If there is one item in Princess Anne’s wardrobe that caught the attention of eagle-eyed royal fans, it is most certainly Princess Anne’s tall feathered plume hat that sparked “feathergate” on social media.
Prince Harry’s relegation to the third row at Westminster Abbey for the King’s Coronation saw him sat behind an impressively tall plume spotted on his aunt, Princess Anne’s hat. At a rare joint royal engagement at Buckingham Palace today, the hat has made a comeback.
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The siblings, King Charles and Princess Anne stood together as he presented the new Sovereign’s Standard to The Blue and Royals squadron of the Household Cavalry, of which Anne is Colonel.
During the brief ceremony at the Palace, Charles spoke of his “great pride” in the bond between the Blues and Royals and the monarch, as the country continues to face “an array of threats” and “difficult times”.
Some 35 soldiers and 27 horses formed up on the quadrangle for the presentation of the new sovereign’s standard – but Princess Anne’s hat, once again, quickly caught the attention of reporters.
Taking to Twitter, Telegraph’s Royal Correspondent wrote: “The return of the infamous red plume!”
She further joked: “No concerns about Prince Harry’s view being blocked today as Princess Anne joined the King to present a new sovereign’s standard to the Blues & Royals.”
At King Charles’s Coronation, royal expert, Roya Nikkhah, reported a source claimed the plumage position sparked “much hilarity among the family” about where it ended up.
Royal fans also took to social media to express their amusement. One fan wrote: “Last time Prince Harrry was obscured by a huge candle. This time, by Princess Anne’s hat.”
The feathery blockade of Prince Harry’s view of the ceremony came just minutes after he entered Westminster Abbey and greeted Princess Anne as she sat down.
During the ceremony today, King Charles said: “As your Colonel-in-Chief, I know that your Colonel, the Princess Royal, joins me in thanking you all for your unlimited commitment and service, as well as your families for their tremendous and unwavering support, some of whom I am delighted to see are able to join us today.”
After the ceremony, King Charles and Princess Anne spent time meeting the 75 guests in the quadrangle, including past and present members of the Household Cavalry and friends and family of those on parade.
They included Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, Queen Camilla’s ex-husband, a former Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
The service usually takes place every decade and the last standard was presented by Queen Elizabeth II in May 2014.