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Princess Royal (more)
Princess Anne Feb 2023.jpg
Princess Anne in 2023
Born Princess Anne of Edinburgh
(1950-08-15) 15 August 1950 (age 73)
Clarence House, London, United Kingdom
Full name
Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise
House Windsor
Father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Mother Elizabeth II
Signature Anne's signature
Education Benenden School

Anne, Princess Royal (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise; born 15 August 1950) is a member of the British royal family. She is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the only sister of King Charles III. Anne was born 3rd in the line of succession to the British throne and is now 17th, and has been, since 1987, Princess Royal, a title held for life.

Born at Clarence House, Anne was educated at Benenden School and began undertaking royal duties upon reaching adulthood. She became a respected equestrian, winning one gold medal in 1971 and two silver medals in 1975 at the European Eventing Championships. In 1976, she became the first member of the British royal family to compete in the Olympic Games. In 1988, the Princess Royal became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Anne performs official duties and engagements on behalf of the monarch. She is patron or president of over 300 organisations, including WISE, Riders for Health, and Carers Trust. Her work in charities centres on sports, sciences, people with disabilities, and health in developing countries. She has been associated with Save the Children for over fifty years and has visited a number of its projects.

Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973; they separated in 1989 and divorced in 1992. They have two children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, and five grandchildren. Within months of her divorce in 1992, Anne married Commander (later 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

Elizabeth, Philip, Charles and Anne
Princess Anne with her parents and elder brother in October 1957

Anne was born during the reign of her maternal grandfather, King George VI, at Clarence House on 15 August 1950 at 11:50 am, the second child and only daughter of Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. A 21-gun salute in Hyde Park signalled the birth. Anne was christened in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace on 21 October 1950, by the Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett. At the time of her birth, she was third in the line of succession to the British throne, behind her mother – at that time Princess Elizabeth – and older brother, Charles. She rose to second after her mother's accession; she is currently 16th in line.

A governess, Catherine Peebles, was appointed to look after Anne and her other siblings, Charles, Andrew, and Edward, and was responsible for her early education at Buckingham Palace. After the death of George VI in February 1952, Anne's mother ascended the throne as Queen Elizabeth II. Given her young age at the time, Anne did not attend the coronation in June 1953.

A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company to include the Holy Trinity Brompton Brownie pack, was re-formed 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. Anne enrolled at Benenden School in 1963. In 1968, she left school with six GCE O-Levels and two A-Levels. She began to undertake royal engagements in 1969, at the age of 18.

In 1970, she briefly had a relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles, who later married Camilla Shand. Shand much later married Anne's brother Charles as his second wife. Anne was also briefly linked to Olympic equestrian Richard Meade.


Medal record
Representing  United Kingdom
European Championships
Gold 1971 Burghley Individual eventing
Silver 1975 Luhmühlen Team eventing
Silver 1975 Luhmühlen Individual eventing

In spring 1971, Princess Anne finished fourth at the Rushall Horse Trials. At age 21, Anne won the individual title at the European Eventing Championship with her home-bred horse Doublet and was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971. She also rode winners in horse racing, competing in the Grand Military Steeplechase at Sandown Park Racecourse and the Diamond Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Internationale Military te Boekelo, Prinses Anne van Engeland in aktie, Bestanddeelnr 931-1059
Anne riding at an event in the Netherlands (1980)

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. 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, in Eventing. Anne suffered a concussion halfway through the course but remounted and finished the event; she has stated she cannot remember making the rest of the jumps. The British team had to pull out of the competition after two horses were injured. She finished fourth at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1974 and sixth in 1979, having participated five times in the competition between 1971 and 1979. In 1985, she rode in a charity horse race at the Epsom Derby, finishing fourth.

Anne assumed the presidency of the Fédération Équestre Internationale from 1986 until 1994. 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. The princess has been a patron of the Riding for the Disabled Association since 1971 and became its president in 1985, a position she still holds.

