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Princess Anne and Family

REVIEW OF THE YEAR: At her mother’s side – Princess Anne’s saddest duty as she accompanies Queen Elizabeth II on her final journey

Hundreds of millions of people around the world mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022 when she died peacefully at the age of 96. Her family felt the pain more than anybody else, yet due to the nature of their roles, they were forced to mourn very publicly.

One such mourner was Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter, Princess Anne, who was seen by many to have been The Royal Family’s strength and stay following on from the death of the monarch.

Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland just after 3pm on September 8. Alongside Her late Majesty in her final moments was the then Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

After spending the night at Balmoral, King Charles III had to travel to London to attend to the urgent constitutional needs that come with the changing of a sovereign.

Meanwhile, The Princess Royal stayed by her mother’s side, as she did in life, and now in death.

BBC still/ fair use

Queen Elizabeth’s body rested at Balmoral until just after 10 o’clock on the morning of September 11th 2022, when her coffin, covered in the royal standard of Scotland, left for Edinburgh.

The hearse made its way slowly through Aberdeenshire and towards Edinburgh where it was finally received at the Palace of Holyroodhouse just before 4.30 that afternoon.

Throughout the long journey, Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Tim Laurence, travelled in the car behind, her eyes often fixed on the coffin in front.

Along the journey, she saw first hand the many tributes that were paid along the way, including a guard of honour by farmers who drove their tractors to the side of the road to show their appreciation for Her late Majesty.

Once at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Princess Anne exited her car, and watched as her mother’s coffin was borne into the monarch’s official Scottish residence.

The Princess gave a low curtsey as the coffin passed by, a moment captured by television camera, thrusting Her Royal Highness’s private grief into the spotlight.

Princess Anne curtsying her mother (BBC still / fair use)

Princess Anne stayed with the coffin throughout the mourning period, flying on the aircraft from Edinburgh to London, before she and Queen Elizabeth’s body made an emotional journey to Buckingham Palace.

After the Lying-in-State at Westminster Hall and the funeral at nearby Westminster Abbey, once again, Princess Anne travelled with the coffin to Windsor – Queen Elizabeth II’s final resting place.

After escorting her mother to Windsor, Her Royal Highness released a statement via Buckingham Palace.

She said: “I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest Mother’s life. It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys.”

She continued: “Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting.”