Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Princess Anne - Biography

The Princess Royal has been dubbed the hardest working royal...

Princess Anne smiles as she attends tour of St James Quarter in September© Chris Jackson,Getty
Updated: November 21, 2023
Share this:

Born on August 15, 1950, Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise Windsor, the Princess Royal, is seen as the most down-to-earth of the Queen's children. She undertakes more than 500 public engagements each year and is one of the most admired members of the Royal Family. As President of Save The Children Fund since 1970, she travels extensively.

Horses and equine pursuits are an enduring passion. At the age of 21, she won the individual European Three-Day Event at Burghley and was voted BBC's Sports Personality of the Year in 1971. For over five years she competed with the British eventing team, winning a silver medal in both individual and team disciplines in the 1975 European Three-Day Event Championships held in Germany. 

Princess Anne rides on horseback during Trooping the Colour© Getty
Princess Anne rides on horseback during Trooping the Colour

The following year she participated in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games as a member of the British team. Although she has given up competing, the Princess remains involved in the equestrian world. In 1986 she became President of the International Equestrian Federation (she has since relinquished the title), and is President of the Riding For The Disabled Association.

 She is also a member of the International Olympic Committee. Anne married fellow British eventing team member and Queen's Dragoon Guard Captain Mark Phillips on November 14, 1973, in Westminster Abbey, and they had two children - Peter, born in 1977; and Zara, born in 1981. A kidnap attempt was made on the Princess in early 1974 and, although Anne was unhurt, her personal protection officer was shot and wounded during the incident. She and Captain Phillips were divorced in April 1992, and in December of that year, she married Timothy Laurence, a Commodore of the Royal Navy, at a private ceremony at Crathie Church, near Balmoral, the royal family's Scottish estate. 

Princess Anne and her husband ,Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence© Getty Images
Princess Anne and her husband ,Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence

With her two children now grown up and making their way in the world, the Princess Royal divides her time between the couple's suite of rooms in St James\'s Palace and Gatcombe Park, the Gloucestershire estate that is home to the eponymous horse trials she runs alongside her ex-husband, with whom she remains on good terms.

Click here for more information on the British royal family

More Profiles

See more