Marriages and children

Marriage to Mark Phillips

Anne met Mark Phillips, a lieutenant in the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards, in 1968 at a party for horse lovers. Their engagement was announced on 29 May 1973. On 14 November 1973, the couple married at Westminster Abbey in a televised ceremony, with an estimated audience of 100 million. They subsequently took up residence at Gatcombe Park. As was customary for untitled men marrying into the royal family, Phillips was offered an earldom, which he declined; consequently their children were born without titles. Anne and her husband had two children: Peter (born 1977) and Zara Phillips (born 1981). Anne and Phillips have five grandchildren. On 31 August 1989, Anne and Phillips announced their intention to separate; the couple had been rarely seen in public together and both were romantically linked with other people. They shared custody of their children, and initially announced that "there were no plans for divorce." On 13 April 1992, the Palace announced that Anne had filed for divorce, which was finalised ten days later.

Marriage to Sir Timothy Laurence

Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence
The Princess Royal with her second husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence (2014)

Anne met Timothy Laurence, a commander in the Royal Navy, while he was serving on the Royal Yacht Britannia. Their relationship developed in early 1989, three years after he was appointed as an equerry to the Queen. In 1989, the existence of private letters from Laurence to the Princess was revealed by The Sun newspaper. The couple married at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral Castle in Scotland, on 12 December 1992. Approximately 30 guests were invited for the private marriage service. Unlike the Church of England at the time, the Church of Scotland considered marriage to be an ordinance of religion rather than a sacrament and permitted the remarriage of divorced persons under certain circumstances. Anne became the first royal divorcée to remarry since Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

For the wedding ceremony, Anne wore a white jacket over a "demure, cropped-to-the-knee dress" and a spray of white flowers in her hair. Her engagement ring was made of "a cabochon sapphire flanked by three small diamonds on each side". Following the marriage service, the couple and guests headed to Craigowan Lodge for a private reception. Laurence received no peerage.

Kidnapping attempt

On 20 March 1974, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were returning to Buckingham Palace from a charity event when a Ford Escort forced their Princess IV car to stop on The Mall. The driver of the Escort, Ian Ball, jumped out and began firing a pistol. Inspector James Beaton, Anne's personal police officer, exited the car to shield her and to try to disarm Ball. Beaton's firearm, a Walther PPK, jammed, and he was shot by Ball, as was Anne's chauffeur, Alex Callender, when he tried to disarm Ball. Brian McConnell, a nearby tabloid journalist, also intervened, and was shot in the chest. Ball approached Anne's car and told her that he intended to kidnap her and hold her for ransom, the sum given by varying sources as £2 million or £3 million, which he claimed he intended to give to the National Health Service. Ball told Anne to get out of the car, to which she replied, "Not bloody likely!" She reportedly briefly considered hitting Ball.

Eventually, Anne 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 and led Anne away from the scene. At that point, Police Constable Michael Hills happened upon the scene; he too was shot by Ball, but he had already called for police backup. Detective Constable Peter Edmonds answered, gave chase, and finally arrested Ball.

Beaton, Hills, Callender, and McConnell were hospitalised, and recovered from their wounds. For his defence of Princess Anne, Beaton was awarded the George Cross by the Queen, who was visiting Indonesia when the incident occurred; Hills and Russell were awarded the George Medal, and Callender, McConnell, and Edmonds were awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal. It was widely reported that the Queen paid off Russell's mortgage, but this is not true: Russell said in 2020 that a police officer suggested it might happen, so he stopped paying his mortgage in anticipation and nearly had his house repossessed after four months. Anne visited Beaton in hospital and thanked him for his assistance. In 1983, she spoke about the event on Parkinson, saying she was 'scrupulously polite' to Ball as she thought it would be 'silly to be too rude at that stage'.

Beaton, who had been Anne's sole bodyguard, later said about royal security "I had nothing… There was no back-up vehicle. The training was non-existent; but then again, [we thought] nothing was going to happen. They are highly specialised now, highly trained." Immediately after the attack the use of only a single protection officer was stopped, and the Walther PPK pistol was replaced.

Ball pleaded guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping. As of September 2022, he was still detained under the Mental Health Act at Broadmoor Hospital, having been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The attempted kidnapping of Princess Anne is the focus of the Granada Television-produced docudrama To Kidnap a Princess (2006) and inspired story lines in Tom Clancy's novel Patriot Games.


