Anne, Princess Royal

For the daughter of George II, see Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange.
"Princess Anne" redirects here. For other princesses called Anne, and other meanings of this name, see Princess Anne (disambiguation).
"The Princess Royal" redirects here. For other people known as Princess Royal, see Princess Royal.
Princess Anne
Princess Royal (more)

The Princess Royal at Chatham House, October 2015
Born (1950-08-15) 15 August 1950
Clarence House, London, UK
Spouse Mark Phillips
(m. 1973; div. 1992)

Sir Timothy Laurence
(m. 1992)
Issue Peter Phillips
Zara Tindall
Full name
Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise[note 1]
House Windsor
Father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Mother Elizabeth II

Anne, Princess Royal, KG KT GCVO GCStJ QSO GCL CD[1][2] (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise; born 15 August 1950) is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of her birth, she was third in the line of succession, behind her mother and elder brother Charles. She rose to second after her mother's accession, but is currently 12th in line.

Anne is known for her charitable work, and is patron of over 200 organisations. 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 is the first member of the British Royal Family to have competed in the Olympic Games. Princess Anne has held the title of Princess Royal since 1987 and is its seventh holder.

Anne was married to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973; they divorced in 1992. They have two children and three grandchildren. In 1992, within months of her divorce, Anne married Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, whom she had met while he served as her mother's equerry between 1986 and 1989.

Early life and education

Princess Anne with her parents and elder brother in October 1957

Anne was born at Clarence House on 15 August 1950 at 11:50 am,[4] as the second child and only daughter of Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She was the second grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Anne was baptised in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace on 21 October 1950, by Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett.[note 2]

A governess, Catherine Peebles, was appointed to look after Anne and was responsible for her early education at Buckingham Palace;[7] Peebles also served as early governess for Anne's older brother, Charles. After the death of George VI, Anne's mother ascended the throne as Queen Elizabeth II. Given her young age at the time, she did not attend the coronation.

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

A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company to include the Holy Trinity Brompton Brownie pack, was reformed in May 1959, specifically so that, as her mother and aunt had done as children, Anne could socialise with girls her own age. The Company was active until 1963, when Anne went to boarding school.[8] Anne enrolled at Benenden School in 1963. In 1968 she left school with six GCE O-Levels and two A-Levels.[7]

In the next couple of years, Anne started dating. In 1970 her first boyfriend was Andrew Parker Bowles, who later became the first husband of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.[9]

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.[10] 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, Princess Anne 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.[11]

The Queen had offered Phillips an earldom on his wedding day, as was customary for untitled men marrying into the Royal Family. Phillips declined. The couple had two children, Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips. As female-line descendants of royalty, the children have no title despite being the grandchildren of a monarch. (They are not the only children of a British princess without titles; the children of Princess Alexandra, the Queen's cousin, are also untitled.)

Anne became a grandmother on 29 December 2010 when Peter and his wife Autumn had a daughter, Savannah. On 29 March 2012, the couple had another daughter, Isla. Anne's third granddaughter, Mia Grace, was born on 17 January 2014 to Zara and her husband Mike Tindall.

Kidnapping attempt

Princess Anne in a visit to Washington, Tyne and Wear, 1974

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 car was forced to stop on the Mall by a Ford Escort.[12] The driver of the Escort, Ian Ball, jumped out and began firing a pistol. Inspector James Beaton, Anne's personal police officer, responded by getting out of the car in order to shield her 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.[13] Brian McConnell, a nearby tabloid journalist, also intervened, and was shot in the chest.[14] Ball approached Anne's car and told her of his kidnapping plan, which was to hold her for ransom, the sum given by varying sources as £2 million[15] or £3 million, which he claimed he intended to give to the National Health Service.[12] Ball then directed Anne to get out of the car, to which she replied: "Not bloody likely!", and reportedly briefly considered hitting Ball.[16] Eventually, she exited the other side of the limousine as had her lady-in-waiting, Rowena Brassey. A passing pedestrian, a former boxer named 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.[13]

Beaton, Hills, Callender and McConnell were hospitalised, and all recovered from their wounds. 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.[12][17] Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping. He was still detained under the Mental Health Act as of January 2011, at Broadmoor.[18]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 family. 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 at that time allow divorced persons whose former spouses are still living to remarry in its churches.[19][20] The Church of Scotland does not consider marriage to be a sacrament, and thus not binding forever, and has no moral objection to the remarriage of divorced persons.[21] In participating in this ceremony, Anne became the first royal divorcée to remarry since Victoria, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, married Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia 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

The only reported court sanctions Anne has was one fine of £400 for speeding in March 2001, by Cheltenham Magistrate's Court.[22] In 2002 her dog Dotty attacked two children in Windsor Great Park. She was fined £500 by Berkshire Magistrates' Court under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, and ordered to give Dotty more training.[23] In both cases, she pleaded guilty.


