Princess Anne: The unexpected inheritance she got from Queen Elizabeth a year after her death

It has been revealed that Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter Princess Anne has inherited this unexpected thing from her mother.

Princess Anne ladies-in-waiting
© Max Mumby/Indigo / GETTY IMAGES
Princess Anne ladies-in-waiting

Princess Anne is the most hardworking royal yet she is the most discrete one. In December 2023, it was announced that the Princess Royal had undertaken 427 engagements within the year, placing her well above her brother King Charles.

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Since first becoming a working royal in 1969, Princess Anne has consistently proved that she is reliable and dutiful. At the beginning of 2024, reports were calling her King Charles’ right-wing woman and since her brother became monarch, she stepped up and took an even bigger role.

In order to be the ‘can-do will-do’ royal that she is, Princess Anne relies on a team of staffers. A team that has recently seen some changes.

Princess Anne inherits Queen Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting

On 1 February 2024, The Telegraph reports that late Queen Elizabeth continues to have an impact on the lives of the members of the Royal Family. Indeed, according to the publication, two of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting will be joining Princess Anne’s staff.

The article reads:

The Princess has announced that Lady Elizabeth Leeming and Mrs Susan Rhodes have been appointed as extra ladies in waiting.

Queen Elizabeth had five ladies-in-waiting and while these two will be joining Princess Anne’s staff, the other three have already joined King Charles’ administration and were made ladies of the household. As such, they are mostly responsible for organising and helping to host events taking place at Buckingham Palace.

Lady Elizabeth Leeming and Mrs Rhodes will be expected to accompany Princess Anne during engagements and ‘assist’ to run things at the Princess’ office.

What is a lady-in-waiting?

Royal Families are known to be well-oiled machines but, to be this way, they require hundreds of staffers behind the scenes. These staffers are masters at what they do, from selecting jewellery and setting the table for a banquet to ensuring protocol is respected during official engagements.

One of the roles that the Royal Family relies on is ladies-in-waiting. This role is usually crucial to female members of royal households. According to Debrett’s, an authority on etiquette founded in 1769, the role of a lady-in-waiting is defined like this:

A lady in waiting is an attendant to a female member of the Royal Family

The etiquette expert explains that these ladies are ‘usually the wife or daughter of a peer’ but that they could also be ‘a close friend’ or ‘a cousin’.

In the case of Princess Anne’s new ladies-in-waiting, they are a mix. Lady Elizabeth is part of the Bowes-Lyon family, the family of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother while Mrs Rhodes is reportedly the wife of Simon Rhodes, ‘the son of the late Margaret Rhodes, Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin and lifelong companion.’

The duties of a lady-in-waiting are quite broad. Debrett explains:

Her duties are to act as a companion and to help the Royal during her day-to-day duties. On occasions she could be involved in replying to non-official correspondence and diary events.

The role of lady-in-waiting is not one that is currently popular. Of course Princess Anne is still using them but that is not the case for Queen Camilla. Indeed, the Consort opted to have ‘Queen’s companions’, a more informal role that doesn’t require these people to do any administrative work.

What did Princess Anne inherit from Prince Philip?

From her mother, Prince Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, has inherited many things. Things that one could qualify as practical and beautiful (jewellery was also passed down). However, from her father, Princess Anne has gotten much more tangible attributes.

Throughout his life, it seemed like Prince Philip had a very special bond with his only daughter. In 2021, Brian Hoey wrote in The Telegraph:

It was a relationship that was totally unqualified and neither father nor daughter could see any wrong in the other; indeed, one way in which to annoy either one was to criticize the other.

The writer goes even further and writes that Princess Anne inherited from her father her 'total honesty and unwillingness to compromise on matters she believes in.' It comes to no surprise that the two would be close. Indeed, both had to take a step back and live in the shadow of another person: Prince Philip in his wife's, the Queen, and Princess Anne in her brother's, the heir to the throne.

Moreover, Brian Hoey explained he had the chance to quiz both royals on whether or not they found some royal tasks 'boring'. Their respective answers show a common unwavering sense of duty.

Princess Anne said:

Some are more interesting than others

While Prince Philip stated:

It’s the price we pay for the positions we occupy.

Finally, the author reveals one other thing which Princess Anne inherited from her father: her ability to make quick decisions.

This quality they both shared is even more significant when you know that this was sometimes the one thing that separated King Charles and his father. Indeed, Charles is more considerate which is believed to have frustrated Prince Philip.

Read more:

Royal Family: Morbid rules and protocols the monarchy must always follow

Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte and Princess Anne: Can these women ensure the future of the monarchy?

Princess Anne: The real reason why she divorced Captain Mark Phillips


The Telegraph: Princess Anne ‘inherits’ two of Elizabeth II’s ladies in waiting

Debrett’s - Ladies in Waiting

BBC: Princess Anne: The can-do will-do royal

The Telegraph: Like father, like daughter: Prince Philip and Princess Anne's bond was unrivalled

'A sense of relief': Princess Anne reveals how she felt when Queen Elizabeth died in exclusive documentary 'A sense of relief': Princess Anne reveals how she felt when Queen Elizabeth died in exclusive documentary