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Princess Anne walking© Getty

Princess Anne shares deep sadness in first public message since leaving hospital

The Princess Royal spent several days at hospital in Bristol after sustaining minor head injuries and a concussion

Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
July 1, 2024
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Princess Anne has shared her first message since being discharged from hospital where she received treatment for minor head injuries and concussion.

The royal, 73, who is now recuperating at her Gatcombe Park home, was due to attend a memorial ceremony in Canada marking the centenary of the Newfoundland National War Memorial. 

Princess Anne© Getty Images
Princess Anne is recuperating at home

The Canadian Governor General shared a message on her behalf which read: "It is with deep regret that I am unable to be with you today, as you commemorate the brave efforts and sacrifices of the members of the Newfoundland Regiment who went into battle on the first day of the Somme."

It continued: "I have fond memories of joining you in 2016, on the 99th occasion that the people of this Island commemorated the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, and I am deeply saddened that I'm unable to join you again, and I send you my warmest best wishes on this special day of commemoration".

Princess Anne standing© Getty Images
Princess Anne has left hospital

HELLO! understands that the late Queen's daughter was out walking on her Gatcombe Estate when the incident occurred, resulting in the Princess Royal sustaining minor wounds to the head and a concussion.

While the exact cause of her injuries has not been confirmed, it's understood that her medical team say that the royal's injuries are consistent with a potential impact from a horse's head or legs.

She spent four days being monitored for concussion in hospital in Bristol, where she was visited by her husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence on Tuesday.

WATCH: Sir Timothy Laurence visits Princess Anne in hospital

On Friday, following Anne's discharge, the Vice Admiral expressed his gratitude to the hospital in a short statement. "I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all the team at Southmead Hospital for their care, expertise and kindness during my wife's short stay."

The Princess Royal is now recuperating at Gatcombe Park, and will return to public duty when her doctors recommend it is safe and comfortable to do so.

 Aerial view of Gatcombe Park where Princess Anne lives © Getty Images
Princess Anne resides at Gatcombe Park

This isn't the first time Anne has suffered a horse-related incident. Back in 1976, the royal was knocked unconscious when a horse fell on her at the Portman Horse Trials in Dorset, suffering bruises, concussion and a hairline fracture in her vertebrae. 

The then 25-year-old royal was treated in hospital for four days and thankfully the injury wasn't serious enough to stop her from competing in the Montreal Olympics that summer.

Princess Anne's passion for horses

Princess Anne is a keen equestrian! She was the first British royal to compete at the Olympics, participating in the 1976 Games in Montreal, and has also won a gold medal at the European Eventing Championships in 1971 and two silvers in 1975.

princess anne trooping the colour 2024© Getty Images
The royal is a keen equestrian

Her daughter Zara – who has previously rode for Great Britain - spoke about the family’s obsession with horses in an interview in 2023.

Zara Phillips of Great Britain and her horse High Kingdom compete in Individual Eventing on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on July 29, 2012 in London, England© Getty Images
Zara took part in the London 2012 Olympic Games

"Our horses are in our family," she told People. "There's always discussions about performances and things like that," adding: "There's horses in her life and she does a bit of breeding as well."

Anne became patron of Riding For The Disabled charity in 1971, before later becoming President in 1985. The charity provides over 17,000 disabled children and adults with fun activities like riding and carriage driving.

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