Princess Anne at discus medal ceremony - Commonwealth Games 1974 (2)
Anne at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games

Anne undertakes a number of duties and engagements on behalf of the sovereign. Kevin S. MacLeod, the then 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'." It was reported in December 2017 that the Princess Royal had undertaken the most official engagements that year out of all the royal family, her mother the Queen included. Among her royal visits, the Princess has toured Norway, Jamaica, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, and Australia.

Engelse Prinses Anne bezoekt Britse school in Voorschot Prinses Anne krijgt bloe, Bestanddeelnr 933-1138
Anne visiting the British School in the Netherlands in 1984

Anne's first public engagement was at the opening of an educational and training centre in Shropshire in 1969. Anne travels abroad on behalf of the United Kingdom up to three times a year. She began to undertake overseas visits upon leaving secondary school, and accompanied her parents on a state visit to Austria in the same year. Her first tour of Australia was with her parents in 1970, since which she returned many times 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 on 22 February 2009. In 1990 she became the first member of the royal family to make an official visit to the Soviet Union when she went there as a guest of President Mikhail Gorbachev and his government.

Dean Bradford and Princess Anne
The Princess Royal visits USNS Comfort on 11 July 2002, while the vessel docked at Southampton.

Anne is involved with over 200 charities and organisations in an official capacity. She works extensively for Save the Children, serving as president from 1970 to 2017, and has been patron since 2017. Anne has visited the organisation's projects in Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result of her work, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 by Kenneth Kaunda, President of Zambia. She initiated The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in 1991. Anne is the patron of Transaid, a charity founded by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport which aims to provide safe and sustainable transport in developing countries. 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 patron of St. Andrew's First Aid. She is 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 also serves as president of the British Olympic Association. She was president of BAFTA from 1973 to 2001. In 1985 she became president of the Riding for the Disabled Association after serving as their patron for fourteen years. In 1986 she was appointed Master of the Worshipful Company of Carmen. 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 and the industrial heritage museum, Aerospace Bristol, since 2016.

Following the retirement of the Queen Mother in 1981, Anne was elected by graduates of the University of London as the Chancellor, and has been in the position since that year. Throughout May 1996, Anne served as Her Majesty's High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and held the post again in 2017. In 2001, she became Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmers. In 2007, she was appointed by the Queen as Grand Master of the Royal Victorian Order, a position her grandmother had also held. She is a Royal Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences. Royal Fellows are members of the royal family who are recommended and elected by the Society's Council. The Royal Society as of 2022 has four Royal Fellows: Anne; William, Prince of Wales; Edward, Duke of Kent; and King Charles. She is the Academy of Medical Sciences' first Royal Fellow.

Royal visit to IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (32330373998)
The Princess Royal speaking at the 100th Maritime Safety Committee session in 2018

Anne was elected Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh effective 31 March 2011, succeeding her father, who stepped down from the role in 2010. 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. Anne has been the president of the Commonwealth Study Conference, an initiative founded by her father. In 2023, she succeeded the Duke of Kent as president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. She is also patron of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Royal College of Midwives, Magpas Air Ambulance, 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, Citizens Advice, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Scottish Rugby Union.

Anne represented Great Britain in the International Olympic Committee at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. In August 2016, she returned to the country to visit the Russian city of Arkhangelsk for the 75th anniversary of Operation Dervish, which was one of the first Arctic convoys of World War II. In September 2016, the Princess had a chest infection and was required to cancel official engagements. In late October 2016, she visited the Malaysian state of Sarawak for a two-day study tour. In 2017, she became Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers and a Governor of Gresham's School. In 2021, she became patron of Mercy Ships, an international charity that operates the largest non-governmental hospital ships in the world.

October Investiture - 52407285184 (cropped)
The Princess Royal hosting an Investitures Ceremony in 2022

In April 2022, Anne and her husband toured Australia and Papua New Guinea to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. In the same year, Anne was named honorary chair of National Lighthouse Museum's Illuminating Future Generations campaign, a project aimed at rasising funds for the museum's gallery space.

On 12 September 2022, in St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, Anne became the first woman to participate in a Vigil of the Princes, guarding her mother's coffin. This was repeated at Westminster Hall on 16 September. It was later revealed that she had been the informant at her mother's death at Balmoral, a witness who signs, along with the doctor, the death certificate.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Royal Monogram of Princess Anne of Great Britain
Monogram of Princess Anne

Titles and styles

  • 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 – present: Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

Anne is the seventh Princess Royal, an appellation given only to the eldest daughter of the sovereign. The previous holder was King George V's daughter, Mary, Countess of Harewood.


