The Princess Royal decided not to give her son Peter Phillips or her daughter Zara titles when they were born, instead keeping them as plain Mr and Miss. Zara, 39, reflected on this decision in the ITV documentary ‘Anne: The Princess Royal at 70’, insisting that she was actually “grateful” not to have a title. She claimed not having a title has made her work harder for what she wants.
She told the documentary: “I think it made us fight harder, as well, to try and be as successful as we could be.
“So, definitely, we’re very grateful to her not giving us a title anyway.”
Peter, 42, agreed, adding: “We were always brought up on the understanding that we were going to have to work, we were going to have to go out and earn our living, regardless of the fact of who our grandmother was or who our mother was.”
Princess Anne was the first of the Queen’s children to have children herself, so her decision was surprising to some people at the time.
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Zara Tindall was not given a royal title by her mother Princess Anne
Princess Anne with baby Zara
However, Anne was aware that she was the Queen’s only daughter, which makes her and her children lower down in the succession than her younger brothers.
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 removed the male-preference primogeniture, but only for future births and it does not act retrospectively.
The Princess Royal was also all too aware of the pressures that are on members of the Royal Family and wanted to try and ease that for her children.
Explaining her reasoning in the documentary, Anne said: “As a member of the Royal Family, living with that sort of pressure is hard and the expectations that come with it is hard.
Peter Phillips and his now-separated wife Autumn Kelly
“And that might have been at the bottom of the list, that it might be less difficult for you.
“But actually, understanding where they sit within the family and what happens next, it made much more sense.”
By contrast, the children of Anne’s older brother Charles ‒ who is destined to be King ‒ are automatically HRH princes: Prince William and Prince Harry.
Anne’s younger brother Prince Andrew chose to give his daughters royal titles too: HRH Princess Beatrice and HRH Princess Eugenie.
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Princess Anne with baby Peter Phillips at his christening
However, Prince Edward followed Anne’s lead and did not give his children HRH titles.
However, because he is a son of the monarch and holds the title the Earl of Wessex, his children are not plain Mr and Miss ‒ his son uses his secondary title, Viscous Severn, and his daughter is known as a Lady.
Zara and Peter both live with their families close to Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, where they grew up.
Zara had a successful career in three-day eventing, just like her mother, and Peter works in sports sponsorship and management.
Peter married the glamorous Canadian Autumn Kelly in 2008 and has two daughters ‒ Savannah, nine, and Isla, eight.
Sadly however, in February this year, Peter confirmed he had separated from Autumn in 2019 and that they were planning to get divorced.
Zara married rugby player Mike Tindall in 2011 and also has two daughters ‒ Mia, six, and Lena, two.
Zara and her husband Mike Tindall
In a recent survey by the Daily Mirror, it was found Zara is the seventh most popular royal.
She ranked above very important royals like Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as well as more active royals like Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
This may well be down to the fact that Zara, with no royal titles and a whole career and life of her own, is more relatable than some of the other royals, who are more swept up in the institution of the monarchy and the Royal Family.