Anne, Princess Royal

British Royal Family

The Princess Anne, Princess Royal, (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise Laurence, formerly Phillips, née Windsor, laterMountbatten-Windsor, (born August 15, 1950)), is a member of the British Royal Family and the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II. She is the seventh holder of the title Princess Royal, and is currently ninth in the line of succession to the British throne.

The Princess Royal is most famous for her charitable work. She is the only member of the British Royal Family to have competed in the Olympic Games.

Early life

Princess Anne was born on August 15, 1950 at Clarence House, London. Her father is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and the former Princess Alice of Battenberg. Her mother was The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh (now Queen Elizabeth II), the eldest daughter of King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

She was baptised in the Music Room ofBuckingham Palace on 21 October 1950 by Cyril Garbett, Archbishop of York. Her godparents were: The Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Andrew Elphinstone,Queen Elizabeth, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Shortly before the birth of her elder brother, Charles, Prince of Wales, in 1948, King George VI issued Letters Patent granting the titular dignity of Prince or Princess of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the style Royal Highness to any children born to the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Princess Anne was educated in Buckingham Palace and then at the private boarding school Benenden in Kent.

Princess Anne

The Princess Royal

On February 6, 1952, Anne's grandfather, King George VI died, and her mother ascended the throne. Anne was now styled Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne. Given her young age, she did not attend her mother's coronation. Princess Anne began to undertake royal and official duties as a teenager in the late 1960s.

Anne was also keen on horses, and equine pursuits have been an important part of her life. At the age of 21, she won the individual title at the European Eventing Championship held at Burghley and was voted BBC's BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971. For over five years she competed with the British eventing team, winning a silver medal in both individual and team disciplines in the 1975 European Eventing Championships held in Germany riding the homebred Doublet. The following year she participated in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games as a member of the British team riding the Queen's horse Goodwill.

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

First marriage

OnNovember 14, 1973 Princess Anne married Mark Phillips, a Lieutenant and later Captain in the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards at Westminster Abbey, London. The marriage was televised around the world with an estimated audience of 100 million. The couple have two children:

As is customary, The Queen is believed to have offered Mark Phillips an earldom on his wedding day, which he turned down. This may also have been the specific wish of Princess Anne, who wanted to shield future children from the publicity that courtesy titles might bring. They thus become the first grandchildren of a sovereign to carry no title.

After their wedding, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, as he has subsequently styled himself, lived at Gatcombe Park, in Gloucestershire.

Kidnap attempt

Princess Anne was the target of a failed kidnap attempt onMarch 20, 1974. To this day, it remains the closest any individual has come to kidnapping a member of the Royal Family. The incident occurred as Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were returning to Buckingham Palace from an engagement. Their chauffeur-driven Austin Princess limousine was blocked in the road on Pall Mall by another car. Ian Ball, a man later judged to be mentally unstable, jumped from the car and fired six shots, wounding several people on the street. Ball planned to ransom the Princess for a sum given in various sources as £2 million or £3 million.

Secret government papers released under the '30-year rule' on January 1, 2005 told that when Ball revealed his plan to the Princess at gunpoint, she replied "(Not) bloody likely!", and considered hitting Ball. Inspector James Beaton, Anne's private detective jumped across to shield the princess, and then returned fire, injuring the kidnapper. A nearby police officer gave chase and arrested Ball, who was later imprisoned in a mental hospital, where he remains. The incident prompted higher security levels for the Royal Family. Beaton was awarded the George Cross.

Princess Royal

Styles of
The Princess Royal
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

OnJune 13, 1987, the Queen bestowed the title of Princess Royal on Princess Anne, the seventh creation of this title. Anne was now to be styled Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. The title was is only given to the eldest daughter of the sovereign, the last holder being King George V's daughter, Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood.

Divorce and remarriage

In August, 1989, the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips announced their intention to separate. The marriage had been under strain for many years. The couple divorced in April, 1992. On December 12, 1992, Anne remarried, the first royal divorcee since Henry VIII of England to do so. She chose to remarry in the Church of Scotland since the Church of England forbade divorcees from remarrying in their churches, a stance that is now softening.

She married Timothy Laurence in Crathie Kirk near the Balmoral Estate, Aberdeenshire. At the time of their marriage, he was a Royal Navy commander, and has since risen to the rank of Rear-Admiral. They have no children together.

Charity work

The Princess Royal carries out the most engagements of any member of the Royal Family. After the Queen, she is considered the most valuable asset of the Royal Family. This current popularity is a contrast to her previous reputation when she earned the nickname, Princess Sourpuss.

