12 August 2020

Facts about Anne as she turns 70

12 August 2020

The Princess Royal will be celebrating her 70th birthday at the weekend.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s only daughter is known for her no-nonsense approach and her work ethic.

Anne is involved with more than 300 charities, organisations and military regiments, and regularly tops the leader board as the royal family member carrying out the most public engagements.

The princess was born at Clarence House on August 15 1950 and is a younger sister to the Prince of Wales.

She is the mother of silver medal-winning Olympic horsewoman Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips.

Here are some facts about the Princess Royal:

– Anne once remarked: “As a young princess I was a huge disappointment to everyone concerned. It’s impractical to go around in life dressed in a long white dress and a crown.”

– She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia in 1990 for her work as president of the charity Save the Children.

– In 2002, Anne became the first senior member of the royal family to be convicted of a criminal offence. She pleaded guilty at East Berkshire Magistrates’ Court in Slough to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act after her pet Dotty bit two children in Windsor Great Park. She was fined £500.

– A skilled horsewoman, Anne won the individual championship at Burghley in 1971, and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

– She won a place in the 1976 Montreal Olympics as a three-day eventer in the British equestrian team.

– She is a British member of the International Olympic Committee and took part in London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and was a member of the organising committee.

– Anne survived an attempted kidnapping in 1974 when a gunman tried to abduct her and then husband Captain Mark Phillips as they were driven along The Mall to Buckingham Palace. She kept her cool, and when the gunman, Ian Ball, told her to “come with me for a day or two” because he wanted £2 million, she replied it was not “bloody likely, and I haven’t got £2 million”.

The princess told how she was “furious at this man who was having a tug of war with me” and for ripping her favourite blue velvet dress. The Duke of Edinburgh later quipped: “If the man had succeeded in abducting Anne, she would have given him a hell of a time in captivity.”

– In 1987, she was honoured by the Queen with the senior title of Princess Royal, which is traditionally, but not automatically, given by the sovereign to their eldest daughter.

London Olympic Games (PA Archive)

– Anne has been married twice. She wed Capt Phillips in 1973, they separated in 1989 and divorced in 1992.

In 1992, she married Sir Tim Laurence, a former equerry to the Queen, who became a vice admiral. Their relationship came to light in 1989 when personal letters the Royal Navy commander wrote to Anne were stolen from the princess’s briefcase and sent to The Sun newspaper.

– Author Lady Colin Campbell once wrote: “The key to the princess is that she is Prince Philip in skirts.”

– Anne has become known for recycling her outfits, wearing some of them 40 years after their first outing.

– The princess was born third in line to the throne, but was leapfrogged by her younger brothers Andrew and Edward when they were born, and she is now 14th in line.

– The rule that younger brothers could succeed before elder sisters no longer applies thanks to the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, but it was not backdated so did not affect Anne.

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