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British RoyalsPrince Charles and CamillaPrincess Anne and Family

How Princess Anne ousted Charles from the ‘busiest royal’ spot in 2021


The Princess Royal has narrowly beat out her brother, Prince Charles, as she earned herself the top spot on 2021’s list of the busiest royals.

The Queen’s eldest two children are known to be deeply committed to supporting Her Majesty by attending hundreds of engagements every year. Data from 2019 and 2020 showed Prince Charles had completed more royal engagements than any other royal – a title that his younger sister has held for many years. But in 2021, Anne took back her spot amid an incredibly narrow margin.

According to an analysis by The Times, Anne was the hardest working royal in 2021. The Times reader Tim O’Donovan compiled the list, looking at how many royal engagements were done by working royals every year for decades.

In 2021 amid an ongoing global health crisis, Anne completed 387 official engagements, beating her brother only two. As for third place, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, earned that spot with 235 official engagements throughout the year. Prince Edward, The Queen’s youngest son, carried out 204 engagements while his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, carried out 194.

Despite a difficult year following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and health problems in autumn, The Queen, who will be 96 in April, carried out 184 engagements, many of which took place virtually or over the phone due to the ongoing health crisis.

O’Donovan pointed out the figures do not necessarily serve as a “league table,” telling The Times: “All engagements differ as to time and content, and there is also the time taken in preparation, whether it be a visit, investiture or speech.

“Except for Christmas Day and Easter Day, the Queen never has a day off from the official red boxes that pursue her everywhere.”

The number of royal engagements is tallied based on the Court Circular every year. The Gloucesters, the Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra carried out fewer official engagements in 2021.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.