Watch CBS News

Princess Anne walks behind casket as the only woman in Philip's funeral procession

Funeral procession held for Prince Philip
Funeral procession held for Prince Philip 13:31

During Prince Philip's funeral, as a group of senior Royals walked behind his casket during its final journey to St. George's Cathedral, only one woman was present among the male royalty — Princess Anne. 

Known by her formal title, the Princess Royal, Anne, 70, is Philip's second child and only daughter with a busy and prominent role in the Royal family. 

Traditionally, men follow the casket during royal funeral processions, but Anne, dressed in a black coat with her military medals, joined the men Saturday, echoing her 2002 role during the funeral of her grandmother, the Queen Mother, during which she was also part of the procession. 

Anne is 15th in line for the throne, behind her brothers, Charles, Andrew and Edward and their children and grandchildren.

The Queen Mother's State Funeral
Princess Anne stands beside Prince Andrew (L, foreground), Prince Charles, Prince Philip and Prince Edward (R, foreground). The group watches as pallbearers carry the Royal coffin at the state funeral of the Queen Mother April 9, 2002 outside Westminster Abbey in London. / Getty Images

During an interview with ITV, Anne recalled that during the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, Philip encouraged William and Harry, then ages 15 and 12, to walk in the funeral procession behind their mother's casket. 

In footage from the event, Philip was seen placing a hand on Harry's shoulder, offering comfort after his mother was killed in a car crash.

The Funeral Of Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh Is Held In Windsor
 Princess Anne, Princess Royal during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Anne said, "I seem to remember him saying that in fact, it was a question of, 'If you'll do it, I'll do it.' And that was him as a grandfather saying, 'If you want me to be there — if that's what you want to do — if you want me to be there, I will be there.'" 

After her her father's death, Anne released a statement. "You know it's going to happen but you are never really ready," she said. "My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate."

She added that she wanted to emulate her father's ability to treat every person as an individual with their own skills.

Anne married and later divorced Captain Mark Phillips, and broke with tradition by choosing not to give her children, Peter and Zara Phillips, formal royal titles. Now married to retired Naval office Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, she has five grandchildren. 

Anne explained her decision in a 2020 interview with Vanity Fair. "I think it was probably easier for them, and I think most people would argue that there are downsides to having titles," she said. "So I think that was probably the right thing to do."

Anne is a decorated equestrian who competed in the Olympic games in Montreal and was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.