equestrian has previously said she's "lucky" for her commoner status, as she believes it gave her the opportunity to do more than if she had a title. 

Why is Zara Tindall not a princess? 

Zara Tindall does not have a princess or HRH title both because of a long-standing royal tradition and because of Princess Anne. 

In the British Royal Family, a 14th century rule dictates that only men are allowed to pass on their titles to their children – and these offspring must have fathers in the direct line of succession. 

This is why the Queen's two older sons, King Charles III and Prince Andrew, have been able to grant their children the titles of prince and princesses, while Princess Anne's children – despite being in line to the throne – initially missed out on automatically inheriting the noble rankings. 

However, Princess Anne's children could have had HRH titles as the Queen did offer her only daughter the choice to give Zara and Peter titles when they were born. But Princess Anne broke with royal tradition and she refused, for similar reasons as to why Lady Louise  is not a princess. Princess Anne thought life would be "easier" for her children if they did not have HRH titles. 

"I think most people would argue that there are downsides to having titles," Princess Anne told Vanity Fair in April 2020. "So I think that was probably the right thing to do."

Princess Anne and Zara Tindall - Why is Zara Tindall not a Princess?

(Image credit: Getty)

The Princess Royal's decision has since been praised by royal insiders as advantageous to her two children, who have both established their own careers outside of the Royal Family's bubble. 

After graduating from the University of Exeter with a physiotherapy degree, Zara became a professional British equestrian and later an Olympian. Peter, who shares his sister's college alma mater, went on to work for Jaguar Racing before becoming the director of a successful sports management company.

"It was a masterstroke of the Princess Royal when she decided not to give her children titles," said Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary at Buckingham Palace, told The Sun.

"Growing up as a commoner allowed Zara to thrive as her own woman, and there has never been pressure on her to conform. She has benefited from it in all sorts of ways."

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.