The meaning behind Princess Anne's military uniform she wore at the Queen's funeral

Princess Anne wore full navy uniform to the state funeral of The Queen despite her never giving active service

The meaning behind Princess Anne's military uniform she wore at the Queen's funeral
(Image credit: Jon Super - WPA Pool/Getty Images/Future)

Confusion has been sparked over how Princess Anne could wear full Navy uniform to the Queen's state funeral despite her never giving active service to the Royal Navy.

Unlike the other female members of the royal family at the Queen's state funeral, who were dressed head to toe in black as is customary for funerals, Princess Anne walked behind her mother's coffin in full Royal Navy ceremonial uniform.

As she took part in the sombre occasion, her 11 medals sat proudly on her chest, leading many royal fans to describe the Princess Royal as 'tough and dignified' across social media.

Despite the admiration for the Queen's only daughter, confusion over why Princess Anne was wearing a full Royal Navy uniform at the state funeral was sparked as fans realised she has never given active service to the Royal Navy - so how could she be in the uniform?

While the Princess Royal has not served in any of the UK's military forces like her brothers King Charles and Andrew, and her nephews Prince William and Prince Harry, Princess Anne has several military honours and titles and carries out hundreds of engagements with her military patronages and affiliations every year.

As well as being a patron of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, Anne is Commodore-in-Chief for Portsmouth, an honorary Admiral in the military and ,in 2020, she was also made a General in the British Army and an Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force. These titles, while honorary, give Princess Anne the right to wear full Royal Navy uniform when an occasion permits it.

It is not just the UK military services that have honoured Princess Anne with titles, she holds many across the Commonwealth including: Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy; Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps; and Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport.

In the same way Princess Anne has been given military titles, she has also been awarded military medals, quite a few of them actually. Currently, Princess Anne's medal collection boasts; The Queen's Service Order, the Coronation Medal, the Silver Jubilee Medal, the Golden Jubilee Medal, the Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Platinum Jubilee Medal, the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Royal Navy), the Canadian Forces Decoration, Order of St John Service Medal, and the New Zealand 1990 Medal.

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Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.