Princess Anne Is a Modern Fashion Icon Hiding in Plain Sight

Chelsea Flower Show 2018 - Press Day
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A wave of royal mania has swept the world in the wake of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s long-awaited royal wedding, which had all eyes on Markle and her 16-foot Givenchy veil—not to mention Amal Clooney’s canary yellow dress and Prince George’s goth ensemble. Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II’s only daughter, on the other hand, barely registered amid all the attention. And it’s a wrong that’s lasted the majority of the now 67-year-old royal’s life in the public eye, which needs to be righted. Our collective oversight of Anne, style icon, could be attributed to several factors: The ’80s were dominated by Princess Diana, and the ’70s, which found Princess Anne glowing in her twenties, have largely been remembered as the decade she wed the commoner Captain Mark Phillip—and partied with a a 5’6″ tall wedding cake to match her height—and as that of the bloody, failed attempt at her kidnapping, which ended up perfectly showcasing her feistiness. (“Not bloody likely” was her response to the attacker holding her at gunpoint.) Upon closer inspection, though, Anne, who’s long disliked publicity, is not just an overlooked style icon of the royal family; altogether, her past decades of looks essentially double as a modern-day Balenciaga mood board, filled with the trends that are largely credited to Demna Gvasalia today. (Color-blocking? Check. Oversized trench coats? Check. Unmissable sunglasses? Check; she’s actually been rocking the same pair of sporty, Matrix-like Adidas for years now, which, just two days after the royal wedding, have won her accolades for managing to get ahead of the Insta-girls in the next eyewear trend.) She even named her daughter Zara all the way back in 1981—and wore capes during her pregnancy, altogether making for a track record proving she’s undeniably one to watch. Catch up on all of the trends she’s pioneered over the years, here. (Be warned: You’ll soon want to accessorize your iPhone with a walkie-talkie, just like Anne.)

Princess Anne at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, two days after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal wedding, May 2018.

Princess Anne on the grounds of Sandringham House, February 1970.

Princess Anne with her arm in a sling after she fell off her horse in Kiev, Russia, for a championship competition, September 1973.

Princess Anne on the opening day of the 2010 Olympic Games in London, July 2012.

Princess Anne on the grounds of the Windsor International Horse Trials in Windsor, May 2004.

Princess Anne on a visit to Kiev, Russia, September 1973.

Princess Anne on the course of the first Gatcombe Park Horse Trials in Glouchestershire, August 1983.

Princess Anne at a theater in London, September 1973.

Princess Anne at the Windsor Horse Trials in Windsor Great Park, May 1984.

Princess Anne at the Derby in Epsom, 1983.

Princess Anne at Horse Trials in the U.K. with members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 1968.

Princess Anne with her cell phone and walkie-talkie at the Whatley Manor Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park in Stroud, September 2017.

Princess Anne at age 23, with her fiancé Captain Mark Phillips, at the London premiere of Jesus Christ Superstar, August 1973.

Princess Anne at John Smith’s Grand National horse racing meeting in Liverpool, April 2011.

Princess Anne on a visit to the Ackworth Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association, June 1983.

Princess Anne at St Giles’ Cathedral’s Thistle Service in Edinburgh, July 2016.

Princess Anne with Queen Elizabeth II and her grandson, Peter Phillips, at the baby’s christening, December 1977.

Princess Anne in Gambia for Save the Children, February 1984.

Princess Anne and her second husband Timothy Laurence at the 2016 Braemar Highland Gathering in Scotland, September 2016.

Princess Anne, pregnant with her daughter Zara, and her husband Mark Phillips, in Great Somerford, May 1981.

Princess Anne on a visit to Zagorsk, Russia, May 1990.

Princess Anne with her children Peter and Zara At the Royal Windsor Horse Show, May 1984.

Princess Anne at a parade at Sandhurst Military Academy, August 1973.

Princess Anne at the race course of the Cheltenham Festival, March 2017.

Princess Anne at the Save The Children Festival Of Trees in London, ca. 2000s.