Princess Anne is a member of the British royal family and the only female offspring of the long-reigning British monarch Queen Elizabeth II. At the time she was born in 1950, Anne was third in line to the British throne but her position has since dropped way lower in the line of succession with the expansion of the royal family. Officially, she is styled as “Her Royal Highness Princess Royal”, a title which she has held since 1987.
As expected, Princess Anne undertakes several official duties and engagements on behalf of her mother, the queen. However, there is so much more to this princess beyond the fact that she is of blue-blood. Anne is a multi-award-winning equestrian and also a former Olympian having participated in the 1976 Summer games. She is also well known for her contributions to charity as she serves as a matron to more than 200 organizations.
She was born into the royal household on August 15, 1950, and christened Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise. She is the second of 4 children born to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. For her early education, Anne was home-schooled by a governess Catherine Peebles. In 1963, she was enrolled at Benenden School, a boarding school for girls, for her secondary education and she graduated in 1968.
Family, Husband and Children
Princess Anne has been married for well over 2 decades to Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. They met back in 1986 while Laurence served as an Equerry to Queen Elizabeth II and they tied the knot on December 12, 1992. Theirs was a private ceremony held at Crathie Kirk, a small parish of the Church of Scotland, near Balmoral Castle which is a holiday residence of the British royals. The couple opted to wed in Scotland as the Church of England at the time did not permit the remarriage of divorced persons.
Prior to her current union, Princess Anne was married for 19 years to Captain Mark Philps and they had 2 children together, a son and a daughter. She welcomed her son Peter Mark Andrew Phillips on November 15, 1977. Her daughter Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall (née Phillips) was born May 15, 1981.
Peter Philips is a consultant in the field of sports sponsorship and management. On her part, Zara Tindall is also an award-winning equestrian, just like her mother. She was named the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and clinched a silver medal in the equestrian events of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
5 Interesting Facts To Know About Princess Anne
Princess Anne’s first boyfriend
It is on record that Princess Anne’s first boyfriend was Andrew Parker Bowles. For those who are in tune with the intricacies of the British royal family, Mr Bowles is the former husband of Camilla Parker Bowles, who has eventually become the wife of Anne’s brother Charles, Prince of Wales.
Her love for equestrianism
Princess Anne is well known for her brilliant equestrian talents. She competed in several equestrian events during her prime and won many titles. She won her first title, a gold medal at the 1971 European Eventing Championships. She also won 2 silver medals at the 1975 edition of the championships.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year award
Princess Anne received this highly-coveted honour at age 21 in 1971, owing to her accomplishments in equestrianism. By so doing, she became the first royal to win the award and the feat has been replicated by her own daughter 35 years later.
Princess Anne is a former Olympian
Interestingly, Anne competed in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and made history once again as she became the earliest member of the British royal family to take part in the Olympic Games. Though she did not win any medal at her outing at the Olympics, she set the precedence for other British royals to follow.
An infamous kidnapping attempt
On March 20, 1974, a man named Ian Ball attempted to kidnap Princess Anne on her way back to Buckingham Palace from a charity event. The princess’ Personal Protection Officer and her chauffeur both got injured during the incident. A nearby tabloid journalist and a Police Constable were also wounded when they attempted to intervene.
The Princess was eventually able to escape when a former boxer Ron Russell, who happened upon the situation, struck the assailant on the back of the head. All those injured during the incident made full recovery after periods of hospitalisation. The assailant Ian Ball was detained under the Mental Health Act after pleading guilty to the crime. The 2006 television docu-series To Kidnap a Princess was based on this incident.