Inside Princess Anne’s privileged life – dashing husband, huge mansion and kidnap attempt

The life of Anne, Princess Royal, is a rich tale spanning the Olympics, marriage controversy, the Nobel Peace Prize and a very bloody kidnapping attempt

Inside the life of the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne
Inside the life of the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne

Anne, Princess Royal, is the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and is a prominent senior member of the Royal Family.

Born in 1950, she is now 71 years old having been involved in royal duties since the beginning of her adult life.

Recently, the Queen’s traditional Christmas Day plans were scuppered as Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne’s husband, tested positive for Covid.

She has gained a reputation as a supporter of charitable causes and organisations and, at the time of writing, holds patronage in more than 300 organisations.

Princess Anne has worked with the charity Save the Children since 1970 when she was made the organisation’s president.

She has been involved and visited a large number of the organisation’s events and projects which saw her nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

Princess Anne’s horse-riding achievements

Zara Phillips receives her silver medal from her mum, Princess Anne



Outside of traditional royal duties, Princess Anne gained fame as an accomplished equestrian.

She earned a gold medal in 1971 and two silvers in 1975 in the European Eventing Championships and, in 1976, the Queen’s daughter competed in the Olympic games.

She is the first member of the Royal Family to do so historically.

Princess Anne was also voted British Sports Personality of the Year in 1971 for her efforts on horseback and was part of the British eventing team for over five years.

Could Princess Anne ever be Queen?

Despite being the second-oldest of the Queen’s children, Anne is only 17th in line to the throne.

This is partly because succession is due to follow her brother Prince Charles’ branch of the family tree.

Ahead of her are Prince William and his children, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew.

Who is Princess Anne’s husband and does she have any children?

Prince Philip stands at the barbecue with Princess Anne at Balmoral in 1972


Lichfield/Getty Images)

Princess Anne has been married to Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence since 1992. A retired navy commander, the pair had got to know each other while he was equerry – an officer of honour – to the Queen.

She was previously married to Captain Mark Phillips. They married in 1973 but divorced in 1992 having had two children together, Zara and Peter.

Zara has gone on to become a well-known name, both for following on in her mother’s footsteps as an equestrian and for marrying former England Rugby player Mike Tindall.

Zara is Queen Elizabeth’s eldest granddaughter.

The Princess Royal became the first member of the Royal Family to divorce and get remarried since Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter.

Where does Princess Anne live?

Princess Anne and her husband, Timothy, live near their two children at Gatcombe Park, a 730-acre estate in Gloucestershire.

HELLO! reported earlier this year that the mansion has nine bedrooms, four receptions rooms, a library, a conservatory and a billiards room.

Kidnapping attempt

Princess Anne on her wedding day with her first husband Mark Phillips


Corbis via Getty Images)

Ian Ball carried out the kidnap attempt on Princess Anne 20th March 1974

While travelling with her first husband, Mark Phillips, to Buckingham Palace in 1974, Princess Anne’s car was stopped in the road.

A gunman called Ian Ball fired at her car, shooting her chauffeur and personal police officer. The former had made an attempt to disarm the assailant, while the latter had pulled his gun only for it to jam.

A nearby Mirror journalist, Brian McConnell, also tried to help but was shot in the chest.

Ball told Anne he was going to kidnap her and hold her to ransom for between £2 million and £3 million, according to various sources.

Only when a passing civilian, former boxer Ronnie Russell, punched Ball in the back of the head was the princess able to escape.

Ball shot another police officer before backup arrived.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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