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Princess Anne
The Princess Royal in June 2010
Princess Royal (more)
Personal details
Born 15 August 1950(1950-08-15) (age 72)
Clarence House, London, England
Spouse(s) Mark Phillips
(m. 1973, div. 1992)
Sir Timothy Laurence
(m. 1992)
Religion Church of England

Anne, Princess Royal KG KT GCVO QSO GCL[1][2] (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise; born 15 August 1950) is the second child and only daughter of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of her birth, she was third (behind her mother and elder brother) and rose to second (after her mother's accession) in the line of succession to the thrones of the 16 Commonwealth realms; however, after the birth of two younger brothers, six nieces and nephews, and one grand-nephew, she is currently eleventh in line.

The seventh holder of the title Princess Royal, Anne is known for her charitable work, being the patron of over 200 organisations, and she carries out about 500 royal engagements and public appearances per year. She is also known for equestrian talents; she won two silver medals (1975) and one gold medal (1971) at the European Eventing Championships,[3] and was the first member of the British Royal Family to have competed in the Olympic Games. Currently married to Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, she has two children from her previous marriage to Mark Phillips and two granddaughters.

Early life and education

Princess Anne with her parents and older brother in October 1957

Anne was born at Clarence House on 15 August 1950 at 11:50 am, as the second child and only daughter of then Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and second grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Baptised in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace on 21 October 1950, by then Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett, the Princess's godparents were: the Queen—later Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (her maternal grandmother); the Hereditary Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (her paternal aunt); Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark (her paternal grandmother); Earl Mountbatten of Burma (her paternal great-uncle); and the Hon. Rev. Andrew Elphinstone (her cousin).[4]

By letters patent of Anne's great-grandfather, King George V, the titles of a British prince or princess, and the style Royal Highness, were only to be conferred on children and male-line grandchildren of the sovereign, as well as the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. However, on 22 October 1948, George VI issued new letters patent granting these honours to any children of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip; otherwise, Anne would merely have been titled by courtesy as Lady Anne Mountbatten. In this way, the children of the heiress presumptive had a royal and princely status.

Anne and Charles with Tricia Nixon and Julie and David Eisenhower at the White House in June 1970

As with royal children before her, a governess, Catherine Peebles, was appointed to look after the Princess and was responsible for her early education at Buckingham Palace;[5] Peebles had also served as governess for Anne's older brother, Charles. When Anne's mother acceded after the death of George VI to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II, Anne was thereafter titled as Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne, but, given her young age at the time, did not attend her mother's coronation.

A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company including the Holy Trinity Brompton Brownie pack, was reformed in May 1959, specifically so that, like her mother, Anne could socialise with girls her own age. The Princess Royal was active until 1963, when she went to boarding school.[6] Anne remained under private tutelage until she was enrolled at Benenden School in 1963, leaving five years later with six GCE O-Levels and two A-Levels.[5] Anne's first boyfriend was Andrew Parker Bowles, who was Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's first husband.[7]

Princess Anne served as a bridesmaid on several occasions. She was a bridesmaid at the 1961 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent.[8]

First marriage

On Wednesday, 14 November 1973 (the twenty-fifth birthday of her brother, Prince Charles), Princess Anne married Mark Phillips, a lieutenant in the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards, at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony that was televised around the world, with an estimated audience of 100 million.[9] Following the wedding, Anne and her husband lived at Gatcombe Park. He was made acting captain by the start of 1974 when he was appointed a personal aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II. By 1989, however, the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips announced their intention to separate, as the marriage had been under strain for a number of years. The couple divorced on 23 April 1992.[10]

It was believed[by whom?] that the Queen had offered Phillips an earldom on his wedding day, as was customary for untitled men marrying into the Royal Family. However, Phillips did not accept the offer. The couple had two children, Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips, and so, unusually for the grandchildren of a monarch, they have no title. (However, they are not currently the only children of a British Princess to carry no title: the children of Princess Alexandra, the Queen's cousin, are also untitled.)

On 29 December 2010, the Princess Royal became a grandmother when a daughter, Savannah, was born to her son and his wife Autumn. On 29 March 2012, another daughter, Isla, was born to the couple.

