How much do you know about Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter and second child? The 70 year old royal may not make the headlines as much as other members of the Royal Family but the Princess Royal has still had an incredibly interesting life. Read on to find out more about Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter.
Princess Anne was born on 15th August 1950 at Clarence House. When she was just a toddler, Anne’s mother Elizabeth II ascended the throne - a ceremony the young princess did not attend. When she was born, Princess Anne was third in line to the throne - she is now 15th in line.
When Anne was a child, a special Girl Guides company was formed so the young Princess could socialise with girls her age like her mother and grandmother had done before her. Anne then attended Benenden School, where she achieved two A Levels. Destined for Royal duty, Anne began doing royal engagements at just 18 years old.
As the popular TV show The Crown shows, Princess Anne briefly had a relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles, who would later marry Camilla Shand, Anne’s now sister in law.
A keen rider, Princess Anne won the gold at the European Eventing Championship at just 21. Princess Anne is also the first royal to compete in the Olympics when she joined the 1976 Montreal games.
Princess Anne is famously known as one of the busiest and hardest working senior royals. In 1990, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work with Save the Children, an organisation she began working with at age 20. Alongside her charity work, Anne is chancellor at University College London and president of the UK Fashion and Textile Association. She was also given Prince Philip's patronage of the Commonwealth Study upon her late father’s retirement.
Anne met her first husband, army officer Mark Philips in 1968. Both keen equestrians, the pair were involved with the 1971 European championships. The couple married in a fairytale ceremony at Westminster Abbey on November 15, 1973.
Anne and Mark went on to have two children, Peter who was born in 1977, and Zara who was born in 1981. Mark, born a commoner, was offered an earldom upon his marriage, but he declined it. As a female, royal titles weren’t passed to Anne's children automatically and the couple declined the cursory titles that Queen Elizabeth offered their children. Anne and Mark have four grandchildren: Savannah and Isla Phillips, and Mia, Lucas and Lena Tindall.
In 1992, the couple divorced after separating in 1989. Their relationship had been famously rocky and both were thought to be having affairs. Letters between Anne and Timothy Laurence were discovered and sold to the press, while a paternity test proved Mark had had a child with an art teacher called Heather Tonkin in 1985.
Later in 1992, Princess Anne married her second husband, naval officer and former Royal aid Timothy Laurence, and in doing so became the first Royal to remarry since Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha almost 100 years before in 1905.
In 1974 when she was just 23 years old, Princess Anne and her then husband Mark Philips survived a kidnapping attempt as they were driving back to Buckingham Palace following a charity event. The car was brought to an abrupt stop when a black Ford Escort stopped in front of them and the driver, Ian Ball, jumped out with a gun.
After shooting several members of Princess Anne’s security, Ball approached the Queen's only daughter and told her he was kidnapping her and was going to hold her ransom for £2million pounds - money he said he wanted to donate to the NHS.
Characteristically cool, Princess Anne replied, ‘not bloody likely’. A passer by, who just happened to be the former boxer Ron Russell, came to her rescue and punched Ball in the head.
Find out more about Princess Anne and her royal relatives on True Royalty TV.