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Anne, Princess Royal


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Anne, Princess Royal (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise; born 15 August 1950), is the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of her birth, she was third, and later for a few years was second in the line of succession to the thrones of seven independent states; however, after additions to the Royal Family, and an evolution of the Commonwealth, Anne is currently tenth in line to the thrones of 16 countries. She is resident in and most directly involved with the United Kingdom, the oldest realm, while also carrying out duties in and on behalf of the other states of which her mother is sovereign. 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 700 royal engagements and public appearances per year.

Princess Anne is also known for equestrian talents; she won two silver and one gold medal at the European Eventing Championships, and is the only member of the British Royal Family to have competed in the Olympic Games. She is presently married to Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence, and has two children from her previous marriage to Mark Phillips.

Early life and education

Anne was born at Clarence House on 15 August 1950, the second child and first 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 her great-uncle, Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma; Andrew Elphinstone; her maternal grandmother; her paternal grandmother, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark; and her aunt, The Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. 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 children 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.

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; 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. Anne remained under private tutelage until she was enrolled at Benenden School in 1963, leaving five years later with six O-Levels and two A-Levels. Anne's first boyfriend was Andrew Parker Bowle

On 14 November 1973, Princess Anne married Mark Phillips, then 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. Following the wedding, Anne and her husband lived at Gatcombe Park. 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.

It was believed 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 they thus became the first grandchildren of a Sovereign to carry no title, though they are not the first children of a Princess to carry no title: the children of Princess Alexandra, the Queen's cousin, are also untitled.

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. 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 try 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. Brian McConnell, a passerby, also intervened, and was shot in the chest. Ball approached the Austin Princess and told Anne of his kidnapping plan, which was to hold the Princess for ransom, the sum given by varying sources as £2 million or £3 million, which he intended to give to the National Health Service. Ball then directed Anne to get out of the car, to which she replied: "Not bloody likely!", and briefly considered hitting Ball. Eventually, she dived out 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.

All of the victims were hospitalised, and recovered from their wounds. For his defence of Princess Anne, Beaton was awarded the George Cross, while Callender, McConnell, Russell, Hills, and Edmonds were each given the Queen's Gallantry Medal Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping, and was detained under the Mental Health Act. He later placed strange advertisements in a magazine, directing readers to his Web site, which offers £1 million to anyone who can prove Ball's theory that the whole incident actually took place a year later, and formed a part of a long-standing and elaborate persecution of Ball by a policeman.

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 allow divorced persons to remarry in its churches, while the Church of Scotland did. 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 Buckingham Palace and Gatcombe Park. Anne has no children with Laurence.

The Princess Royal faced civil court charges in March 2001, when she pleaded guilty to driving at 93 mph 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. The following year, she was convicted of a second offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, after she pleaded guilty to the charge that her dog, Dotty, attacked two boys while she and Laurence were taking the dog for a walk in Windsor Great Park. The Princess was fined £500 by Berkshire Magistrates' Court and ordered to give Dotty more training.

Personal interests

Pharology, the study of lighthouses, is a focus of interest for Princess Anne; she made it an ambition to see personally each of Scotland's 215 lighthouses, often touring them with the Northern Lighthouse Board, of which she is patron. It is thought the interest stems from Anne's visit, when she was five years old, to Tiumpan Head with her mother. Princess Anne also has been patron of Sense (The National Deafblind and Rubella Association) since 1986. Sense is a national charity in the United Kingdom that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind. It provides specialist information, advice and services to deafblind people, their families, carers and the professionals who work with them. In addition, it supports people who have sensory impairments with additional disabilities. The Princess Royal takes a great interest in the work of this charity and hosts a number of events to raise money for its continued good work in the community and beyond. HRH The Princess Royal is also Royal Patron of young people's charity Catch22


Medal record


European Championships

Gold 1971 Burghley Individual eventing

Silver 1975 Luhmuhlen Team eventing

Silver 1975 Luhmuhlen Individual eventing

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 President of The Fédération Équestre Internationale from 1986 until 1994. 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.

Princess Anne was a pupil of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

Official duties

As Princess Royal, Princess Anne undertakes a number of official duties on behalf of her mother, in her role as sovereign of any of the Commonwealth realms. Anne began to undertake official royal duties overseas upon leaving secondary school, and accompanied her parents on a state visit to Austria in the same year. 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. 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 Bushfire Victims in Melbourne, Australia, on 22 February 2009.

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 late grandmother had also held.

The Princess Royal carries out the most engagements of any member of the Royal Family, 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. 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.

The Princess Royal is also the patron of International Students House, London.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

Royal styles of

HRH The Princess Royal

Reference style Her Royal Highness

Spoken style Your Royal Highness

Alternative style Ma'am

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 – : Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

The Princess's British style and title in full: Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, The Princess Royal, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight 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 only given to the eldest daughter of the sovereign, the last holder being George V's daughter, Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood.



1969 – : Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II

1971 – 1998: Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (DStJ)

1998 – : Dame Grand Cross of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (GCStJ)

1974 – : Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)

1986 – : Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS)

1987 – : Royal Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)

1990 – : Extra Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO)

23 April 1994 – : Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (LG)

2000 – : Lady of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (LT)

29 September 2005 – : Chief Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL)

n/a: Trinity Cross


2 June 1953: Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal

1977: Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal

1982: Canadian Forces Decoration (CD)

2002: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal

2005: Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan

Foreign honours

1969: Decoration for Honour of Merit, in Gold with Sash

1969 – : Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland

1971 – : Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown

1972 – : Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange

1972 – : Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown

1972 – 1991: Order of the Yugoslav Flag with Sash, 1st Class

Honorary degrees

2004: University of Regina, Doctor of Laws (LLD)

23 April 2010: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Doctor of Laws (LLD)

Honorary military appointments

As with other senior royals, Princess Anne holds a number of honorary appointments in the armed forces of several Commonwealth realms. In 2002, she became the first non-reigning woman to attend a funeral in uniform when she wore that of the Royal Navy at the funeral of her grandmother, the Queen Mother.

Anne is of the following regiments, corps, and branches:


Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals


Colonel-in-Chief of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters

Colonel-in-Chief of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's)

Colonel-in-Chief of the Communications and Electronics Branch

Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces Medical Service

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regina Rifles

Colonel-in-Chief of Royal Newfoundland Regiment

New Zealand

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps

United Kingdom

Colonel-in-Chief of the King's Royal Hussars

Colonel-in-Chief of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29/45 Foot)

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Corps of Signals

Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Logistic Corps

Colonel-in-Chief the Royal Army Veterinary Corps

Colonel of the Blues and Royals

Royal Colonel of the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland

Royal Colonel of the 52nd Lowland Regiment, 6th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland

Royal Honorary Colonel of the University of London OTC

Commandant-in-Chief of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps)

Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lyneham

Honorary Air Commodore of the University of London Air Squadron

Vice Admiral and Chief Commandant for women of the Royal Navy

Commodore-in-Chief of HMNB Portsmouth









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