Princess Anne
(Image credit: Getty/ Karwai Tang)

Princess Anne broke royal protocol to 'shelter' Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall from heavy palace burdens by not accepting their birth-given titles, it's been claimed.

In a new Channel 5 documentary, it's explained how The Princess Royal and her husband decided against giving Zara and Peter royal titles in a move that strayed from royal tradition.

Despite being in the royal line of succession (opens in new tab) and grandchildren of the Queen, Zara and Peter aren't a princess and prince.

During the new doc, titled Zara & Anne: Like Mother, Like Daughter, Narrator Jennifer Saayeng acknowledged the hardship the children could face without their royal titles. 

Princess Anne and daughter Zara Tindall

Credit: Getty

"This was no small decision. Unlike her cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara would not be a Princess. No curtsying, no honours, but crucially much more freedom."

Royal commentator Wesley Kerr told Channel 5 during the taping, "Much more of Anne's life as a child was public than Zara's life as a child. Anne was very conscious that she wanted her kids to have a slightly more sheltered upbringing than she'd had."

It's also claimed that Zara, who is pregnant with her third child (opens in new tab), and Peter are happy to have grown up without HRH titles.

Royal journalist Katie Nicholl explained, "If you speak to either Zara or Peter, they will also tell you that not having the burden of titles has enabled them to live ordinary lives."

Princess Anne spoke out ahead of the documentary in an interview with Vanity Fair last year where she stood by her decision, saying, "I think it was probably easier for them. I think most people would argue that there are downsides to having titles so I think that was probably the right thing to do."

Since December 2020, Kudzai Chibaduki has worked as a trainee journalist at FUTURE, capturing all fashion, entertainment, and beauty content for the Lifestyle websites, as well as contributing to the shopping sections for's widely read online magazine. Kudzai previously worked as a freelance fashion wardrobe stylist, directing magazine photoshoots and coordinating the fashion direction of recording artists.