Princess Anne obstructs Prince Harry’s view of coronation with feather-adorned military uniform
Prince Harry’s view of the historic coronation ceremony for his father King Charles III was blocked by his aunt Princess Anne’s red-feathered hat.
On Saturday 6 May, the Duke of Sussex arrived at Westminster Abbey solo for the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla. Once inside the abbey, Harry, who wore a morning suit for the occasion, sat in the third row alongside members of his family, including cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie and their husbands.
The Princess Royal, 72, meanwhile, played a special role in the coronation procession following the ceremony, which meant that she wore her military uniform to the historic ceremony, during which she was seated in the second row, directly in front of her nephew Harry.
The military uniform worn by the King’s sister for her role as the Gold Stick, a role in the Colonel of the Blues and Royals in the Household Cavalry regiment that she has held since 1998, included a black hat adorned with a large red feather plume. At times, the hat appeared to obstruct the duke’s view of the ceremony proceedings from his seat behind his aunt.
“You can see pretty much every single member of the royal family’s face in the congregation at the #coronation except Prince Harry who has spectacularly been blocked by Princess Anne’s hat,” one person tweeted alongside a photo of the seating arrangement inside the abbey.
Another said: “Harry’s going to have a smashing view behind Princess Anne’s hat.”
“Did they deliberately put Prince Harry behind Princess Anne’s massive hat?” someone else jokingly questioned.
Others pointed out that this wasn’t the first time the Sussexes have found their sight obstructed during an official royal occasion, as a large candle appeared to hinder Meghan Markle and Harry’s view of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral proceedings.
“Prince Harry is hidden behind the feather on Princess Anne’s hat… last time it was a candle,” one tweet reads, while someone else said: “Oh dear. Last time Harry couldn’t see because of a large candle… and now it’s a hat! Princess Anne couldn’t get a bigger one.”
The Princess Royal confirmed that she would be wearing her military uniform for her brother’s coronation during an interview with CBS News on Monday, during which she revealed the role she would play in the proceedings and joked that it had solved her “dress problem”.
“I have a role as the Colonel of the Blues and Royals in the Household Cavalry regiment as Gold Stick [in Waiting]. And Gold Stick was the original close protection officer. So that is a role I was asked if I’d like to do for this coronation, so I said yes. Not least of all, it solves my dress problem,” she said.
Although Harry’s view appeared to be hindered slightly by his aunt’s uniform, he did not seem to mind, with the pair captured smiling at one another as they took their seats inside the abbey.
In the second row, Princess Anne was seated alongside royal family members including the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh’s children James, Earl of Wessex and Lady Louise, and Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent.
Prince Harry’s brother William was seated in the front row of the abbey with his wife, Kate, Princess of Wales, and their daughter Princess Charlotte, eight, and son Prince Louis, five. The couple’s eldest son, Prince George, nine, did not sit with the family as he held a role in the ceremony as one of the King’s Pages of Honour.
The final seats in the front row were filled by King Charles’ brother Prince Edward and Sophie, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
Following the crowning ceremony, Princess Anne rode on horseback behind the King and Queen as they made their way from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. She was the only royal to appear on horseback during the coronation.
Follow along for live updates from the coronation.