Medal record
Representing  United Kingdom
European Championships
1971 Burghley Individual eventing
1975 Luhmuhlen Team eventing
1975 Luhmuhlen Individual eventing

At the age of 21, Anne 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. Anne assumed the Presidency of the Fédération Équestre Internationale from 1986 until 1994.[24]

On 5 February 1987, she became the first member of the Royal Family 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.


The Princess Royal with Vladimir Putin in 2000
The Princess Royal visits USNS Comfort on 11 July 2002, while the vessel docked at Southampton, UK

Anne undertakes a number of duties and engagements on behalf of her mother, in support of her role as sovereign of the Commonwealth realms. Kevin S. MacLeod, the Canadian Secretary to the Queen, said of Anne in 2014: "Her credo is, 'Keep me busy. I'm here to work. I'm here to do good things. I'm here to meet as many people as possible'."[25]

Anne began to undertake overseas visits upon leaving secondary school,[7] and accompanied her parents on a state visit to Austria in the same year.[26] She 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 Soviet Union when she went there as a guest of the government in 1990.[26]

Her 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.[27]

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, Anne served as Her Majesty's High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. In 2007, she had the honour of being appointed by the Queen as Grand Master of the Royal Victorian Order, a position her grandmother had also held.

Anne 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.[28] 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 maintains a relationship with student sport and is the Patron of British Universities and Colleges Sport. She has been Patron of the Royal National Children's Foundation since 2002.

She is also a Royal Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences. Royal Fellows are members of the Monarchy who are recommended and elected by the Society's Council. The Royal Society has 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. She is the Academy of Medical Sciences' first Royal Fellow.

She 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.[29]

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.

She represented Great Britain in the International Olympic Committee at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.[30] In late October 2016, Princess Anne visited the Malaysian state of Sarawak for a two-day study tour.[31]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

Royal Monogram

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.

As the child of a daughter of the monarch, Anne would not usually have been accorded the title of princess or the style Royal Highness. However, on 22 October 1948, letters patent were issued granting these to any children of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

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.


The Princess Royal processing at the Garter Service, Windsor, with her brothers, Charles, Andrew and Edward on 19 June 2006
Foreign honours


Academic degrees

Honorary military appointments

As with other senior royals, Princess Anne holds a number of honorary appointments in the armed forces of several Commonwealth realms:

Australia Australia
The Princess Royal at a parade on the 75th anniversary of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, 5 July 2000.
Canada Canada
New Zealand New Zealand
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Personal flag for Canada

Flag of the Princess Royal for use in Canada

Since 2013, the Princess Royal has a personal heraldic flag for use in Canada. It is the Royal Arms of Canada in banner form defaced with a blue roundel surrounded by a wreath of gold maple leaves, within which is a depiction of an "A" surmounted by a coronet. Above the roundel is a white label of three points, the centre one charged with a red heart and the other two with red crosses.[56][57]

Other honours

In February 2015 the Princess Royal became one of the first female honorary members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.[58]


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 Mia Tindall



  1. Anne does not normally use a surname, but, if required, her premarital surname was Mountbatten-Windsor.
  2. Her godparents were the Queen—later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (her maternal grandmother); the Princess Margarita, Hereditary Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (her paternal aunt); Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark (her paternal grandmother); Earl Mountbatten of Burma (her paternal great-uncle); and Rev the Hon Andrew Elphinstone (her first cousin once removed).[5][6]


