Engagements, Affairs & An Attempted Kidnapping: A Look Inside Princess Anne’s Life

May 14, 2022 by apost team

The late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's only daughter, Princess Anne, has led a quiet and more private life than many of her nieces and nephews. On her social media accounts, she mostly shares formal photos and pre-approved stories, which means that it's not all that common for the public to get a glimpse into her life.

However, Anne’s been reported to be one of the busiest working senior members of the royal family. She is also known for her fashion. Like many royals, the media is always reporting on what she's wearing, including her jewelry. This time the article of interest is Anne's engagement ring, which is not only unconventional but has also caught the eye of fans around the globe. 

She has been married twice, her first marriage being to Mark Phillips in 1973. When Anne married Timothy Laurence in 1992, both her wedding attire and her engagement ring broke the mold in comparison to all royal weddings that came before. While most royals wear a clear jewel, usually a diamond, to honor their marriage proposal, Princess Anne opted for another less-traditional gem that added a rare component to her engagement ring.

For such a seemingly traditional family, the royal family has had some drastic changes in recent years. After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their royal departure in March 2020, many pieces were left out of place as the family worked at figuring out how to move forward. 

Anne has taken on more responsibilities and has also spoken out about many unusual and non-traditional moments in her lifetime. Read on to find out more about the life of the previous monarch's only daughter – Anne.

Princesse Anne (1957), (Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)

The late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip welcomed their second child and only daughter Princess Anne on Aug. 15, 1950. At the time of her birth, she was third-in-line to the throne behind her mother, who was not yet queen, and her older brother King Charles III, however, she is now 16th. Anne is also the older sister of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Early of Wessex.

She got married to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 and was the first out of her three siblings to tie the knot. According to Tatler, the two met in Mexico City while attending an event for horse riding enthusiasts. Although they were rarely spotted out together, the strain of their relationship was highly publicized with reports of the both of them having affairs with other people (Anne dated her brother’s wife Camilla, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom's then-husband, Andrew Parker-Bowles). Their divorce was finalized in April 1992. The princess and Phillips share two children together: Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall.

In her first marriage, Anne also had a non-traditional engagement ring. According to The Court Jeweller, Phillips "proposed with a Garrard ring featuring a central sapphire flanked by a pair of diamonds in 1973." One tie that her former engagement ring and the one she received from Laurence have in common is that they both opt for the colorful sapphire as a gem instead of the traditional, clear diamond. Her cabochon sapphire from Laurence is on a simple gold band and features small diamonds on each side of the sapphire.

Following the breakup of her first marriage, Anne was lucky to find love a second time, marrying Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence at Crathie Kirk in Scotland, on Dec. 12, 1992. They do not have biological children together.


Princesse Anne (1971), (William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images)

Something many people may not know about Anne is that she was almost kidnapped. According to People, there was an attempted kidnapping of the princess on Mar. 20, 1974. The attack happened just a few months after she married her first husband.

Anne explained that she came face-to-face with an armed man named Ian Ball. “He opened the door, and we had a sort of ‘discussion’ about where or where not we were going to go,” Anne said. However, she told him it would “be much better if he just went away and we’d all forget about it.”

According to People, Ball attempted to flee the scene but was stopped by police. It was then revealed that he intended to ransom the princess for about $4 million.

It’s clear that Anne has had a very eventful life, and at the age of 72, the Princess Royal does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. According to Vanity Fair, she carried out more than 500 engagements in 2019. Anne admitted to jam-packing her itinerary and said that her idea of retirement is not necessarily as traditional as people may think.

“I don’t think retirement is quite the same (for me),” Anne said. “Most people would say we’re very lucky not to be in that situation because you wouldn’t want to just stop. It is, to a large extent, the choice of the organizations you’re involved with and whether they feel you’re still relevant.”

Anne is very involved with charitable organizations, and has been associated with Save the Children for over 50 years; she was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. There’s no doubt that the late queen must have been very proud of the woman her only daughter became in her lifetime.

Princesse Anne (2013), (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

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