Princess Anne: Inside the Princess Royal

Does anyone care about Princess Anne these days? Perhaps they do in dear old England but as a non-Brit I rarely see her photograph grace the pages of a celebrity magazine, nor do I hear any gossip coming from that direction. The Princess Royal is never held up as a fashion plate, no-one seems to copy her in any way, shape or form...goodness, does she serve any purpose at all?

Well apparently she does, only not to the shallow-driven media, who's only concern appears to be fashion, beauty and who's sleeping with who. Ann is patron to over 200 organisations, and carries out about 700 royal engagements and public appearances a year. Mind you, it's a very well paid gig and I'd rather be her than a tin miner in Bolivia.


Princess Anne in a rare, animated shot. Photo from Reuters
Princess Anne in a rare, animated shot. Photo from Reuters

A Tweedy Type

Like her mother the Queen, Anne is a distinctly tweedy type - that is, she favours horses, country pursuits, bloodsports, wool pleated skirts, cardigans and dowdy headscarfs. In addition, also like the Queen she appears not to have changed her hairstyle for the last fifty years. Tch...doesn't she get bored with herself? The public seems to have. Is she of the 'find an image and stick with it' school? Or is she just comfortable being herself? Of course she is a Grandmother and if she hasn't settled into her skin by now, she probably never will.

As a keen equestrian, Anne has the distinction of being the only Royal to participate in an Olympic Games (Montreal, 1976) and has won silver and gold medals at the European Equestrian Championships. Anne is a classic outdoors girl and one suspects, more interested in a good saddle than a haute couture fashion show on a Paris runway.


Princess Anne with a close friend
Princess Anne with a close friend

An Interest in Lighthouses

Princess Anne has also displayed a fervent interest in pharology, ie; lighthouses, which has a kind of symbolic resonance to it- she's a little like one herself...regal, in her own world, independent from the rest and occasionally there's a crash on the rocks if people approach her the wrong way. Anne is patron if the Northern Lighthouse Board and makes frequent trips around the country checking out various lighthouses.

Evidently Princess Anne has had this unusual interest since she was a child and may be the only member of the Royal family to ever have had such a hobby. Perhaps it can all be traced back to 1956, when as an inquisitive five year old 1956, sheaccompanied the Queen on a visit to Tiumpan Head in Lewis. Typically, it was Charles who got to blow the foghorn and who knows, perhaps her penchant for lighthouse hopping can be traced back to that early frustration at the lighthouse in Lweis.


Smile and the world smiles with you
Smile and the world smiles with you

Sense of Humour

“When I appear in public people expect me to neigh, grind my teeth, paw the ground and swish my tail - none of which is easy.”~ Princess Anne

It appears the Princess royal does have a good sense of humour, as well as a strong sense of identity. She is the grumpy old woman, the eccentric Aunt...the one who doesn't give a fig what people think as long as she can be herself.The now 61 year old certainly speaks her mind- she is rumoured to have once told her daughters rugby playing fiancé, Mike Tindall,whom she is reputedly fond of, to "get a nose job", lest he spoil the wedding pictures.

Although she has had two children, the Princess is not maternal, having once revealed that she saw motherhood as an "occupational hazard" of being a wife. According to her daughter Zara, Anne has a fun side -"When she's in an environment of people that she knows, whether it be her organisations or family, friends, she definitely relaxes a lot more and is great fun and is always the one laughing the loudest."


Princess Anne's Marriage Problems

When she was twenty-three, an estimated 100 million people watched Princess Anne marry then Lieutenant, Mark Phillips in Westminster Abbey. The union lasted sixteen years, before the palace officially announced a separation, followed by a divorce. According to palace sources, the relationship had been rocky for some years.

In 1992, the same year as her divorce, the Princess married for a second time to Navy Commander, Tim Laurence. Reports of her second marriage heading for troubled waters has been reported in the tabloids, however it has been noted that the Queen would never allow a second divorce.


The Princess Royal in Official Garb
The Princess Royal in Official Garb
Princess Anne
Princess Anne
Her Majesty, the Queen
Her Majesty, the Queen
A family friend
A family friend

Some Biographical Facts About princess Anne

  • Born in 1950 on the 15th of August at Clarendon House
  • Was second in line to the throne for a while, until the boys started coming
  • Used to be a girl guide
  • Was educated at home until 1963, when she went to Brenendon School
  • Graduated with six O-Levels and two A-Level
  • Married Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey in Novemebr, 1973
  • Anne narrowly avoided being kidnapped in 1974
  • Has two children, Peter and Zara
  • Divorced in April, 1992
  • Married Timothy Laurence in November, 1992
  • Has one Grandchild, Savannah
  • Her first boyfriend was Andrew Parker Bowles (Camilla's ex)
  • Was found guilty in march 2001 of  driving at 93 mph on a dual carriageway and subsequently fined 400 pounds.
  • Was elected Chancellor of Edinburgh University in 2011


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