Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, has mostly led a very private and quiet life, much more so than her many nieces and nephews. On the princess’s social media accounts, she mainly shares formal photos along with pre-approved stories, meaning it’s not very often the public gets a glimpse into her personal life.
Princess Anne was born on August 15, 1950. When she was born, she had been the third in line to the throne behind her older brother Prince Charles. Today, she’s the 17th in line. Anne is also the older sister of Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
It’s said that Anne’s reportedly one of the hardest working senior members of the royal family. She’s also well-known for her fashion. Like many royals, the media is always talking about what she’s wearing, including her dazzling jewelry. This time the piece of interest was her engagement ring, which is not only unconventional but it’s also caught the eyes of millions of royal watchers worldwide.
Princess Anne has been married twice. Her first marriage was to Mark Phillips in 1973. The two met in Mexico City while attending an event for horse riding enthusiasts. While they were hardly ever spotted together, the strain of their relationship was well-publicized, with reports of both having extra-marital affairs. Anne was dating Andrew Parker-Bowls, the ex-husband of her brother’s wife, Camilla Parker-Bowels.
Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips divorced in 1992. Together they had three children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips.
According to The Court Jeweller, Phillips “proposed with a Garrard ring featuring a central sapphire flanked by a pair of diamonds in 1973.” One tie that her former engagement ring and the one she received from Laurence have in common is that they both opt for the colorful sapphire as a gem instead of the traditional, clear diamond. Her cabochon sapphire from Laurence is on a simple gold band and features small diamonds on each side of the sapphire.
She broke the mold with her engagement ring and wedding attire during this time. While most royals prefer wearing a clear jewel, usually a diamond. Princess Anne decided on a less traditional type of gem that added a very unique component to her engagement ring.
After the breakup of her first marriage, Anne was lucky enough to find love a second time when she married Timothy Laurence in 1992.
For such a traditional family, the Royal Family has seen some major changes over recent years. After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their very public departure from the Royal Family, there was a lot of discussion about how the family would move forward.
Anne, for her part, has taken on more responsibilities and has spoken out concerning many of the unusual events in her lifetime.
One such event was the time she was nearly kidnapped. According to People, the princess was nearly kidnapped on March 20, 1974. The attack took place only a few months after she’d married her first husband.
Anne talked about how she came face-to-face with an assailant named Ian Ball.
“He opened the door, and we had a sort of ‘discussion’ about where or where not we were going to go,” Anne said. However, she told him it would “be much better if he just went away and we’d all forget about it.”
When ball fled the scene, he was stopped by police, and it was revealed that the man intended to ransom Princess Anne for $4 million.
While today at age 71, the princess is certainly much older, she’s shown no signs of slowing down at all. Vanity Fair reported she’s carried out over 500 engagements in 2019, admitted to jam-packing her itinerary, and said her idea of retirement is not necessarily what people would traditionally consider retirement.
“I don’t think retirement is quite the same (for me),” Anne said. “Most people would say we’re very lucky not to be in that situation because you wouldn’t want to just stop. It is, to a large extent, the choice of the organizations you’re involved with and whether they feel you’re still relevant.”
Princess Anne is very involved in charity work and has been associated with Save the Children for over 50 years. The princess even earned a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. Without question, the Queen has to be very proud of her only daughter.
You can also watch a full documentary about the life of Princess Ann in the video below.
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- “Engagements, Affairs & An Attempted Kidnapping: A Look Inside Princess Anne’s Life” Apost.