Princess Anne let this royal family member choose her baby name for daughter Zara - and it’s not who you’d expect

The Princess Royal took inspiration from another family member when it came to naming her baby

Princess Anne smiling at the highland games
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Anne let another member of the Royal Family pick her baby name for daughter Zara when she was born and it's not who you'd expect.

The Royal Family have a baby naming hack they use when it comes to naming their children but while Princess Anne stuck to traditions of giving both her babies, Zara and son Peter, three first names, instead of picking her daughters first name herself, she let someone else in her family suggest what to call her newborn baby.

The Princess Royal's daughter Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips was born on May 15, 1981 at St Mary's hospital in Paddington to ex husband Mark Phillips. And while the baby was named after herself and her mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, in two of her first names, the foremost name Zara was actually a name suggested by her brother King Charles.

Princess Anne told Good Housekeeping that she took the suggestion from brother Charles. She told the publication, "The baby made a rather sudden and positive arrival and my brother thought Zara (a Greek name meaning 'bright as the dawn') was an appropriate name," 

The unusual baby name also means "seed," "flower," and even "princess". The name Zara also has French origins meaning "light," which would better explain the connection with her arrival - at the speed of light.

Princess Anne and daughter Zara as a baby outside hospital

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But while King Charles named Zara back when he was a prince, Princess Anne declined to have a title for her children when her mother, Queen Elizabeth, who was monarch at the time, extended the offer to make an exception of HRH title, despite the children being born through the female line. In February 2022 the Queen changed the rules for Prince Louis' name.

As according to Royal Central, in 1971, King George V created a patent that only "children of the monarch male-line grandchildren and the son of the Prince of Wales  automatically carry the title of the style HRH".

But Zara later admitted that she was lucky to have grown up without a royal title, telling The Times, "I’m very lucky that both my parents decided to not use the title and we grew up and did all the things that gave us the opportunity to do."

Princes Anne and King Charles

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zara is mum of three to Mia, nine, Lena, five, and Lucas, two, with husband Mike Tindall and her youngest arrived in a similarly quick fashion that Zara did to her mother Princess Anne.

During an interview on his podcast The Good, the Bad and The Rugby, Mike explained, "So, it was run into the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get a mat on the floor, towels down, 'brace-brace-brace,'" he recalled. 

"Fortunately, the midwife, who was going to meet us at the hospital, wasn't that far away. So she drove up, got there just as we'd assumed the pos-ish [as he called the position]. And then the second midwife arrived just after the head had arrived."

Zara and Mike Tindall Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In other Royal news, King Charles reveals his hopes that granddaughter Princess Charlotte will ‘look after him’ when he is ‘very old’ and Kate Middleton's favourite sweet treat is perfect for an alternative festive pudding, here's the royal recipe. Or if you're looking for a bargain Christmas gift there's these incredible Prime Day toy deals.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is currently a Senior Entertainment Writer for, formerly Senior Entertainment writer for Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life and has more than 16 years of experience in newspapers, magazines and online. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including celebrity births, weddings and reality show line-ups including Strictly, Dancing On Ice and The Great British Bake Off, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories from baby names to store closures and product recall warnings. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.