Princess Anne's poignant coronation role leaves fans "in tears"

Preparations for the coronation of King Charles III are in full swing, with people across the country planning street parties, bank holiday shenanigans and opting to volunteer with charities to mark the historic event. The last coronation took place 70 years ago on 2 June, 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II, so there’s definitely excitement in the air, especially for those who have never lived to witness one before.

But, of course, we’re not alone in preparing for the long weekend to come, as the Royal Family are also in full-on organisational mode. With Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, set to be officially crowned at Westminster Abbey on 6 May, the rest of the family are gearing up for their special jobs too – both in the ceremony and as part of the procession afterwards.

Although only some details have so far been confirmed by the Palace, with previous roles and royal traditions in mind, here’s what we can (likely) expect to see from each family member…

Queen Camilla

Alongside her husband, King Charles, Camilla will also be crowned during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. She will receive Queen Mary’s Crown, after Buckingham Palace confirmed that the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond will not feature at the Coronation. Instead, the Queen Consort will wear the crown of Queen Mary. It’s the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be used during the ceremony of a Queen Consort instead of a new one being made.

Princess Anne

Being King Charles III's closest sibling, and long-time supporter, Princess Anne was always expected to have a prominent role at the coronation. And just a few weeks before the coronation, it was confirmed that the Princess Royal will feature in the procession as the prestigious 'Gold-Stick-in-Waiting' – a position historically handed to a person entrusted with the personal safety of the sovereign.

The poignant role will see Anne travel on horseback, behind the new King and Queen after they are crowned at Westminster Abbey, leading the larger procession featuring 6,000 armed services personnel.

News of Anne's special role has been welcomed by fans, with one saying that the announcement brought her to tears. "Oh this is so lovely," the fan tweeted. "A few tears right now because the late Queen would be so chuffed."

Prince George

On 4 April, the Royal Family announced that Prince George will take on the role of Page Boy at the King and Queen's coronation.

"Eight Pages of Honour have been chosen to attend Their Majesties during the Coronation Service," read a post on the royal's official Instagram account. "The Pages will form part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey."

The post went on: "The King’s Pages of Honour will be His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache."

Just a few days after the announcement, a royal insider suggested that George has been given another major role in the coronation – and it's all to do with being a Page of Honour.

According to royal expert Tessa Dunlop, who spoke to OK!, George will be "carrying Charles' heavy robe" during the coronation ceremony. "Apparently Charles has been practising walking in his robe and one of George's jobs is to make sure his grandfather doesn't fall," she said. "They’ll be rehearsing that – non-stop rehearsals."

charlotte and louis 'given coronation roles' alongside george
©Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis

As for Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, they're also expected to take part in the King’s coronation procession at Westminster Abbey, according to The Times. The siblings will be the youngest to take part in the coronation plans, as Charlotte and Louis are both set to join their grandfather and step-grandmother as they leave Westminster Abbey at the end of the ceremony.

Despite their age, George and Charlotte are no strangers to taking part in processions as the siblings took part in one after Queen Elizabeth II's funeral last year. At the time, Louis was considered too young to join his siblings.

As well as playing important roles in the event itself, all three of the Wales children will watch as spectators and are also expected to make an appearance on the balcony.

Prince William

Prince William is heir to the throne, so it's no surprise that he is expected to play a major role (or a few!) across the big weekend. According to the Sunday Times, William will kneel and pledge allegiance to Charles, along with touching the St Edward’s Crown and kissing his father’s right cheek.

After the ceremony, William will then take part in the ‘The Coronation Procession’ back to Buckingham Palace before making an appearance on the balcony.

prince william will have multiple roles during king's coronation
Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

Kate Middleton

It seems the Princess of Wales is working on securing her eldest son’s role before her own, as recent reports show Kate is happy for Prince George to take part in the coronation, but on one condition: that he is not subjected to "overwhelming scrutiny".

However, The Times has revealed that Kate will be among the working royals taking part in the carriage procession and balcony appearance with her husband, who is next in line to the throne.

Dr Tessa Dunlop, historian and presenter, previously told The Mirror: "History suggests working royals will stand out. In 1953 the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret had her own coronation gown designed by Norman Hartnell, embroidered with roses and daisies and offset with a stunning Cartier tiara.

"She travelled to the Abbey with the Queen Mother and they sat in a box overlooking proceedings with a four-year-old Prince Charles squashed between them. A similar scenario for the Princess of Wales and her three children is likely."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Palace recently confirmed that Prince Harry will be in attendance at the coronation, although Meghan Markle will stay at home with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

So far, there's been no word on what role (if any) Prince Harry will have at the coronation, or whether he'll make an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Camilla’s five grandchildren

With Camilla having such a prominent role, royal traditions have been changed to accommodate the couple’s special moment – and a role that is typically performed by duchesses, will now be carried out by Camilla's five grandchildren during the Westminster Abbey service. All five children will hold the canopy over the Queen Consort as she is anointed with holy oil – possibly one of the most sacred roles of the entire ceremony. Her son Tom Parker Bowles has two children Lola, 15, and Freddy, 13, and her daughter Laura Lopes has Eliza, 15, and twins Louis and Gus, 13.

This break in tradition is really exciting to see from the couple – not only does it make sense (why wouldn't they want Camilla's grandchildren involved?) but it highlights their blended family, something relatable for many others across the UK. Both the King and Queen Consort are divorced, with step-children and step-grandchildren in the mix, and choosing to involve loved ones who aren't official royals sends a strong message of inclusion.

As well as taking on the role of holding the canopy, Camilla's grandsons will be Page Boys on the big day too. "The Queen Consort’s Pages of Honour will be Her Majesty’s grandsons, Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes and Master Freddy Parker Bowles, and Her Majesty’s great-nephew, Master Arthur Elliot," a post on Instagram confirmed.

Prince Andrew

Plans for Andrew are still up in the air after he was forced to step back from royal duties in May 2020. But because of this, reports have said he will not play a role at the ceremony, nor will he wear ceremonial robes. He is essentially still a Knight of the Garter, and traditionally, Garter Knights have performed significant roles during Coronation ceremonies. We’ll be watching this space for updates.

Head here for everything you need to know about King Charles III's coronation.

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