The Princess Royal works extensively for the charity Save the Children of which she has been president since 1970. Her work for the charity takes her all over the world, including many poverty stricken African nations. Also 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 is a member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

Since 1981, she has served as the chancellor of the University of London.

Honorary military appointments

Like other senior royals, The Princess Royal holds a number of honorary appointments in the British Armed Forces and those of several Commonwealth countries. She is Colonel-in-Chief of the following regiments, corps, and branches:

  • United Kingdom
    • The Blues and Royals
      The King's Royal Hussars
      The Royal Scots
      The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29/45 Foot)
      The Royal Corps of Signals
      The Royal Logistic Corps
      The Royal Army Veterinary Corps
      The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
  • Australia
    • The Royal Australian Corps of Signals
  • Canada
    • The Grey and Simcoe Foresters
      The 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's)
      The Communications and Electronics Branch
      The Canadian Forces Health Services
      The Royal Regina Rifles
      The Royal Newfoundland Regiment
  • New Zealand
    • The Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals
    • The Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps

She is also:

  • Rear Admiral and Chief Commandant for women, Royal Navy
  • Honorary Air Commodore, RAF Lyneham.
  • Royal Honorary Colonel, University of London Officers Training Corps.

Court cases

In 2001, the Princess Royal became the first member of the royal family to face criminal charges since King Charles I was charged with treason in 1649. She pleaded guilty to driving at 93 mph on a dual carriageway on her way to Hartpury College in Gloucestershire. She was fined £400 by Cheltenham Magistrates' Court and was given five points on her driving licence.

In 2002, the Princess Royal was convicted of a second criminal offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. She pleaded guilty to the charge that her dog, Dotty, attacked two boys while she and her husband were taking her for a walk in Windsor Great Park. The Princess Royal was fined £500 by Berkshire Magistrates' Court and ordered to give more training for Dotty. In December 2003, one of the Queen's Corgis had to be put down, after being savaged by another of the Princess Royal's dogs, Florence.

Controversy with Cherie Blair

In 2005, newspapers reported an alleged long running rift between the Princess Royal andCherie Blair the wife of the present British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Cherie Blair, who is from a working class Liverpool background, reputedly asked the Princess Royal to call her Cherie, rather than Mrs Blair, only to be snubbed by the Princess who showed no interest in her thereafter.

Titles and honours

Arms of HRH The Princess Royal
Arms of HRH The Princess Royal

Titles from birth to present

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Anne of Edinburgh (until 1952)
  • Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne (1952–1973)
  • Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne, Mrs Mark Phillips (1973–1974)
  • Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne, Mrs Mark Phillips, GCVO(1974 - 1987)
    Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, GCVO (1987 - 1990)
    Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, GCVO, QSO (1990 - 1994)
    Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, LG, GCVO, QSO (1994 - 2000)
    Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, LG, LT, GCVO, QSO (2000 - 29 September 2005)
    Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, LG, LT, GCVO, QSO, GCL (29 September 2005 - present)


Commonwealth Honours

First Date listed indicates Date of appointment and Second date list when the appointment became void because of appointment to a higher grade.

Country Award or Order Class or Position Dates
United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II Royal Family Order 2nd Class 1969
United Kingdom Order of St. John Dame of Justice 1971
United Kingdom Royal Victorian Order Dame Grand Cross 1974
Canada Canadian Forces Decoration - 1982
United Kingdom Royal Society Fellow 1987
United Kingdom (England) Order of the Garter Lady 1994
United Kingdom Order of St. John Dame Grand Cross 1998
New Zealand Queen's Service Order Extra Companion 1990
United Kingdom (Scotland) Order of the Thistle Lady 2000
Papua New Guinea Order of Logohu Chief Grand Companion 2005

Foreign Honours

Country Award or Order Class or Position Dates
Finland Order of the White Rose of Finland Commander Grand Cross 1969
Japan The Order of the Precious Crown Grand Cordon 1971
The Netherlands Order of the House of Orange Grand Cross 1972
Yugoslavia Order of the Yugoslav Flag 1st Class 1972
Trinidad & Tobago Trinity Cross - 19??


Princess Royal
dates they were Princess Royal in brackets

Mary Stuart (1642-1660) | Anne of Orange (1727-1759) | Charlotte (1766-1828)
Victoria (1841-1901) | Louise (1905-1931) | Mary (1932-1965) | Anne (1987-)

Preceded by:
The Lady Louise Windsor
Line of succession to the British throne Succeeded by:
Peter Mark Andrew Phillips
Preceded by:
Sophie, The Countess of Wessex
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Succeeded by:
Princess Beatrice of York

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