Kidnapping attempt

As Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were returning to Buckingham Palace on 20 March 1974, from a charity event on Pall Mall, their Princess IV limousine was forced to stop by a Ford Escort.[11] The driver of the Escort, Ian Ball, jumped out and began firing a gun. Inspector James Beaton, the Princess's personal police officer, responded by exiting the limousine in order to shield the Princess and to attempt to disarm Ball. Beaton's firearm, a Walther PPK, jammed, and he was shot by the assailant, as was Anne's chauffeur, Alex Callender, when he tried to disarm Ball.[12] Brian McConnell, a nearby tabloid journalist, also intervened, and was shot in the chest.[13] Ball approached the Princess's car and told her of his kidnapping plan, which was to hold the Princess for ransom, the sum given by varying sources as £2 million[14] or £3 million, which he intended to give to the National Health Service.[11] Ball then directed Anne to get out of the car, to which she replied: "Not bloody likely!", and briefly considered hitting Ball.[15] Eventually, she dived out of the other side of the limousine and another passing pedestrian, Ron Russell, punched Ball in the back of the head and then led Anne away from the scene. At that point, Police Constable Michael Hills happened upon the situation; he too was shot by Ball, but not before he called for police backup. Detective Constable Peter Edmonds, who had been nearby, answered and gave chase, finally arresting Ball.[12]

All of the victims were hospitalised, and recovered from their wounds quickly. For his defence of Princess Anne, Beaton was awarded the George Cross, Hills and Russell were awarded the George Medal, and Callender, McConnell and Edmonds were awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.[11][16] Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping, and was detained under the Mental Health Act.

The incident was the closest in modern times that any individual has come to kidnapping a member of the Royal Family, and prompted higher security levels for the Royals. It also served as the focus of the 2006 Granada Television produced docu-drama, To Kidnap a Princess, and inspired story lines in the Tom Clancy novel Patriot Games and the Antonia Fraser novel Your Royal Hostage.

Second marriage

Anne married Timothy Laurence, then a commander in the Royal Navy, at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral Castle, on 12 December 1992. The couple chose to marry in Scotland as the Church of England did not routinely allow divorced persons whose former spouses are still living to remarry in its churches, while the Church of Scotland did under certain circumstances.[17] In participating in this ceremony, Anne became the first Royal divorcée to remarry since Victoria, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, did so in 1905. Like Phillips before him, Laurence received no peerage, and the couple leased a flat in Dolphin Square, London. They later gave up this city home and now reside between an apartment at St James's Palace and Gatcombe Park. Anne has no children by Laurence.

Court sanctions and criminal record

The Princess Royal faced court charges in March 2001, when she pleaded guilty to driving at 93 mph (150 km/h) on a dual carriageway, while on her way to Hartpury College in Gloucestershire. She was fined £400 by Cheltenham Magistrate's Court, and had five points added to her driving licence.[18]

The following year, she became the first senior member of the royal family to have a criminal record, after she was convicted of an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. She pleaded guilty to the charge that her dog, Dotty, attacked two children while she and Laurence were walking the dog in Windsor Great Park. The Princess was fined £500 by Berkshire Magistrates' Court and ordered to give Dotty more training.[19]


Anne has always shown a keen interest in horses and equine pursuits. At the age of 21, the Princess won the individual title at the European Eventing Championship, and was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971. For more than five years she also competed with the British eventing team, winning a silver medal in both individual and team disciplines in the 1975 European Eventing Championship, riding the home-bred Doublet. The following year Anne participated in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal as a member of the British team, riding the Queen's horse, Goodwill. Princess Anne assumed the Presidency of the Fédération Équestre Internationale from 1986 until 1994.[20] On 5 February 1987, she became the first Royal to appear as a contestant on a television quiz-show when she competed on the BBC panel game A Question of Sport. Her daughter, Zara Phillips is also a keen equestrian competitor. Together with her horse, Toytown, she won individual and team gold medals at the 2005 European Eventing Championship as well as individual gold and team silver medals at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games. She went on to win a team silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics as a member of Great Britain Eventing Team.

Official duties

The Princess Royal with Vladimir Putin in 2000

The Princess Royal visits the USNS Comfort on 11 July 2002, while the ship was docked in Southampton, England.

