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10 Questions & Answers On… Princess Anne

It’s 10 Questions and Answers time again and this week, we have chosen (with the help of our Twitter followers) Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, Princess Royal.

Princess Anne is currently married to Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence and is the 2nd child and only daughter of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh.

So, without further or do, here’s 10 questions and answers on The Princess Royal.

Question 1: What’s Princess Anne’s background and family like?

Princess Anne is the second child and only daughter of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip. Princess Anne was born on 15 August 1950 in Clarence House, then then London residence of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth. Princess Anne was born two years before her mother acceded to the throne in 1952, at the time of her birth she was 3rd-in-line to the throne and by the time she was 2, she was second in line!

Question 2: Is it true Princess Anne’s first boyfriend was the ex-husband of Camilla Parker-Bowles?

Yes! Princess Anne’s first boyfriend was the ex-husband of the woman who is now Prince Charles’s wife (Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall), Andrew Parker-Bowles. They never got further than dating.

Question 3: What was Princess Anne’s first marriage like?

Princess Anne married Mark Phillips, then a lieutenant in the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards. They married at Westminster Abbey in front of a crowd of millions on 14 November 1973 (coincidentally, this was also Prince Charles’s 25th Birthday).

They remained married for over five years before announcing that their relationship had been under strain for a few years before divorcing in 1992. During their marriage, Princess Anne had two children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall (née Phillips).

Question 4: Why are Princess Anne’s children not titled?

Princess Anne’s children do not carry titles because of something called the 1917 Letters Patent. This document created by George V states that only ‘children of the monarch male-line grandchildren and the son of the son of the Prince Of Wales automatically carry the title Prince or Princess and the style ‘HRH”. Princess Anne’s children aren’t male line grandchildren, they are female line grandchildren, which is why Prince Charles and Prince Andrew’s children carry the style of Prince/Princess but Anne’s children do not.

Question 5: I heard Princess Anne was almost kidnapped once, is this true?

Yes. As Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were returning to Buckingham Palace on 20 March 1974 from a charity event on Pall Mall, their limousine was forced to stop by a Ford Escort. The driver of the Escort, Ian Ball, jumped out and began firing a gun. Princess Anne’s police protection officer responded by exiting the limousine in order to shield the Princess and to attempt to disarm Ball.  The officer’s gun, however, jammed and he was shot by Ball as was Anne’s chauffeur when he tried to disarm Ball. Brian McConnell, a nearby tabloid journalist, also intervened and was shot in the chest. Ball approached Princess Anne’s car and told Anne of his kidnapping plan. He was going to hold Princess Anne to ransom for around £2 million, money which he was to reportedly give to the NHS. Ball then told Anne to get out of the car, to which she replied: “Not bloody likely!”, and briefly considered hitting Ball. Eventually, she dived out of 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 those shot survived from their injuries and many of those involved in stopping Ball from attacking Princess Anne were honoured for their bravery, including Princess Anne’s police officer being awarded the George Cross (the highest civilian decoration in the UK). Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping, and was detained under the Mental Health Act.

Question 6: What about Princess Anne’s second marriage?

Princess Anne remarried on 12th December 1992 to Timothy Laurence at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral Castle. The couple chose to marry in Scotland as theChurch of England does not routinely allow divorced persons whose former spouses are still living to remarry in its churches, while the Church of Scotland does.

Question 7: Does Princess Anne have a criminal record?

Yes. Princess Anne faced 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. Allegedly, she saw a police car and assumed she was being given an escort. The following year, she became the first senior member of the Royal Family to have a criminal record, after she was convicted of an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. She pleaded guilty to the charge that her dog, Dotty, attacked two children while she and her husband were walking the dog in Windsor Great Park. The Princess was fined £500 by Berkshire Magistrates’ Court and ordered to give Dotty more training.

Question 8: What about Princess Anne’s interest in horses?

Princess Anne is very interested in horses and even competed in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal as an equestrian. She became European Eventing Championship, and was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971.


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, and a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics as a member of Great Britain Eventing Team.

Question 9: What are people on about when they say ‘Princess Royal’?

Princess Anne holds the title ‘Princess Royal’, a title first created by Charles I for his daughter and since then, the style of Princess Royal has been awarded (but not automatically) to the eldest daughter of the Monarch. Princess Anne was made Princess Royal in 1987 by her mother, The Queen. The previous holder, Mary, Princess Royal, died in 1965, leaving the title open for use. Princess Anne’s proper title is: Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne, Princess Royal.

Question 10: Does Princess Anne perform Royal duties?

Yes. In fact, Princess Anne is one of the most, if not the most active member of the Royal Family. Princess Anne is involved with over 200 charities and performs hundreds of engagements per year. Princess Anne receives £228,000 from The Queen each year for official expenditure and for her household. Princess Anne has always been an active Royal. Ever since she left secondary school, she went straight into an active Royal life, carrying out many engagements in her own right only months after she left school.

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