Extramarital affairs and stolen letters: A documentary about Princess Anne shows how turbulent the love life of Queen Elizabeth’s eldest and only daughter has been.
Princess Anne prefers to stay somewhat in the background when it comes to her private life. “I am not and never will be a fairytale princess,” Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s only daughter once announced. She is thrifty, doesn’t care much about her appearance, and sometimes comes off as a little clumsy. How she found true love after many unsuccessful matches is, on the other hand, a fairy tale happy ending.
“Some of her boyfriends were considered hugely inappropriate,” said Tom Quinn, the princess’ biographer. “Princess Anne’s past is colorful to say the least. We know she had seven lovers, the first royal child to divorce and marry a commoner. She was a rebel.”
The documentary Princess Anne: The 7 loves of her life sort out the princess’s turbulent love life. “Her relationship shows that the determined, outspoken Anne refused to give up her happiness in love like that.”
The first man to keep his heart ppurification Royal captured was Gerald Ward. The adventurous Ward seemed a good match for Anne: he had attended Eton College, had been a cavalry officer and a landowner. “He was a friend of Prince Charles. Gerard was exactly the adventurous type that Anne was attracted to. A good horseman, a good horseman,” says royalty expert Richard Kay.
However, the relationship between Gerald and Anne has never been officially confirmed. However, the ties between this first suitor and the royal family continued to exist, as Ward later became Prince Harry’s godfather.
Princess Anne’s other serious boyfriend was the polo player Sandy Harper. According to Quinn, this sportsman set the alarm bells ringing at Buckingham Palace.
“Although he came from a more or less acceptable background, he dressed like a hippie, had long hair, wore pearls and open-necked muslin shirts. For Anne, however, this was fantastic, because in this way she tweedy the world of the royal family.” The two were often seen in nightclubs in London. But this relationship also ended, and Sandy later married a model.
The royal family was once again somewhat reassured when a better candidate came across Anne’s path. Richard Meade was a successful Olympic rider who shared Princess Anne’s passion for riding. More bonus points: Richard seems to have been very polite and, according to many, was good looking. The fact that the top athlete was twelve years older than herself did not seem to be a problem for Anne and her friends. Queen Elizabeth may have been a little less comfortable, as according to rumors she would have disapproved of the relationship between her daughter and the horseman.
Andrew Parker Bowles
Thanks to The crown arguably Princess Anne’s most famous (and most controversial) ex-boyfriend: Andrew Parker Bowles. Andrew had for a while been in an on-again, off-again relationship with Camilla Shand and occasionally met Anne in between. Camilla would then have decided that if her ex started something with the Queen’s daughter, she would handle it with the Crown Prince.
Things turned out differently in this “love square”: As we know, Camilla married Andrew and later Prince Charles. The relationship between Anne and Andrew was not to be, but it resulted in a lifelong friendship. Andrew is also godfather to Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall.
Captain Mark Philips
It seems to have been a prerequisite for hooking Princess Anne: be a horse lover! Just before Andrew and Camilla tied the knot, Anne became engaged to Captain Mark Philips. Another Olympic gold rider and a cavalry captain.
Anne and Mark’s wedding in November 1973 was the most watched royal wedding of all time, with more than 500 million television viewers. Shortly after the birth of their two children, Peter and Zara, this relationship also began to show cracks. The two were barely seen together in public. It is rumored that both the princess and the captain had extramarital affairs.
In 1989, one of these affairs became public when the press obtained stolen love letters from Anne to Commander Timothy Laurence – the Queen’s equerry. In 1992, after living apart for years, Mark and Anne decided to officially divorce: the same year her brother Charles and sister-in-law Diana ended their marriage.
During the police investigation into the letter thief, Princess Anne and Timothy were very open about their relationship. “They were not ashamed. They were upset about how their relationship had become known, but they were very open and Commander Laurence’s only concern was to protect the princess,’ recalls the detective who investigated the case at the time.
But before Commander Laurence announced himself, Princess Anne was reportedly dating her bodyguard, Peter Cross, who was also married. After the relationship came to light in the media, Peter was abruptly transferred to another department. Still, the two would have agreed for some time.
A few months after her divorce from Mark, in December 1992, Princess Anne remarried. Despite the bumpy start to their relationship, the princess still chose to marry Timothy Laurence. Unlike her first wedding, this time it was a small ceremony. The couple also had to marry in Scotland, because even in the 1990s the Church of England did not allow divorcees to remarry.
Princess Anne finally found her prince on the white horse with the commander. The two have been married for more than 29 years, have no scandals to their name and have a quiet life in the service of the crown.
Photographer Fayne Fincher captured the pair making their first public appearance at a ball together and recalled: “It was the first time in years I’ve seen Princess Anne really happy.”
Source: Express, SCMP | Image: Brunopress