As Princess Royal, Princess Anne undertakes a number of official duties on behalf of her mother, in her role as sovereign of the Commonwealth realms. Anne began to undertake official royal duties overseas upon leaving secondary school,[5] and accompanied her parents on a state visit to Austria in the same year.[21] She will sometimes stand in for the Queen at the funerals of foreign dignitaries (which the Queen customarily does not attend), and resides at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh each summer, hosting engagements there. The Princess also travels abroad on behalf of the United Kingdom up to three times a year; she was the first member of the Royal Family to make an official visit to the USSR when she went there as a guest of the government in 1990.[21] The Princess's first tour of Australia was with her parents in 1970, since which she has returned on numerous occasions to undertake official engagements as a colonel-in-chief of an Australian regiment, or to attend memorials and services, such as the National Memorial Service for victims of the Black Saturday bushfires in Melbourne, Australia, on 22 February 2009.[22]

Following the retirement of the Queen Mother in 1981, Anne was elected by graduates of the University of London as that institution's Chancellor. Throughout May 1996, the Princess served as Her Majesty's High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which granted her, for the duration of the appointment, a higher precedence in Scotland, and the alternative style of Her Grace. In 2007, the Princess Royal had the honour of being appointed by the Queen as Grand Master of the Royal Victorian Order, a position her grandmother had also held.

The Princess Royal carries out a full schedule of royal engagements and is involved with over 200 charities and organisations in an official capacity. She works extensively for Save the Children, of which she has been president since 1970, and she initiated The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in 1991; her work for the charity takes her all over the world, including many poverty stricken African nations. She is also the Royal Patron of WISE, an organisation that encourages young women to pursue careers in science, engineering and construction.[23] Her extensive work for St. John Ambulance as Commandant-in-Chief of St. John Ambulance Cadets has helped to develop many young people, as she annually attends the Grand Prior Award Reception. She is also a British representative in the International Olympic Committee as an administrator, and was a member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. She was President of BAFTA from 1973 to 2001.

She is also a Royal Fellow of the Royal Society. Royal Fellows are members of the Monarchy who are recommended and elected by the Society's Council. There are currently only five Royal Fellows, including The Princess Royal herself, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Kent, and The Duke of Cambridge.

The Princess Royal was elected Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in 2011, effective 31 March, succeeding her father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who stepped down from the role in 2010.[24] Likewise she accepted in 2011 the roles of President of City and Guilds of London Institute, Master of the Corporation of Trinity House and President of the Royal Society of Arts, also in succession to her father. She is also Patron of Edinburgh University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London, International Students House, London, Acid Survivors Trust International, Townswomen's Guilds and College of Occupational Therapy.

The Princess Royal attended Royal Variety Performance show on behalf of the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund On 5 December 2011.[25][26]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 15 August 1950 – 6 February 1952: Her Royal Highness Princess Anne of Edinburgh
  • 6 February 1952 – 14 November 1973: Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne
  • 14 November 1973 – 13 June 1987: Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne, Mrs Mark Phillips
  • 13 June 1987 – present: Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

The Princess Anne's style and title in full: Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, Princess Royal, Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Lady of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Dame Grand Cross and Grand Master of the Royal Victorian Order, Dame Grand Cross of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. In 1996, Anne was entitled to be called Her Grace The Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Anne is the seventh creation of the title Princess Royal, an appellation given only to the eldest daughter of the sovereign, the last holder being George V's daughter, Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood.


See also List of honours of the British Royal Family by country


The Princess Royal with her brothers, Charles, Andrew and Edward at the Order of the Garter service, 19 June 2006.

Foreign honours


  • United Kingdom 1986 – : Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS)
  • United Kingdom 1987 – : Royal Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
  • England 1981 – : University of London, Chancellor
  • Scotland 2011 – : University of Edinburgh, Chancellor[32]
  • Scotland 2012 – : University of the Highlands and Islands, Chancellor[33]
  • England 2013 – : Harper Adams University, Chancellor[34]
Academic degrees
  • Saskatchewan 2004: University of Regina, Doctor of Laws (LLD)[35]
  • Newfoundland and Labrador 23 April 2010: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Doctor of Laws (LLD)[36]
  • England 2011: Cranfield University, Doctor of Science (DSc)[37]

Honorary military appointments

The Princess Royal on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (in uniform, far right) on the occasion of the Queen's Official Birthday, 16 June 2007.

The Princess Royal passes behind the Princess Anne Banner at a parade for the 75th anniversary of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, 5 July 2000.

As with other senior royals, Princess Anne holds a number of honorary appointments in the armed forces of several Commonwealth realms. Anne is of the following regiments, corps, and branches:

Australia Australia
Canada Canada
New Zealand New Zealand
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Arms of A
Coat of Arms of Anne, the Princess Royal.svg
The Princess's personalised coat of arms are those of the arms of the sovereign in right of the United Kingdom with a label for difference.
The coronet of a daughter of the sovereign Proper.
Quarterly 1st and 4th gules three lions passant guardant or 2nd or a lion rampant gules within a double treasure flory counterflory gules 3rd azure a harp or stringed argent
The Order of the Garter ribbon.
(Shame be to him who thinks evil of it)
Other elements
The whole differenced by a label of three points argent, first and third charged with a St George's cross the second with a heart gules
Royal Standard of Princess Anne.svg The Princess's personal Royal Standard is that of the sovereign in right of the United Kingdom, labelled for difference as in her arms.

