Princess Anne, or Princess Royal as she is more commonly known, is Queen Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Philip’s only daughter. Born in 1950, Anne is considered the busiest royal due to her well-known commitment to public service. Although she shirks celebrity, the princess’s personal life hasn’t been without controversy.
As Express notes, she was married to fellow equestrian Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 but the two split in 1992 following allegations of infidelity on both sides. Per BBC, she couple shares two grownup children, Zara and Peter, neither of whom have royal titles at their parents’ request.
Anne married Commander Timothy Laurence the very same year she got divorced. However, as Hello! magazine advises, their wedding was much more low-key than the massive events to which we are accustomed, with just 30 guests in attendance. According to a 1989 report in People, the couple faced intense scrutiny because they initially got together under scandalous — by royal standards, anyway — circumstances. However, Princess Royal and the now Vice Admiral have proven the naysayers wrong, as theirs is one of the longest running marriages among the living royals, as per Express.
The former naval officer is content to stay out of the limelight
As Express notes, Sir Timothy Laurence was born in South London, enrolling as a midshipman in the Royal Navy out of college, where he quickly rose through the ranks all the way up to Commander, on battleships and minesweepers all over the world.
Laurence was equerry to Queen Elizabeth from 1986 to 1989, during which time he and Princess Anne sent emotionally-charged letters later published in the tabloids. They tied the knot in Scotland due to the freedom for a divorcee to do so there. Laurence retired in 2010, dedicating his time since to charitable causes. He’s frequently seen alongside his wife on official business but is not a working royal. As Tatler notes, while appearing in documentary Anne: The Princess Royal at 70, Laurence admitted the biggest shock of joining the royal family was how palatial properties such as Buckingham Palace are “full of laughter.”
As for his wife’s relationship with the Queen, Laurence noted they share a sense of “humor” and “fun.” He and Anne, meanwhile, “are both map and chart people.” Laurence explained, “We like to know where we are and see where we are going.” They also both enthusiastically support the Scottish rugby team. Sadly, they don’t both share a love of horses, however. He did quip, though, it’s “quite amusing that she married first an army officer and then a naval officer,” opining “there must be something about the military that attracts her.”
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