When King Charles III assembled the working members of the royal family for his May coronation, he gave his sister Princess Anne a special role for the day. As Gold Stick in Waiting, she rode through the coronation procession on horseback to symbolize the ancient role of the king’s protector, and when the royals posed for formal portraits, the princess stood right next to her older brother. But Anne’s role in her brother’s reign isn’t just symbolic—she’s long been one of the hardest working royals. According to data assembled by The Telegraph, Anne once again racked up 457 official engagements on the Court Circular, as compared to the king’s 425.
The tally doesn’t necessarily mean that Anne put in more hours than Charles during his first full year as king. Only a segment of a royal’s actual work makes it to the circular, and most of Charles’s work as monarch has to do with assessing government documents and taking private meetings. But the data does emphasize Anne’s role as a public-facing supporter of the king and forging connections with a particular segment of the nation.
Anne and Charles were in competition at the top of the charts ever since Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip began lightening their royal roles due age in the early 2010s. But for the last three years, Anne has pulled out ahead, due in part to her list of more than 300 charity patronages, wide range of hobbies, and her former professional career as an equestrian.
The beginning of a new reign also came with new opportunities for the 73-year-old princess. This year, Princess Anne took on a new role as Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and on Remembrance Sunday, she was announced as the new president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. She also undertook a state visit to Canada in May and another to Gibraltar in November.
Though tallying up the annual number of royal engagements has long been an activity of royal watchers, Prince Harry mentioned that the family does do a bit of counting—and competing—amongst themselves in his January memoir Spare.
“The Court Circular was an ancient document, but it had lately morphed into a circular firing squad,” he wrote. “It didn’t create the feelings of competitiveness that ran in my family, but it amplified them, weaponized them. Though none of us ever spoke about the Court Circular directly, or mentioned it by name, that only created more tension under the surface, which built invisibly as the last day of the calendar year approached.”
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