Royal Standard of Princess Anne used in Scotland.svg

As with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. The first and fourth quarters are the arms of England, the second of Scotland, the third of Ireland.


Name Birth Marriage Issue
Peter Phillips 15 November 1977 17 May 2008 Autumn Kelly Savannah Phillips
Isla Phillips
Zara Phillips 15 May 1981 30 July 2011 Mike Tindall



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Knights of the Orders of Chivalry". Debretts. Retrieved 5 March 2012. "Although HRH The Princess Royal and HRH Princess Alexandra are both female they are actually included with the Royal Knights Companions and they bear the post-nominal letters KG (not LG)." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "New appointments to the Order of the Thistle". Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  3. "Senior European Championship Results". British Eventing Governing Body. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  4. Yvonne's Royalty Home Page – Royal Christenings
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "HRH The Princess Royal > Early Life and Education". Buckingham Palace. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008. 
  6. "Royal Support for the Scouting and Guiding Movements". Official Website of the British Monarchy. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  7. "Princess Anne comforts Andrew Parker Bowles at funeral of his wife Rosemary". Hello!. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010. "Andrew is also a close friend of the Princess Anne, and dated her in 1970." 
  8. Wedding photograph
  9. 1973 Year in Review: Princess Anne's Marriage-
  10. Brozan, Nadine (24 April 1992). "Chronicle". 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Daily Express, 21 August 2006
  12. 12.0 12.1 "On This Day > 20 March > 1974: Kidnap attempt on Princess Anne". BBC. 20 March 1974. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  13. Roy Greenslade (17 July 2004). "Obituary: Brian McConnell". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  14. "Princess foiled 1974 kidnap plot". BBC. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  15. Agence France-Presse (2 January 2005). "Kidnap the Princess? Not bloody likely!". 
  16. "No. 46354". 26 September 1974. 
  17. BBC Religions - Divorce in Christianity
  18. "Princess Anne fined for speeding". BBC. 13 March 2001. Retrieved 31 May 2006. "She saw the police car and believed it was waiting to escort her on her journey." 
  19. "Princess Royal fined over dog attack". BBC. 21 November 2002. Retrieved 31 May 2006. 
  20. About FEI – History, FEI official site. Retrieved 21 February 2010
  21. 21.0 21.1 "HRH The Princess Royal > Public Role". Buckingham Palace. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  22. "Bushfire memorial echoes grief and hope". 9News. 22 February 2009. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  23. WISE Patrons
  24. New Chancellor Elected
  25. "Manchester Lowry". The ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  26. "Salford's Lowry hosts Royal Variety Performance". BBC News. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Orders of Chivalry". St George's Chapel. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  28. "The Princess Royal: Honours". Royal Household. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  29. "Papua New Guinea visit". 2005. 
  30. Jackson, Michael (2007). Honours of the Crown. The Monarchist League of Canada. 
  31. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (in German) (pdf). p. 275. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  32. University of Edinburgh. "News and Events". Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  33. UHI. "About UHI". Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  34. Harper Adams University. "News". Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  35. "Undergraduate Calendar: History and Government—Honorary Degree Recipients". University of Regina. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  36. "Princess Anne arrives in St. John's". CBC. 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  37. "Cranfield's 2011 Honorary Graduates". Cranfield University. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  38. Bulletin November 2003, Canadian Forces Health Services Group
  39. "Normandy: D-Day June 6—Regina". Veterans Affairs Canada. 5 June 2004. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  40. Princess Royal visits Olympic Maritime Security Force Dorset, MoD

External links

Anne, Princess Royal
House of Windsor
Cadet branch of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Born: 15 August 1950
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Lady Louise Windsor
Line of succession to the British throne
11th position
Succeeded by
Peter Phillips
British royalty
Title last held by
Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood
Princess Royal
1987 – present
Academic offices
Preceded by
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Chancellor of the University of London
1981 – present
Preceded by
The Duke of Edinburgh
Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh
2011 – present
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Grand Master of the Royal Victorian Order
2007 – present
Preceded by
Henry Cooper
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by
Mary Peters
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Countess of Wessex
HRH The Princess Royal
Succeeded by
The Duchess of Cambridge

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