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Inside Princess Anne's love story with Timothy Laurence: From personal letters to winter wedding

The royal married Timothy the same year she divorced Mark

princess anne timothy laurence
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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Princess Anne's love life is set to feature in the hotly-anticipated season five of The Crown.

READ: Princess Anne's two bold engagement rings broke royal mould – photos

The new season is set in the 1990s, which is when the Princess Royal's first marriage to Mark Phillips – father of her children Zara and Peter Phillips – ended and she tied the knot with her second husband, Vice Admiral SirTimothy Laurence. From their first meeting to their winter wedding, see inside Anne and the Queen's equerry Timothy's love story… 

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The couple met in 1986 on the Royal Yacht Britannia when Laurence was a commander in the Royal Navy. They built a close friendship and exchanged "personal letters" which were stolen in 1989, Buckingham Palace confirmed – although the details of their contents have never been revealed.

"The stolen letters were addressed to the Princess Royal by Commander Timothy Laurence, the Queen’s Equerry. We have nothing to say about the contents of personal letters sent to Her Royal Highness by a friend which were stolen and which are the subject of a police investigation," the statement read.

READ: 7 royal couples that didn't make it down the aisle

RELATED: Princess Anne's past romance with Queen Camilla's ex-husband: Details

Anne and Mark announced their separation in August 1989 before divorcing in April 1992. The following month, Anne and Timothy stepped out in public together for the first time at the Royal Caledonian Ball.

princess anne ring close up

Princess Anne's engagement ring from Timothy

Timothy proposed with a gorgeous cabochon sapphire and diamond ring, and they went on to get married at Crathie Kirk church in Scotland in December 1992.

princess anne wedding photo scotland

The couple got married in Scotland in 1992

Just 30 guests were in attendance, as they were forbidden from getting married in England at the time since the Church of England did not allow remarriages after divorce. Princess Anne kept it casual in a high-neck midi dress with a white jacket and black court shoes, while her groom wore his Royal Navy uniform. 

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anne timothy at peter wedding

Anne and Timothy attended Peter Phillips' wedding

They have made several joint appearances over the years, including at her brother King Charles' wedding with Queen Consort Camilla in 2005, and her son Peter Phillips' big day with his ex-wife Autumn in 2008.

Anne and Timothy live together on the Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire near her children and grandchildren: Peter lives in his own property on the estate and so does her daughter Zara along with her husband Mike Tindall and their children Mia, Lena and baby Lucas.

Timothy made a rare comment about her former marriage in 2020, joking on the ITV documentary Anne: The Princess Royal at 70: "It's quite amusing that she married first an army officer and then a naval officer. So there must be something about the military that attracts her," he said. 

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Vice Admiral Timothy was pictured on the balcony at Trooping the Colour 

During the late Queen's Trooping the Colour celebrations, Tim appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony, despite it usually being reserved for working royals. "The Queen is happy [for Timothy Laurence] to attend as a frequent attendee and support for the Princess Royal on official engagements," Buckingham Palace announced.

READ: Who are Princess Anne's husband, children and grandchildren?

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