It’s not the first time Anne has broken with tradition to honour her family. She joined the procession last week when The Queen’s coffin was travelling through Scotland, and she also did the same when her father Prince Phillip died last year and for her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2002.
Other female royal family members, such as Camilla, Queen Consort, Meghan Markle and Princess Kate did not join the procession.
Despite this apparent transgression, it's unlikely The Queen would be bothered. She herself didn’t always play by the rules.
In 1965 when former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill died The Queen insisted he have a state funeral, something unheard of for a Prime Minister. Even Prince Phillip’s funeral was of a lower-ranking ceremonial description.
It’s well known that The Queen held Churchill in the highest esteem. He was the first Prime Minister to serve her after all. So it’s not surprising she went one step further to honour him.
Royal etiquette dictates a reigning monarch arrives last and leaves first at official events, but The Queen did away with that idea at Churchill's funeral.
She was one of the first to arrive at the service, before Churchill's family, and after the ceremony she followed them out. A gesture the Churchill family have never forgotten.
“It is absolutely exceptional if not unique for the Queen to grant precedence to anyone. For her to arrive before the coffin and before my [family] was a beautiful and very touching gesture,” Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicolas Soames said.
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