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Anne at 70: Her military appointments


In honour of The Princess Royal’s 70th birthday, let’s look at her honorary military appointments. Princess Anne has received several honorary appointments from both the UK and across the Commonwealth, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

United Kingdom

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Colonel of the Blues and Royals

The Blue and Royals is one of the regiments of the Household Cavalry and is the second-most senior in the British Army.

The Blues and Royals was formed in 1969 with the merger of the Royal Horse Guards and is a regiment of the Household Division (along with the Life Guards). Queen Elizabeth II is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Blues and Royals.

As Colonel of the Blues and Royals, Princess Anne rides annually in the Trooping the Colour ceremony every June. She received the appointment in 1998.

Admiral and Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Navy

This position was created to honour the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and from 1940-1968, the position was held by Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. The title was changed to Chief Commandant of the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1951, and after Princess Marina’s death, the position was taken by the Princess Royal, who held it from 1973-1993.

In 1993, the title changed again to Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Naval Service. That year, the WRNS was folded into the Royal Navy. Princess Anne also acquired the honorary title of Admiral.

Colonel-in-Chief the Royal Army Veterinary Corps

The Royal Army Veterinary Corps was formed in 1918 and is responsible for the training and care of animals within the Army Medical Services.

Anne has visited Afghanistan in her role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps to view the work of its dog-handling units.

Other United Kingdom Military Appointments:

Royal Honorary Colonel of the University of London OTC

Honorary Air Commodore of the University of London Air Squadron

Colonel-in-Chief of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29/45 Foot)

Commandant-in-Chief of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps)

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Logistic Corps

Colonel-in-Chief of the King’s Royal Hussars

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Corps of Signals

Royal Colonel of the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland

Royal Colonel of the 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland

Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Brize Norton

Commodore-in-Chief of HMNB Portsmouth

Canada

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Commodore in Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy (Fleet Pacific)

Perhaps one of the more major honorary appointments is Princess Anne’s appointment as Commodore in Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy (Fleet Pacific) in 2015.

The Queen conferred this honour on the Princess Royal and her older brother, the Prince of Wales, who was named Commodore in Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy (Fleet Atlantic), in the first appointment of its kind for members of the British Royal Family. As Commodore in Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy (Fleet Pacific), Princess Anne is kept abreast of RCN activities on the West Coast of Canada (while Prince Charles is focused on the East Coast of Canada).

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment

This regiment traces its history back to 1795 and the United Kingdom, though since 1949 and Newfoundland joining Canada, it has been a part of the Royal Canadian Army.

Colonel-in-Chief of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters

One of Anne’s first Canadian military appointments was as Colonel-in-Chief of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, the last of its kind in the Commonwealth to be named as a regiment of ‘Foresters.’

The Princess was appointed on 11 June 1977.

Other Canadian Military Appointments:

Colonel-in-Chief of the 8th Canadian Hussars

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Hussars

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Medical Service

Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Regina Rifles

Australia

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Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals

Princess Anne is Colonel-in-Chief of this Australian Army corps, which is responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of all the types of telecommunications equipment and operates the Army Information Systems.

The Princess Royal was appointed Colonel-in-Chief in 1980.

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport

Princess Anne is Colonel-in-Chief of this Australian Army corps, which is responsible for “the movement of the Army, its equipment and personnel, using all modes of transport available, in Australia and overseas, in peace and in war,” according to its official website.

Her Royal Highness was appointed Colonel-in-Chief in 2011.

New Zealand

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Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals

The Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals manages and operates all of the communications networks within the New Zealand Army and has existed since 1921.

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps

Princess Anne is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps, which has existed since 1915 when civilian nurses volunteered their services during the First World War. Today, the Corps consists of officers who are medical specialists and registered nurses.



About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.