  1. 1 2 "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. 1 2 "New appointments to the Order of the Thistle". Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  3. "Senior European Championship Results". British Eventing Governing Body. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 38995. p. 4197. 16 August 1950.
  5. "- Person Page 1970". Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  6. Royal Christenings,; accessed 25 March 2016.
  7. 1 2 3 "HRH The Princess Royal> Early Life and Education". Buckingham Palace. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  8. "Royal Support for the Scouting and Guiding Movements". Official Website of the British Monarchy. Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  9. "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.
  10. "News, Photos, Audio | Archives". Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  11. Brozan, Nadine (24 April 1992). "Chronicle". New York Times.
  12. 1 2 3 Daily Express, 21 August 2006
  13. 1 2 "On This Day > 20 March > 1974: Kidnap attempt on Princess Anne". BBC. 20 March 1974. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  14. Roy Greenslade (17 July 2004). "Obituary: Brian McConnell". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  15. "Princess foiled 1974 kidnap plot". BBC. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  16. Agence France-Presse (2 January 2005). "Kidnap the Princess? Not bloody likely!". The Age. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  17. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46354. pp. 8013–8014. 26 September 1974.
  18. Hagen, Carrie. "The Bloody Attempt to Kidnap a British Princess". Smithsonian. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  19. In 2002, the Church of England did agree that divorced persons could remarry in church under certain circumstances, but the matter is left to the discretion of the parish priest.
  21. "Worship on the Web" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  22. "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.
  23. "Princess Royal fined over dog attack". BBC. 21 November 2002. Retrieved 31 May 2006.
  24. About FEI – History, FEI official site; retrieved 21 February 2010.
  25. Davison, Janet (7 November 2014). "Princess Anne's Ottawa tour will honour 'everyday heroes'". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  26. 1 2 "HRH The Princess Royal> Public Role". Buckingham Palace. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  27. "Bushfire memorial echoes grief and hope". 9News. 22 February 2009. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  28. WISE Patrons,; accessed 25 March 2016.
  29. New Chancellor Elected,; accessed 25 March 2016.
  30. "The Princess Royal heads to Sochi Games". 3 February 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  31. "Britain's Princess Anne arrives for two-day study tour". Bernama. The Borneo Post. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  32. The London Gazette: no. 45290. p. 967. 28 January 1971. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  33. 1 2 "Orders of Chivalry". St George's Chapel. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
  34. "The Princess Royal: Honours". Royal Household. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  35. "Papua New Guinea visit". 2005. Archived from the original on 24 December 2007.
  36. Jackson, Michael (2007). Honours of the Crown. The Monarchist League of Canada.
  37. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 275. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  38. "Grand State Banquet". Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  39. Badraie
  40. University of Edinburgh. "News and Events". Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  41. UHI. "About UHI". Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  42. Harper Adams University. "News". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  43. "Undergraduate Calendar: History and Government—Honorary Degree Recipients". University of Regina. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  44. "Princess Anne arrives in St. John's". CBC. 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  45. "Cranfield's 2011 Honorary Graduates". Cranfield University. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  46. 1 2 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47235. p. 7119. 11 June 1977. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  47. "Princess Anne's Ottawa tour will honour 'everyday heroes'". CBC News. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  48. Bulletin November 2003, Canadian Forces Health Services Group
  49. "Normandy: D-Day June 6—Regina". Veterans Affairs Canada. 5 June 2004. Archived from the original on 26 January 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  50. Government of Canada (3 May 2015). "Minister Kenney announces Royal appointments to the Royal Canadian Navy". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  51. 1 2 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52834. p. 2581. 14 February 1992. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  52. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45051. p. 2551. 3 March 1970. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  53. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47234. p. 7079. 11 June 1977. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  54. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57032. p. 10318. 19 August 2003. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  55. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60271. p. 17883. 18 September 2012.
  56. "Canadian Flags of the Royal Family". Canadian Crown. Government of Canada. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  57. "The Princess Anne, Princess Royal". Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges. Office of the Governor General of Canada: Canadian Heraldic Authority. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  58. "BBC Sport – Princess Royal among first women to join St Andrews". BBC Sport.

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Anne, Princess Royal
Born: 15 August 1950
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Lady Louise Windsor
Line of succession to the British throne
12th position
Followed by
Peter Phillips
British royalty
Title last held by
Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood
Princess Royal
Academic offices
Preceded by
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Chancellor of the University of London
Preceded by
The Duke of Edinburgh
Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh
New creation Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands
Chancellor of Harper Adams University
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Grand Master of the Royal Victorian Order
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
Followed by
The Duchess of Cambridge
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