King Charles is considering a change to demote Princes Harry and Andrew, but his sister Anne could be on the rise

When the Queen died earlier this month in the house she called her “Paradise in the Highlands”, two of her four children were by her side.

Her heir, Charles, rushed from his own Scottish home, Dumfries House, to join his sister Anne, who was already standing by their mother’s bedside.

“I was lucky enough to share the last 24 hours of my dearest mother’s life,” Princess Anne said in a statement.

“It was an honor and a privilege to accompany her on her last journeys.”

Princess Anne was also chosen to accompany her mother’s coffin on the long journey from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh and then on a flight to London.

As the Queen’s only daughter, Anne has long held a special place in the House of Windsor.

She was very close to both of her parents, an Olympian and one of the hardest-working members of the family.

Last year, she carried out even more official engagements than her brother, making 387 public appearances before his 385.

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Now 16th in line to the throne, Princess Anne has never been further from the crown.

Known for her no-nonsense attitude, unchanging haircut and work ethic, she has often flown under the radar during her siblings’ scandals and dramas.

But as one of her brother’s most trusted advisors, Anne’s influence will grow.

There are even reports that the new king wants to change an 85-year-old law so that his brother, Prince Andrew, his son, Prince Harry, and his niece, Princess Beatrice, will be removed from their positions as state advisers.

The commotion could allow Anne to be promoted to a key position to replace the king if he is unable to perform official duties.

A wayward princess called ‘her royal rudeness’

Born 21 months after her brother Charles, the rules of the British monarchy always dictated that Anne should stand behind her male relatives in the line of succession.

When her mother took the throne in 1952, the then 18-month-old was second in line, only to Charles.

A black and white photo of Prince Philip wearing sunglasses and walking on grass next to his young daughter and son.
Princess Anne was born 21 months after her brother Charles. (Instagram: The Royal Family)

But the arrival of her younger brothers, and eventually her cousins, sent her further up the ranks.

The law was finally amended in 2015 so that new members of the royal family, such as Princess Charlotte, would not be passed over in front of their male relatives.

The Queen gave Anne the title Princess Royal, an honor bestowed on the monarch’s eldest daughter for three centuries.

But for Princess Anne, her place in the House of Windsor has never stopped her from living her life the way she wanted.

She was an accomplished rider and competed in the equestrian events for the 1976 Olympics.

“If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she’s not interested,” her father Prince Philip once said colorfully about her love of horses.

As a teenager, the quirky and outspoken princess was called “her royal rudeness” by British tabloids.

“She has a reputation for inheriting her father’s famously sharp tongue and wasp-like wit, who once told famous photographers to ‘naff’ if they got in her way,” royal writer Katie Nicholl wrote in 2020.

A black and white family portrait of the Queen, Prince Philip and their four children.
Princess Anne (top left) was a strong-willed teenage princess who wanted to become an equestrian. (Flickr: The British Monarchy)

In 1974, an armed man ambushed Princess Anne’s car in the Mall while she was driving with her then-husband Mark Philips.

According to released briefings about the incident, the man asked her to “come with me for a day or two” because he wanted a ransom of $3.4 million.

“Damn probably!” she said to the gun-wielding would-be kidnapper.

In a statement written for Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Anne said she was tempted to hit the man.

“It was all so frantic; I kept saying I didn’t want to get out of the car, and I wasn’t going to get out of the car,” she said.

“I almost lost my temper with him, but I knew if I did, I would hit him and he would shoot me.”

Trapped in an argument with his intended victim, the man was eventually apprehended by the police.

While Anne was often regarded by outsiders as brash and haughty, she was a close friend and confidante to her brother.

The future king and his sister

With more than a decade between the births of Charles and Anne and their younger brothers Andrew and Edward, a strong lifelong bond was formed between the older siblings.

As the new queen, their mother was often on royal trips during their childhood, leaving them in the care of the staff.

A black and white photo of a little Prince Charles and Princess Anne standing together
Prince Charles and Princess Anne were often left in the care of nannies when their parents traveled. (Instagram: @theroyalfamily)

“When his sister, Princess Anne, refused to leave their mother, he dragged her away and explained, ‘Anne, don’t bother Mama. She’s busy. She’s king,'” wrote royal biographer Kitty Kelley.

As they got older, they moved in the same social circles, and it is believed that at one point the siblings became entangled in a romantic entanglement with Andrew Parker Bowles and Camilla Shand.

Anne quietly dated Parker Bowles in the late 1960s, while Charles was involved with his future queen consort Camilla.

But both couples broke up and Camilla eventually married Parker Bowles.

“It’s unclear when their romance ended, but Anne had no shortage of young men interested in her, including Mark Phillips, whom she first met in 1968,” says royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith.

Princess Anne in a gold-orange dress with a bouquet while surrounded by smiling people
Anne, who had little patience with curious British tabloids, was called “her royal rudeness” as a young princess. (Instagram: @theroyalfamily)

Despite the potential for drama, Ms. Smith said everyone stayed on relatively good terms — even when Camilla and then Prince Charles got married in 2005.

“Anne and Andrew have remained friends to this day and he is godfather to Anne and Mark’s daughter Zara, born in 1981.”

Like her brothers Charles and Andrew, Princess Anne’s marriage also collapsed in 1992.

Now that she has remarried, this time to Sir Timothy Lawrence, she has largely kept her private life out of the headlines.

Royal writer Phil Dampier predicted in 2019 that the woman, once considered “the black sheep” of the family, would become a key figure during King Charles’ reign.

“She will probably become a much more important figure,” he wrote.

“Unlike her younger brother, she is extremely discreet and is unlikely to make a faux pas. She is a safe pair of hands.”

King Charles and his sister Princess Anne sit next to each other
Princess Anne is believed to be one of Charles’ closest advisers and friends. (Reuters: Frank Augstein)

While Prince Andrew was engulfed in scandal for his connections to the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Anne was the sibling Charles could rely on.

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