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


  • Austria 1969: Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria
  • Finland 1969: Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
  • Japan 1971: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown
  • Iran 1971: Commemorative Medal of the 2500th Anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire
  • Netherlands 1972: Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange
  • Luxembourg 1972: Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown
  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1972: Member 1st Class of the Order of the Yugoslav Flag
  • Spain 2017: Order of Isabella the Catholic
  • Madagascar 2017: Grand Cross 2nd Class of the National Order of Madagascar
  • Chile 2021: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit


  • 1986: Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS)
  • 1987: Royal Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
  • 1999: Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE)
  • 2006: Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
  • 2010: Royal Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng)
  • 2011: President of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
  • 2012: Royal Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci)
  • 2017: Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FRCS)
  • 16 May 2019: Honorary Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (FRCGS).
  • 2021: President of the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers
Honorary academic degrees
  • 2004: University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Doctor of Laws (LLD)
  • 2010: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Doctor of Laws (LLD)
  • 2011: Cranfield University, Doctor of Science (DSc)
  • 2020: University of Aberdeen, Doctor of Laws (LLD)
Other appointments
  • 2015: Honorary member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

Military appointments

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

Australia Australia
The Princess Royal at a parade on the 75th anniversary of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, 5 July 2000
  • Australia 1977– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals
  • Australia 2011– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Corps of Transport
Canada Canada
  • Canada 1972– : Colonel-in-Chief of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's)
  • Canada 1977– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters
  • Canada 1977– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Communications and Electronics Branch
  • Canada 1982– : Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Regina Rifles
  • Canada 1987– : Colonel-in-Chief of Royal Newfoundland Regiment
  • Canada 2003– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Medical Service
  • Canada 2014– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Hussars
  • Naval Ensign of Canada.svg 2015– : Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy (Fleet Pacific)
  • Canada 2017– : Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
New Zealand New Zealand
  • New Zealand 1977– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps
  • New Zealand 1977– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals
United Kingdom United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom 1970–2007 : Colonel-in-Chief of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29/45 Foot)
  • United Kingdom 1977– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Corps of Signals
  • United Kingdom 1981– : Commandant-in-Chief of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps)
  • United Kingdom 1983–2006 : Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)
  • United Kingdom 1989– : Royal Honorary Colonel of the University of London OTC
  • United Kingdom 1992– : Colonel-in-Chief of the King's Royal Hussars
  • United Kingdom 1992– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Logistic Corps
  • United Kingdom 1993– : Affiliated Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Gurkha Signals
  • United Kingdom 1993– : Affiliated Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment
  • United Kingdom 1998– : Colonel of the Blues and Royals
  • United Kingdom 2003– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps
  • United Kingdom 2006– : Royal Colonel of the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • United Kingdom 2006– : Royal Colonel of the 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • United Kingdom 2022– : Colonel-in-Chief of the Intelligence Corps
  • United Kingdom 1977–2011: Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lyneham
  • United Kingdom 1993– : Honorary Air Commodore of the University of London Air Squadron
  • United Kingdom 2011– : Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Brize Norton
  • United Kingdom 1974–1993: Chief Commandant of the Women's Royal Naval Service
  • United Kingdom 1993– : Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Navy
  • United Kingdom 2006– : Commodore-in-Chief of HMNB Portsmouth
  • United Kingdom 2021– : Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps
  • United Kingdom 1988– : Lady Sponsor of HMS Talent (S92)
  • United Kingdom 2001– : Lady Sponsor of HMS Albion (L14)
Other appointments
  • 1971–2014: Lady Sponsor of TS Royalist

Military ranks



Name Birth Marriage Issue
Peter Phillips 15 November 1977 17 May 2008

Divorced 14 June 2021

Autumn Kelly

Savannah Phillips
Isla Phillips

Zara Phillips 15 May 1981 30 July 2011 Mike Tindall

Mia Tindall
Lena Tindall
Lucas Tindall


The Princess Royal's ancestry can be traced as far back as Cerdic, King of Wessex (519–534).

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ana del Reino Unido para niños

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