Princess Anne’s promotion is a key sign that Charles is ‘changing the monarchy’
King Charles is preparing to deliver his first State Opening of Parliament speech as monarch today, and he’s keeping his family close as he marks the momentous occassion.
The monarch has appointed his sister and eldest sibling to be his bodyguard for the ceremonial event, meaning that she will walk alongside the King into the House of Lords as they arrive for the State Opening – the first time she has accompanied a monarch since 1985, when she joined her late mother Queen Elizabeth.
Anne’s role is known as the Gold Stick in Waiting and Charles has given her the position in honour of her years of unwavering loyalty. She carried out the same role during the Coronation in May, riding on horseback from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.
Giving Anne the honour shows how the King is “making the monarchy his own”, according to former royal butler Grant Harrole, who work for King Charles as part of his royal household for seven years.
Speaking exclusively to Spin Genie, Mr Harrold said it’s no surprise that Charles chose to bestow Anne with the ‘significant and symbolic role’ as it shows how important Anne is to the King.
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He said: “Anne has obviously been a Counsellor of State, which is who stands in for the King if he’s overseas or unwell – it’s quite an important role and he’s made it possible for Anne to stand in.
“Becoming one of the bodyguards is a longstanding tradition going back to Henry VIII – it’s a very significant role.
“Anne would very much come to Charles’ aid without any question, but it’s more of a symbolic role, more than anything, and it’s a significant role because it shows how much Anne means to Charles.
“She will take this role very seriously and I think it shows how much the King is changing the monarchy and making it his own.”
The role will see Anne travel in a carriage behind the King and Queen during the grand procession from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament. She will then accopany the King into the chamber.
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Mr Harrold added that historically Anne and the King have had a close relationship owing to their close proximity in age – as well as distance between their homes.
He said: “Princess Anne and the King have always had a close relationship, historically. She lives within 10-15 minutes of Charles. The King is based at Highgrove while Anne is at Gatcombe, it’s a very short distance, they’ve been neighbours for many, many years – about 40 years – they had a close upbringing together.
“I think the two of them are closer than they are to the other brothers, they’ve been through a lot together, especially in the early years. I think that relationship has definitely strengthened over time.”
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