Princess Anne’s love life played a big role in The Crown Season 3. Though much of the drama revolved around her tryst with Andrew Parker Bowles before he married Camilla Shand, in actuality, Anne had several other suitors. And despite her wedding not being featured in the regal Netflix show (so far), the princess’s 1973 nuptials were reportedly watched by more than 500 million viewers around the globe.
Here, we take a look at the people Princess Anne has been romantically linked to throughout her life.
According to reports, one of Anne’s earliest suitors was Richard Meade, an Olympic equestrian who apparently brought attention to the sport thanks to his good looks.
A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Meade has been described by The Telegraph as a “linchpin of the British team for 21 years.” Per The Independent, Meade was only “briefly linked” to the princess; though, as photographs show, it was long enough for the two to race horses side by side.
Andrew Parker Bowles
The Crown Season 3 explored Princess Anne’s romance with Andrew Parker Bowles. It goes something like this: While Andrew was on a break from his girlfriend, Camilla Shand, he started seeing Anne; meanwhile, Camilla began dating Anne’s brother Prince Charles.
At the Henley Literary Festival in 2016, royal biographer Penny Junor apparently discussed the royal love quadrangle. She said (via Daily Mail) of Duchess Camilla, “When she was introduced to Charles and he thought she was pretty special … he thought she was a bit of alright and she thought, ‘Andrew is at the moment off with Princess Anne, you know her brother, teach Andrew a lesson.’ So she had a fling with Charles.”
It seems that Anne’s dalliance with Andrew was relatively short-lived, but the pair have remained good friends and have been regularly photographed together over the years.
Captain Mark Phillips
Soon after her romance with Andrew Parker Bowles ended, Princess Anne wed her first husband, Mark Phillips. Another keen equestrian, Phillips was an award-winning horseman who took home a gold medal for Great Britain in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Anne and Phillips “first met in 1968 at a party for horse lovers.” And as reported by Hello! magazine, “Anne announced her engagement to Mark—then a lieutenant in the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards”—on May 29, 1973. According to People, during the couple’s official engagement photo call, Anne was asked “if marriage could withstand the pressure of public duty.” She retorted, “Can? It’s got to, hasn’t it?”
They would wed on November 14 the same year, and their televised wedding at Westminster Abbey would be watched by more than 500 million people worldwide. Anne wore the queen’s wedding tiara for her own big day—known as the Queen Mary Fringe tiara—the very same one that Princess Beatrice wore for her royal nuptials in 2020.
Phillips and the Princess Royal went on to have two children together: Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips.
However, the couple’s romance was later plagued by rumors of infidelity. The Chicago Tribune alleged, “Phillips had semi-public affairs with a British television anchorwoman, a Canadian public relations executive and even with an Indian call girl, Pamella Bordes,” while Anne was apparently “linked romantically with actor Anthony Andrews, her bodyguard, and … an equerry to the queen, Cmdr. Timothy Laurence.”
It was also later revealed that Phillips fathered a daughter while married to Princess Anne. Despite initially denying the claims, in 1991, a DNA test proved that Phillips was, in fact, Felicity Tonkins’s father, via the Express. Anne and Phillips announced their separation in September 1989, and their divorce was finalized on April 23, 1992.
Sir Timothy Laurence
As previously mentioned, Princess Anne was linked to Naval Officer Timothy Laurence prior to the end of her first marriage. Per People, having “joined the palace entourage in 1986,” Laurence and Anne reportedly became close. But when The Sun newspaper was given access to stolen letters from Laurence to the princess, written over an 18-month period, news of their close relationship was made public. People wrote in 1989, “Buckingham Palace has confirmed that one of the queen’s equerries, Comdr. Timothy Laurence, 34, has written four intimate letters to Anne.” Anne announced her separation from Phillips soon thereafter.
Anne married Laurence on December 12, 1992, just months after her divorce from Phillips was finalized. The couple tied the knot in Scotland in a small church close to Balmoral, as the Church of England didn’t allow remarriage at the time.
In 2017, Anne and her second husband celebrated 25 years of marriage, and they appear to still be going strong. It’s safe to assume that Laurence could be making an appearance in a future season of The Crown.
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